The Weekend of the Afterglow

Mr. Statham will have TWO lumps of sugar, thank youIt’s a quiet weekend for new movies, as studios race to book more screens for their Oscar-nominated films and everyone else sort of hangs back — except for Warner, which is rolling an Anthony Hopkins horror movie into the megaplex at the end of January. So, clearly, it’s a quality picture.

On the upside, Mongrel’s putting “Carlos” back onto the big screen at the AMC Yonge and Dundas in light of its recent Golden Globe win for Best Miniseries or TV-Movie. If you missed it at the Lightbox, or weren’t willing to pay the $25 premium admission, this is probably your last chance to see it in a theatre.

“Casino Jack”: There’s no one better at snide dismissiveness than Kevin Spacey, is there? And he’s a fine choice to play sneering Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the late George Hickenlooper’s pleasant political satire … though the movie doesn’t quite have the bite it should. Rad explains.

Dogtooth“: I’m not sure which is more insane — that Greece chose to make Giorgos Lanthimos’ bizarre comedy about a reclusive Greek family its national submission for the Best Foreign-Language Oscar, or that the Academy actually nominated it. Head down to the Royal to find out what all the fuss is about — and catch another, equally impressive film, “Attenberg“, on the same bill!

The Mechanic“: Jason Statham does his Jason Statham thing as a ruthlessly efficient assassin in a surprisingly strong remake of the actioner Charles Bronson and Michael Winner made before “Death Wish”. Also starring the reliably wet-eyed Ben Foster as the requisite hotheaded apprentice, Donald Sutherland as the world-weary mentor and Tony Goldwyn as the guy Tony Goldwyn usually plays.

“The Rite”: Anthony Hopkins plays a veteran exorcist whose latest candidate might just be … himself! Or something. I dunno, the commercials are kind of vague. The director is Mikael Hafstrom, who made “1408”, for which I cannot say I much cared. Glenn caught the press screening, but his review hasn’t been posted yet.

Oh, and there’s also that Phil Spector documentary down at the Lightbox. That’s worth a look.