February had a moment, like Chronicle and Undefeated, but most of it fell flat. March is the month were things start to get a bit better, a bit more bigger budget, and a few more stars. This first week, we get a look at a dissipating rocker, a non-sparkly Robert Pattinson, a liberal-agenda cartoon character and Robert DeNiro as a father working his way closer and closer to destitution.
The Lorax: Dr. Seuss’s lovable speaker for the trees has finally hit the big screen. Voiced by Danny Devito, the Lorax poetically touts the values of preservation and restraint in a parallel world where “tree” is a foreign world and only the mythological remnant of a long gone history. If I were Lou Dobbs or any other blowhard, I would condemn this film for indoctrinating children with a liberal agenda, but then I would probably step back, collect my thoughts and rationally come to the conclusion that Hollywood is a multi-billion dollar industry with a giant carbon footprint built on capitalistic endeavors, favors, and competition. Regardless of past and future political diatribes, this could be a fun watch guaranteed to generate nostalgia. My only fear is that it will simultaneously try to hook adults while pandering to children through silly means, like being surprised at the gender of an older woman. Moving forward, such pandering will now be referred to as “Fudderwhacking.”
Being Flynn: In the eighties, if this write up began with “Starring Robert DeNiro,” most people would stop reading and assume a safe purchase on a Saturday night out. However, given his recent turn in New Year’s Eve and other such turns, “DeNiro” is no longer synonymous with quality. On the one hand, perhaps he’s reached the point in his career when he can afford not to care any longer; he’s won his awards; he’s garnered his acclaim; now, he can have fun playing an elderly man slowly regressing into invalidity while telling a seemingly parallel tale with his son that is destined to intersect. I’m sure there will be something within about the power of faith, family, and man’s inhumanity to man, but it might be better spouted on a cable channel that I can change.
Bel Ami: Robert Pattinson plays a penniless soldier in Paris. Ending up “among the wealthy,” he finds himself as one man with a bevy of woman to choose from. Inorganic throes of passion that defy the prudence of the times follow and the inevitable choice between a woman who loved him “when [he was] nothing” and the woman who provides him with comfort and luxury will need to be made. Will he live for today because “there is no next life”? Undoubtedly. Will he sparkle? Most likely. Will people over the age of fourteen see this film? Probably not.
Last Days Here: Documented schadenfreude is at its best in this film that chronicles the end of Pentagram, a “street Black Sabbath” and its lead singer Bobby Lieblin, whose “only problem was himself.” Currently a sexagenarian, Liebling was the “most difficult man to work with” and currently living in a basement, simply waiting to die. Enter a kind-hearted soul who wants to get Liebling back on track and bring him back from death. Going into this movie, I can’t expect a happy ending and might be priming myself for a two hour version of Intervention without the moment of clarity. In a sense, I have a feeling I might get to see rock bottom a lot more than the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m intrigued. When it comes to musicians, I don’t know if we relish their demise so much as we are shocked by the artistic talent and energy sucked into the cesspool of self-destruction.
Project X: I have little write about this one, but I’ll offer some sage advice. A film “produced by” or “brought to you by” a particular director who has had past fame, or a film “from the guys who brought you” a popular, decently critically reviewed movie does not make the current film any damn good. It’s just a means of generating hype. Stop. Spending. Your. Money. Todd Philips didn’t direct this; he merely said, sure I’ll invest and assume enough people will see it to get me my money back plus some interest.