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By: Jeff Ford
By: Jeff Ford

As I open another session of Now Playing, some random thoughts have been rotating throughout the confines of my noggin.

As I open another session of Now Playing, some random thoughts have been rotating throughout the confines of my noggin.  Instead of writing a long form intro about the state of entertainment, I thought I could share some of these insights with you.

-          Keifer Sutherland’s long suffering episodic counterpart is due for a resurrection.  While a cinematic version of Fox’s “24” has been on the starting gate since the show was deemed unprofitable and ended a few years ago, only recently has there been chatter of it finally making its way to the silver screen.  The rumors are that Fox is expecting a filmable draft of the script that will be turned in by the end of the year and shooting will commence in April.  I, for one, will be highly anticipating the return of the Jack Bauer Power Hour.  Now that two of Fox’s previous television properties are coming back (Arrested Development is on the way), will a return of one my favorite shows be in the works?  After all, the world needs more Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (minus Lord Bowler.  RIP Julius Carry)

 

-          The Epilepsy Foundation of America is warning away its Facebook members from seeing the latest “Twilight” film.  Apparently a scene late in the film has been known to cause seizures among certain movie goers.   I, for one, would like to extend the warning to anyone who cares about compelling characters, a good storyline, or anyone who appreciates great (or even decent) cinema.  You have been warned.

 

-          Am I the only one who has flashbacks to “The Departed” every time he or she sees an elevator door open?

 

-          I can’t bring myself to watch “The Smurfs” so last weeks promised column is on hiatus.  Something will be coming out eventually, probably when the Muppets come out on DVD.  The column had better be worth the months of delays. (Spoiler Alert.  It won’t.)

 

-          “If a dog and a dolphin can get along, why can’t our mom and his dad?” (Quote was taken from “Zeus and Roxanne”.  It’s now a Nostalgia Critic meme.)

 

 

 

-          Whenever I am bored and wasting time on the internet, I usually end up at the site TVTropes.org.  As defined on its website “Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations.”  I would go to their search engine and type in some random movie title I have floating in my head.  Thirty minutes later, I would literally have 10 different tabs of the various tropes this movie has, and the similarities to other media where these tropes occur.  It’s a good way to kill time.  Just be careful.  The website is very informal and edited Wikipedia style so some of the wording may not be safe for work.

 

-          Anybody else on Twitter?  I am.  For more of my various musings, you can tweet me.  My username is XavierWildcat.

 

That’s enough of the randomness.  It’s time to get to the heart of the matter.  Three films (two brand new, one new to Lexington) enter the fray.  Can any stand up to the might of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”?  Here are the new challengers.

 

 

NEW YEARS EVE

It’s December 31st!  How are you planning to celebrate?  This is the film about couples and singles and how they spend their day waiting for the drop of the ball at midnight.  A plethora of stars (Ashton Kutcher (Reindeer Games), Jessica Biel (Summer Catch), Robert De Niro (Greetings), Hilary Swank (The Next Karate Kid), among many others) lend their skills to this latest offering from Garry Marshall (Young Doctors in Love).

This is a spiritual sequel to another of Mr. Marshall’s movie, “Valentine’s Day.”  I have not seen that film nor some others of its “ilk”, i.e. “Love, Actually”.  It feels like I’ve been saying this a bunch recently but it’s a film that is not aimed towards me.  I just can’t muster any sort of excitement for these characters, no matter how many stars are in it.  This is one that I will pass on.  I’m rating this as a 1 Auld Lang Syne out of 5.

“New Year’s Eve” is rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references.

 

 

THE SITTER

Jonah Hill (I Heart Huckabees) is the typical slacker, recently suspended from college.  When he is forced to babysit the kids next door, needless to say, he gets in more than he bargains for. 

It’s a tale that has been told many different times. Sometimes it could involve a super soldier, spy or cop who takes this as an assignment he doesn’t want (“The Spy Next Door”, “The Pacifier”, “Kindergarten Cop”).  Other times it could involve a situation that balloons out of control (“Adventures in Babysitting”, “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”).  For “The Sitter” to stand out, it would need a hook.  The creative team behind this figured Jonah Hill cursing at kids could be that catch.  With David Gordon Green, the man who directed “Pineapple Express”, “Your Highness” and several episodes of “Eastbound and Down” it could work.  I’m always skeptical of these fish out of water type movies, but I may check this one out.  I’ll rate it as 3 stolen Minivans out of 5. 

“The Sitter” is rated R for sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and some violence.

 

 

MELANCHOLIA

It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine.)  The planet Melancholia is on a possible collision course with Earth.  This event of Earth shattering proportions challenges an already strained sister’s (Kirsten Dunst, “Jumanji”) relationship with her sibling to a breaking point as they try to deal among the chaos of a world about to end.

Kirsten Dunst won the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for this film.  From what I have read and seen, it is well deserved.  She reveals more of herself in this role than she has previously.  As for the film itself, it seems kind of melancholic, which makes sense considering its title.  It may be a onetime viewing but it appears something that I may not regret viewing.  I’ll give it a rating of 4 Lenny Bruce not being afraid out of 5. 

“Melancholia” is rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content and language.

That will do it for this week.  Stay tuned for the next edition when Dr. Watson’s colleague turns his trained eye towards three small striped squirrels.  Until next time, keep circulating the tapes.

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