The Green Hornet (2011) - I was never a fan of The Green Hornet TV series from the ’60s and had absolutely no excitement for this big screen adaptation. I really didn’t get the idea of Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) directing it, and I dreaded the fact it was in 3-D. Needless to say, my expectations were very low going in. So it was a nice surprise when I actually found myself enjoying the movie, and enjoying it a lot. No, it’s not great, but I liked Seth Rogen (who also wrote the screenplay with Evan Goldberg) as the spoiled rich kid Britt Reid (aka “The Green Hornet”), and Jay Chou’s Kato, “The Green Hornet’s” sidekick who knows how to do everything, was just as good as Bruce Lee’s in the series. I also dug Christoph Waltz’s portrayal of bad guy Chudnofsky, and a scene with James Franco was worth the price of admission alone. Sure, the script could be better, but it’s close to the same vibe as the first Iron Man movie, and that’s a good thing. Of course if you don’t like Seth Rogen you should just stay far away from this since there is a lot of him onscreen. And considering there is no noticeable 3-D in it at all I can’t stress enough that you should find a theatre playing it in 2-D instead. *** out of 5 stars.
Another Year – Maybe it’s because Mike Leigh was a jerk when I spoke with him a few years ago, but I can’t watch his movies now without thinking how pretentious they come across. Another Year has many great moments that work, and the performances by Lesley Manville and Jim Broadbent are charming and wonderful, but all I see is Mr. Leigh thumbing his nose up at the audience chanting “I’m better than you are!” And it’s a real piss off, because I wanted to love Another Year as much as everyone else who all seem to be praising the hell out of it. The movie follows a happily married couple over the course of a year as all their friends and family fall apart around them. There’s lots of scenes where people eat, drink, and talk. That’s about all that happens. If it sounds like your cup of tea, give it a shot. Personally, it annoyed me as much as Mr. Leigh himself. ** out of 5 stars. Opening in Toronto.
Also opening this week is the Ron Howard comedy-drama The Dilemma, starring Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly, and Kevin James.