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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘Armored,’ ‘Invictus,’ ‘It’s Complicated,’ ‘The Last Station’

Who wants a sparkly vampire boyfriend? I want an ass-kicking, violin-playing, cocaine-shooting-up, arrogant, superior, crime-solving genius boyfriend, and all the better if he’s played by Robert Downey Jr., who is probably just as fucked up as Holmes himself but is walking sex nevertheless. (Jude Law’s not so bad, either.) Oh my god I feel like I’ve been waiting for Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (opens in the U.S. on December 25, and in the U.K. on December 26) forever, and I finally get to see it this week.

Armored (opens in the U.S. on December 4 and in the U.K. on January 22, 2010) will not screen for critics, but I’ll attend a courtesy screening on Friday morning. No advanced screening is never a good sign for a movie, of course, but it’s especially disappointing when Nimród Antal’s first feature film, Kontroll, was so amazing. His first film for Hollywood, Vacancy, had some surprising and pleasing elements, so perhaps Armored is better — and less predictable — than it looks.

Clint Eastwood has a new movie: Invictus (opens in the U.S. on December 11, and in the U.K. on February 5, 2010). I hope it won’t be another Gran Torino, because I’m still taking flak over that one. I’m guessing that Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela will not be all, “Hey you white people get off my lawn,” so maybe it’ll be okay. I’m also guessing, however, that Matt Damon as a celebrated rugby team captain cannot possibly be as intriguing as Michael Sheen was as a celebrated football coach in The Damned United. As always, I’m happy to be wrong about my less than positive expectations.

When I checked in for the Academy screening of It’s Complicated (opens in the U.S. on December 25, and in the U.K. on January 8, 2010) I attended earlier this evening, I was handed a sheet of paper that reads:

If you are a critic and plan to review this film, please note that all reviews and detailed reactions (including Twitter/Facebook updates) are under embargo until Thursday, December 10th.

So you’ll have to take a look at the trailer for now and take a guess what my reaction to such a film might be.

Christopher Plummer is Leo Tolstoy in the action packed The Last Station (opens in the U.S. on December 4, and in the U.K. on February 19, 2010). See Tolstoy renounce his life of wealth and material comfort! Watch as Helen Mirren gets all pissed off when he throws out the fancy silverware! Thrill as Paul Giamatti schemes as some Russian bad guy! Swoon as James McAvoy as some other Russian guy is all cute and not-Scottish!



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