Shameless Advertisement #22 – January 2011

1 01 2011

In a heated four-way tie for the most anticipated movie of January 2011, I chose “No Strings Attached” over “Country Strong,” “The Green Hornet,” and “The Way Back.”  Why?  Because it has Natalie Portman but, more importantly, Natalie Portman.

This is the first movie since “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” that has been shamelessly advertised without having been soaked in Oscar Moment champagne, so here goes just what I wrote about it in the January preview post:

“No Strings Attached” looks like a suitable romantic comedy.  Starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, the movie tells the story of two lovers who only want a physical connection – in other words, the flip side of the coin of “When Harry Met Sally.”  It’s directed by Ivan Reitman, who helmed old classics like “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters” but also new stinkers like “Evolution” and “My Super-Ex Girlfriend.”  All I can say is that this had better not be for Natalie Portman what “Norbit” was for Eddie Murphy.

And I made a few New Year’s resolutions that I thought were worth advertising on this post:

1. Revitalize the Facebook page

One of my goals for 2011 is to enhance the community that reads and supports “Marshall and the Movies.”  And since certain people are a little skittish about commenting (or just forget to visit the site), I know it might be easier to connect with people by bringing my site to them on the site they are most likely to check everyday.

So, to start off the New Year strong, I’m going to try to breath some life into the discussion boards!  There will be a contest to reward the most active participant, and the winner will receive a DVD or digital download of “The Social Network!” The contest will run until Sunday, January 16, and points will be distributed as follows: 1 point for replying to a topic, and 2 points for starting your own topic!

What are you waiting on? GET TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE NOW AND START DISCUSSING! (please)

Fun fact: did you know that Mark Zuckerberg made the primary color of Facebook blue because he is red-green colorblind?  Now you know.

2. Absorb the classics

Can you believe I’ve NEVER seen an Alfred Hitchcock movie?  It’s actually been an act of defiance as I have been waiting for a new year to start so I can devote a whole twelve months to study the director’s work.  I plan on watching a manageable one movie per month in a series I’m calling “Hallowed Hitchcock;” here’s my tentative schedule.  I’ll gladly take any suggestions!

January – The 39 Steps
February – Rebecca
March – Shadow of a Doubt
April – Notorious
May – Rope
June – Strangers on a Train
July – Dial M for Murder
August – Vertigo
September – North by Northwest
October – Psycho
November – The Birds
December – Family Plot

Also in January…

F.I.L.M. tie-in with Oscar nominees. Prepare for the next two months of the “F.I.L.M.” column to feature an unheralded or unknown performance from one of 2010’s Oscar-nominated performers.  Expect Natalie Portman at least once …

Extensive Oscar coverage. I’m debating whether or not to live blog the Critic’s Choice Awards, Golden Globes, and/or SAG Awards.  Sound off below!

Reviews, reviews, reviews. Expect some 2011 mixed in with some 2010.

I’m looking forward to a great month!  Remember to participate, and you can help me make “Marshall and the movies” an even greater community for movie lovers on the web!





What To Look Forward To in … January 2011

13 12 2010

Hard to believe we are just around the corner from a new year!  2011, here we come … er, here we enjoy 2010’s movies a little while longer until the new year offers us something good.  Here are January’s sincerest efforts!

January 7

Nicolas Cage just keeps distancing himself further and further from his Oscar win for “Leaving Las Vegas” back in 1995.  He kicks off another disappointing year of quirky movie selection with “Season of the Witch,” originally slated for release about 9 months ago.  This supernatural thriller where he plays a 1300s Crusader and gets involved in some sort of black magic.  Needless to say, go see “Little Fockers” again.

Speaking of 2010, most theaters will finally be receiving “Country Strong” this week; whether it comes with any sort of awards season heat though is yet to be seen.  Gwenyth Paltrow’s vehicle as a fading country music star in desperate need of rehab looks a little corny and cliched, but would you rather see “Season of the Witch?”  My guess is no.

January 14

“The Green Hornet” was going to be a fanboy favorite, despite the casting of Seth Rogen as the title character.  Then some footage was released at Comic-Con, and everyone saw that it was just a typical Rogen slacker humor-a-thon.  They got angry, but I got happy.  I love Seth Rogen’s shenanigans, and I’m happy to see him move them to some genre other than gross-out comedy.

Is it possible for a movie’s trailer to get more coverage than the movie itself?  That’s likely the case for “The Dilemma,” a comedy of best friends, secrets, and infidelity strangely directed by Academy Award-winner Ron Howard.  With the use of the word gay, the trailer sparked an uproar and plenty of discussion on the power of words in society.  Apparently the joke stayed in the movie, and while I won’t head to the movie just to see that, I’ll probably hit it some other time once I’ve knocked out my mandatory 2010 viewing.

Also worth noting: “Rabbit Hole” should be getting a wide expansion this weekend.  If you haven’t seen it, SEE IT!  As for other 2010 movies just seeing release in the new year, there’s also “Barney’s Version,” the dramedy starring Paul Giamatti, Minnie Driver, Rosamund Pike, and Dustin Hoffman.  All those names together can’t be too bad.

Opening as well is “Every Day” with Liev Schrieber, Carla Gugino, and Helen Hunt in a rare appearance.  But given the no-name distributors, it’s going to be a while before it hits anywhere other than New York or Los Angeles.  And for all environmentalists out there, “Plastic Planet” looks at how safe plastic really is.

January 21

“No Strings Attached” looks like a suitable romantic comedy.  Starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, the movie tells the story of two lovers who only want a physical connection – in other words, the flip side of the coin of “When Harry Met Sally.”  It’s directed by Ivan Reitman, who helmed old classics like “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters” but also new stinkers like “Evolution” and “My Super-Ex Girlfriend.”  All I can say is that this had better not be for Natalie Portman what “Norbit” was for Eddie Murphy.

If “The Way Back” didn’t look interesting and gritty as you-know-what, I’d probably joke that it’s the “Defiance” of 2010/2011.  But alas, I can’t poke fun at this trailer.

And for the third time, “The Company Men” has been moved, this time to 2011 and out of Oscar contention.  So now everyone can safely stop worrying about Tommy Lee Jones pulling another “In the Valley of Elah” and get back to writing this movie off.

January 28

Hey, look!  It’s another movie starring Jason Statham and a gun!  In other words, you’ve probably seen “The Mechanic” before.  As for other retreads, there’s another Catholic Church conspiracy theory movie combined with an exorcism movie.  Top it off with a little creepy Anthony Hopkins, and you get “The Rite!”

From Prada to Nada” opens also in limited release, but this Jane Austen wannabe tale looks entirely dismissable.  Unless, of course, you want to see Carmen from “Spy Kids” all grown up.

So, what’s the verdict on January?  Are you going to don the glasses for “The Green Hornet” or just see “TRON: Legacy” again?