In Theaters: Red Dawn, Life of Pi, Anna Karenina and Holy Motors

Just in time for Thanksgiving, comes the Red Dawn remake. The movie no one wanted or demanded stars Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson as a group of teenagers who save their small town from a North Korean invasion. If you want the real Red Dawn, catch it on Netflix. Wolverines!

Also opening this weekend are Life of Pi, Anna Karenina and Holy Motors.

Life of Pi

Beautiful and mesmerizing, this is what 3D and IMAX were made for. Ang Lee‘s film about a young man named Pi who survives a disaster at sea and is forced into survival mode on a life raft with a Bengal tiger is just plain wonderful.

It stars Suraj Sharma as the young Pi, Irrfan Khan as the older Pi and one of my favorite actors, Rafe Spall and while the film resorts to an old story-telling trick of book-ending the film with a writer interviewing his subject – which I didn’t mind in the least – what follows is a film about faith and survival.

This is the film you want to see this weekend.

Anna Karenina

Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson star in Joe Wright‘s take on the classic novel by Leo Tolstoy.

The film is set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, where the married Anna Karenina (Knightley) finds herself in an affair with the Count Vronsky (Johnson). Her husband, Karenin (Law) finds out, takes her child and banishes her.

Wright’s take, setting the story as a stage play, is unique at first. It’s takes place both on-stage and behind and for the first hour or so, it’s pretty damn good but as the story goes on, he moves away from the set staging, all but abonding it. Why? he only comes back towards the end of the movie when the novelty has all but worn off.

Knightely, who I usually like, is pretty one-note; her performance does nothing for the film which is unfortunate. And Aaron Johnson seems to be acting with his mustache and eyes. Why was he even cast? He was great in Kick-Ass and Nowhere Boy but he is down right horrible. The only actor who comes out unscathed is Jude Law. We don’t usually see him in this type of role and he knocks it out of the park. Stoic at times, angry, forgiving and questioning, his Karenin deserved a better Karenina and Vronsky.

Holy Motors

What should have been a short 15-minute film has been turned into a pointless 115 WTF-athon.

A mysterious man moves from life to life, taking on different characters as he takes orders from an “Agency.” The film is basically a series of vigenettes with no story to hang your hat onto.

The one saving grace is it’s star Denis Lavant. He is absolutely fantastic as he takes on each character.

You can read my full review here.

Now go see Life of Pi!

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