Published Jan 18, 2013Although January is typically the slowest month of the year, the film industry has already started to pick up speed. We here at Exclaim! want to make sure you drag yourself out of the house for the right movies. You can read our full list of reviews over in our Recently Reviewed section. Below, find this week's movie highlights.
Jack Kerouac's famous novel On the Road is a well-known success, but what about Walter Salles' film adaptation? The film features Dean (Garrett Hedlund), follower Sal (Sam Riley), and their "honey cunt" Marylou (Kristen Stewart) in a teen angst-driven road trip. Salles tries to stick closely to the text focusing on the human aspect of the story and how the characters learn to build and adapt.
Next up, we have a sort of Golden Girls meets Glee mash-up in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut Quartet. The film features four band members (Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly, and Tom Courtenay) who must put on a concert to raise money for their retirement home. The draws on optimism and inspiration, suggesting that it's never too late to follow your heart.
Mama, directed by Andres Muscheitti, tells a story a little too well known in the horror genre, featuring two creepy little girls and an evil spirit, but attempts to redeem its trite storyline by putting a different spin on their female lead, played by Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty). As the title suggests, the film focuses on motherhood, but more importantly, attempts to tap into "the fierce instincts and anxieties" that come along with the role.
Mekong Hotel is a reworking of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's planned 2002 feature Ecstasy Garden, which uses a thematic backdrop of storytelling and memory to question the Thai government's handling of the 2011 Thailand flooding and relate the idea that "present life conduct affect[s] one's inevitable next life."
Lastly, we have Jee-woon Kim's The Last Stand, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role of Ray Owens, a former LAPD officer now serving as Sheriff in Sommerton, Arizona. The seemingly quiet town is awakened when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), cartel leader and death row escapee, comes to town. Schwarzenegger, along with a handful of supporting actors including Luis Guzman, Peter Stormare, and Johnny Knoxville join up as the town's last defense.
To read our full reviews as they go up each week, check out the Recently Reviewed section at Exclaim.ca.