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Review: “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Produced by: Judd Apatow, Jake Kasdan
Written by: Judd Apatow, Jake Kasdan
Cinematography by: Uta Briesewitz
Music by: Michael Andrews
Starring: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer (Angela Correa – singing), Raymond J. Barry, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Chris Parnell, Matt Besser, Margo Martindale, David Krumholtz
Year: 2007

Growing up in a family that was pretty much in agreement that The Beatles were awesome, I heard a lot about all the legends and little factoids behind them. Who was their first drummer? (Pete Best) Who was the “fifth Beatle”? (There are many answers to that, but my dad liked to say Billy Preston, though I’d probably say their producer, George Martin, deserves the credit.) Was Paul dead? (No.) Who was the namesake for the song “Eleanor Rigby”? (Eleanor Bron, who featured in Help! and the fantastic Alfonso Cuarón remake of A Little Princess. I found that one out on my own as a kid and was pretty proud of that one.) A lot of biopics seem to like to play with fact and mix it in with these types of legends so that the image of the subject is maintained, maybe even elevated, in the eyes of the public — making sure to include every little milestone and seemingly significant contribution to the world that a single artist (or group of artists) made and making its significant nature that much more legendary. Back in the mid-2000s, with films like Ray and Walk the Line seemingly starting a trend in biopics for the recently deceased, it was only inevitable that someone would Weird Al the whole thing. Read more…

2011 in Review: Notable Films I Managed to Avoid, For Better or For Worse, January – April 2011

January 5, 2012 157 comments

A lot of people will say that 2011 was a dull year for film. Unlike previous years, there haven’t been very many huge Oscar-worthy films this year that I, personally can think of. Though The King’s Speech saw its wide release in 2011 (and I even saw it in theatres this past year), it was ultimately a film from 2010 and had, by this year’s Oscars, already won several Oscars and other accolades in the year prior, so it was no longer a contender for this spot.

Of course, 2011 had its share of noteworthy films, such as Moneyball and The Tree of  Life, both fo which I still have yet to see but hear fantastic things about. And there’s Hugo, which is a wonderful family film from Martin Scorsese and my top pick for the year. But 2011 was largely a year of recycling. Sequels aplenty, some great, some good, and some completely awful, with plenty of expected and unexpected revivals of old franchises, many of which were completely unnecessary and, yes, unwanted.  (Yes, I’m thinking of The Smurfs.)

2011 also saw the end of a few eras in film history, as well. The final Harry Potter released this year to high critical acclaim. For the time being, we’ve also gotten what is intended to be the final film in the Transformers trilogy (until Michael Bay decides he wants to have more money and toss in Jason Statham, who has been rumored to be taking over the lead human role for quite a while now). And we also saw Pixar release their first widely derided film ever in the admittedly-watchable-but-ultimately-thoroughly-mediocre Cars 2.

I went to the theaters plenty of times this year. Most of the films I did see were quite good, if at least enjoyable. A couple were quite bad. But there were still plenty of notable films that were released throughout the year that I didn’t see, neither in theatres nor in my own home. Before I tell you what were my least and most favorite of the year, I thought I’d go through the daunting task of a quick rundown of each notable film released in 2011 that I, for one reason or another, for better or for worse, did not see in theatres or get around to watching on home release. Read more…

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