The Desperate Hours

A man's gotta know his limitations, right, Clint?Counting down the days to Christmas, the studios are unloading their big guns … which include some serious Oscar-craving productions.

“Gran Torino”: Clint Eastwood plays a snarling, racist Korean War veteran who finds himself crankily taking sides in a Hmong turf war in his sleepy Michigan suburb. Eastwood is letting it be known that this is likely the last time we’ll see him in front of a camera, which can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that he’s never won an acting Oscar. Because when you can’t campaign on merit, you go for pity. Adam and Barrett will explain.

“Seven Pounds”: Will Smith and Gabriele Muccino, who brought you the warm-n-fuzzy 2006 drama “The Pursuit of Happyness”, reunite for a somewhat overcomplicated redemption melodrama that works just a hair better than you’d expect, thanks to the fine chemistry between Smith and co-star Rosario Dawson. Susan agrees, and I agree with Adam: “Do Not Touch the Jellyfish” deserves to become the catchphrase of the year.

“The Tale of Despereaux”: All I know about this animated feature is that Sylvan Chomet, the unqualified genius who gave us “The Triplets of Belleville”, was originally supposed to direct it, but ultimately didn’t. Dierdre liked it more than Jason did; I’m curious to see the character designs, but couldn’t catch the screening.

Yes Man“: So it’s finally come to this: Jim Carrey is so desperate to claw his way back to the top that he’ll take anything that smacks of his former blockbusters — even this naked retread of “Liar Liar” that finds him responding to any request in the affirmative, no matter how wacky. Remember when his comedy was so thrilling? So unpredictable and gleeful? Yeah, well, that was a looooong time ago.

Hang in there. Better stuff’s coming. Eventually.

5 thoughts on “The Desperate Hours”

  1. I may be biased running a bookstore, but if you want to get your wife to watch Kitchen Confidential try giving her the book. As good as the series was, the book was better. If HBO did the series with the same cast it might have lived up to Bourdain’s magnificent madness. Or, maybe, if Joss Whedon had anything to do with it, in which case a few episodes is all it would have been allowed anyway.

  2. “The Wife” here ;-). I have actually read the book — the Bourdain one, yes? Liked that. Didn’t actually realize there was any relationship, other than the name and a vague sense of “inspiration” in that it’s about wacky chefly antics. Alright, alright… maybe I’ll give it a go now that we’re in a TV deadzone until mid January.

  3. Smith has been worsening as an actor over this decade (and I say this as someone who was never impressed by Six Degrees of Separation). Oh, but that doesn’t matter when he can still vie with Tom Cruise as to who sports the most dully confident star power on the planet, right?

  4. Kate – Ane if you don’t like it, you can always watch Big Night or Mostly Martha, two of the best food movies ever, as a palate cleanser. Enjoy!

  5. Eastwood has announced no such thing. He has specifically stated that he is open to acting again. And he certainly doesn’t need any pity from the Academy.

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