my week at the movies: ‘Taken,’ ‘The Uninvited,’ ‘The International,’ ‘New in Town’

Taken (has come and gone from U.K. cinemas, and opens in the U.S. on January 23, 2009) has one of the most perfect trailers I’ve seen in a long time, teasing the movie without giving too much of it away — it’s makes me want to see the movie instead of making me feel like I’ve just seen it. Plus: Liam Neeson is teh hawt.

Rumor round the critical community in NYC was that The Uninvited (opens in the U.S. on January 30, and in the U.K. on April 17) wasn’t going to screen for us reviewers. Either the rumor was wrong or something convinced Paramount (which is distributing the leftover Dreamworks movies) that it was worth getting advanced word out, because they are indeed screening it tonight. Wish me luck — I’m gonna need it.

I’m so glad I’m gonna have the chance to see The International (opens in the U.S. on February 13, and in the U.K. on March 13) before I leave for London next week. If the banks-are-evil theme seemed so of-the-moment back in October, when I featured the trailer, it seems even more so now, with Citicorp thinking it could get away with buying private jets with taxpayer bailout money (it appears to have taken a call from the Treasury Department to smack that idea down) and just about every major bank and investment house handing out huge bonuses to the very people who sank the companies. Maybe they should hand out pitchforks, buckets of tar, and bags of feathers at the exits of showings of this movie…

Someone please stop Renee Zellweger before she commits cinema again. What I’ve seen so far of New in Town (opens in the U.S. on January 30 and in the U.K. on February 27) makes me want to claw my eyes out to prevent myself from seeing any more…

I ended up having to skip my screenings last week of Two Lovers (now playing on HDnet Ultra VOD; opens theatrically in limited releases in the U.S. on February 13, and in the U.K. on February 27) and The Class (opens in limited release in the U.S. on January 30, and in the U.K. on February 27). I managed to catch another screening of Two Lovers yesterday — it’s wonderful, as I expected from James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix — but last week’s was the final screening of The Class. That one opens Friday in NYC, though, so I’m gonna try to catch it then.

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Wed, Jan 28, 2009 4:26am

“The very people who sank the companies”? Oh, come on, MaryAnn, it *has* to be obvious even to lefties that the crisis is due to an anonymous flaw in the system. Were it not for those people who allegedly “sank the companies”, it would have been so much worse, really.

As a well regarded German economist pointed out: In 1929 the Jews were the scapegoats for the financial crisis, now it’s the managers.

Now, where can I get my pitchfork?

Der Bruno Stroszek
Der Bruno Stroszek
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 4:52am

Is that post a joke? If there’s a flaw in the system and nobody’s sorted it out, then someone has to be to blame for not sorting it out. That’s how it works in every other business in the world, it should be even more of a priority for businesses which the rest of us rely on to fucking live.

Still, thank you for telling me that the persecution of bank managers now is entirely analagous to the historical persecution of Jews. I’m sure we all remember the anti-bank-manager pogroms of the late 90s and early 00s, where bank managers were chased through the streets by politicians hellbent on dissolving all anti-corruption legislation and giving them a knighthood.

Wed, Jan 28, 2009 5:00am

Unfortunately, it is not a joke that a German economist made such a statement (he made it in conjunction with the “anonymous flaw” statement), and unfortunately, it is not a joke that he is well regarded (or at least, was before he made the comparison and probably will be soon again).

Don’t know how good your German is, but here is the link to the interview where he made those absurd claims.

I had thought that the pitchfork comment made my disagreement with these statements clear. I hope it is now.

Tonio Kruger
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 11:17am

Would you prefer MaryAnn blame blacks and Hispanics? That seems to be the other common trend I’ve noticed in regard to this crisis and frankly, it’s disgusting. I’ve met my share of irresponsible home owners in my life and surprise, surprise, not all of them are non-white.

Besides, you don’t have to be Karl Marx to be a little disgusted at what has been done with the bailout money thus far. I’m much more conservative than MaryAnn on many issues yet even I am disgusted.

Wed, Jan 28, 2009 2:11pm

Damn it, trying to build an obvious strawman these days can be frustrating, when people assume you’re being in earnest.

I prefer blaming those in power who sank the whole financial world instead of any ethnic or gender groups (there was an article not long ago in Germany which blamed the men for the crash).