Friday, March 16, 2007

Still playing

You still have the chance to see several top movies on the big screen before they go to DVD and small screens. Below are four films that you should see and a repeat of previous blogs about them.

Pan's Labyrinth
Pan’s Labyrinth is still showing at many screens (Sundance 11 in downtown Fort Worth, as well as Inwood and Magnolia in Dallas.)
After weeks of waiting, I finally saw Pan’s Labyrinth – great picture. Also nice to see a full theater. It’s also a surprising movie. You never know what a film is going to be like based on clips and hype. It’s not all fantasy. It’s not like Lord of the Rings. If you’re not a fantasy film fan, don’t steer clear of the movie just because of that. In fact the storyline I enjoyed the most was following the housekeeper, Mercedes, played by Maribel Verdú, and her brother’s band of resistance fighters against Franco’s Spain. The majority of the film is set in the real world. It had a real Hitchcock feel and urgency about it as in Notorious. It’s violent. There are a lot of cringe-worthy screens, and once out on DVD I don’t’ recommend it for children. Go see it in a theater for the spectacle.

The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others is showing at the Inwood and Magnolia in Dallas.
FWSCI Filmies will go see The Lives of Others next weekend at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The movie shows for two weekends, starting next Friday. We'll be at the 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 25. See the announcement at right.

The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) opens in area theaters today, Feb. 23. The film, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film is directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It stars Ulrich Mühe as Stasi agent Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukur as his chief officer Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as the playwright Georg Dreymann, and Martina Gedeck as his lover Christa-Maria Sieland. In 1984 eastern Germany, Stasi agent Gerd Wiesler, is assigned to spy on playwright Georg Dreymann, who is suspected of western leanings. The agent finds out the real reason for the spying is that the spy agency’s minister is attracted to Dreymann’s girlfriend and wants to get the playwright out of the way. While Pan’s Labyrinth has garnered most of the buzz in that category. The Lives of Others made a case for it’s popularity a couple weekends ago during its US premier. The film opened with more than $200,000 in 13 theaters for an average of $16,430. The film is currently an exclusive locally at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth March, The Magnolia, Dallas, and the Angelika Plano.

Letters from Iwo Jima
Letters from Iwo Jima is still showing at the Inwood in Dallas.
Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima is causing a stir on both sides of the Pacific. The film is up for a fistful of Academy Awards and is pulling audiences into the theater across Japan. Already it’s landed a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film Award. Some 7,000 American soldiers died at Iwo Jima and more than 20,000 Japanese soldiers died there. The battle ranged for more than a month from Feb. 19 to March 26, 1945. Eastwood’s companion film Flags of Our Fathers, which tells about the battle from an American standpoint, is out now on DVD. The film has been doing well in Japan, and according to Time Magazine: “the Oscar-nominated Letters has grossed just under $40 million, earning it the top spot during the Japanese cinema industry’s all-important New Year holiday season.” Now’s a good time to watch both.,8599,1581828,00.html

And Babel is showing at the Angelika in Dallas. Babel has already gone to DVD.
Babel makes its DVD arrival tomorrow, just in time for pre-Academy Awards viewing. The movie features an international cast, locations and languages – and it’s a candidate for Best Picture. Since I’m behind on my film watching, I’ve decided to wait to watch Babel on DVD. So many films left to see. Stars Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt lead the Hollywood cast, but not the award list. The Academy instead smiled upon two actresses virtually unknown in the United States: Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi. Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu also was nominated for Best Director. Altogether there are seven Academy Award nominations. Inarritu won a Best Actor Award at Cannes Film Festival. The film won Best Picture Award at the Golden Globes and Kikuchi won Best Actress Award from the Chicago Film Critics Association.