As Richard Nixon walked his long road toward hoped-for rehabilitation, he conducted a series of interviews in 1977 with declining TV identity David Frost. This film by Ron Howard, based on Peter Morgan’s play, recreates and embellishes their crucial, revelatory exchanges and the maneuvering that surrounded them. Nominated for Oscars including Best Picture, Frost/Nixon follows All the President’s Men in defying the foregone conclusions of historical events to deliver a crackling drama. The widely praised Frank Langella is Nixon and Michael Sheen is Frost.
He’s Just Not That Into You
A large and breezy cast turns a successful self-help book into a comedy in which a bunch of couples and singles agonize over their romantic shortcomings. Derided by some critics as dressing up the same old conservative formula of happy endings and character karma in modern clothes and fresh faces, fans of the performers should still have a good time — and at least it’s not based on a cellphone serial. Stars Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Justin Long and the head-turning Ginnifer Goodwin, among many others.
Elsa and Fred
This rather melodramatic Spanish/Argentine co-production from 2005 revisits the late blooming romance sub-genre as lonely new neighbors Fred (Manuel Alexandre) and Elsa (China Zorrilla) strike up a relationship that ought to make the characters in He’s Just Not That Into You envious. Fred eventually fulfills Elsa’s dream of recreating the fountain scene from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita during a trip to Rome. Critics were not as impressed as might be expected with this one, though Roger Ebert thought the fountain climax was moving enough to warrant a spoiler.
Storm Rider: Clash of Evils
An animated film from Hong Kong continues the saga of two young martial arts aces of lore who avenge their parents’ deaths before being separated and facing new challenges to survive. When they finally link up again they must deal with a new and more powerful enemy and difficult choices. Judging from the trailer, this is manna from heaven for people who know the story or who play sword and sorcery computer games online, but of little interest for anyone expecting the depth and craftsmanship of Pixar.
The Dark Knight (IMAX version)
Just in time for the Oscars, the Miramar in Taipei is re-releasing this wonderful spectacle until Watchmen starts on the very big screen on March 6. The IMAX theater is where this brooding classic truly belongs, and those who haven’t seen the IMAX print now have another chance to pay slightly more for a very big payoff. This Batman entry, the best of them all, starts with Heath Ledger’s criminal anarchy and ends with the battered, bereaved hero fleeing from infamy into the unknown. Brilliant, rousing stuff.
This South Korean romantic yarn from 2007 about the lives and loves of two female friends is notable for being made by women. Its English title suggests something rather lewd, but the package is about much more than one-night stands and designer underwear as our heroines deal with infidelity and life choices. Likened to Sex and the City, and also (unfortunately) known as Lovers Behind, this hiChannel promotion is exposing itself at Ximending’s Baixue theater.