Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 10 News List

Movie releases

Compiled by Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

The Big Short

If you’re able to get the holy quadrumvirate of Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling to be on one set, your film better be good — especially when it’s produced by Pitt’s Plan-B Entertainment, which has churned out a few notables such as 12 Years a Slave and Moneyball. Director and writer Adam McKay is a long-time Will Ferrell collaborator with the not-really-funny Anchorman, its terrible sequel and the and sort-of-funny Step Brothers, but this time he may have struck gold as The Big Short has made its way to four Golden Globe nominations, five BAFTA nominations and is mentioned among Oscar hopefuls. Anyway, like many movies today, it’s based on a non-fiction book — this one about the build up of the credit and housing bubble and its collapse during the financial crisis of 2007-08. How can such a subject be funny? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.


You know you’re getting old when you see Bruce Willis taking second billing to some dude named Kellan Lutz — in an action movie, for crying out loud. But when you find out that Lutz is one of the main actors in Twilight, you’re kind of glad you’re too old to know who he is. This film is all about Lutz — he’s the CIA badass with mad skills who launches a personal mission to, well, extract his father (Willis) who has been kidnapped by terrorists. Very inventive stuff here — too bad it’s only 83 minutes long. It’s directed by Steve Miller, known for his low-budget horror films, so it will most likely be b-movie-ish — which doesn’t mean it’s bound to bad, as campy could be ridiculously entertaining if done right. The only question is why the hell did they convince Willis to be in such a film, especially one where he isn’t the hero.


No, there are no mobsters shooting people in this quiet period piece about Irish immigrants in America, which is based on the award-winning 2009 novel by Irish writer Colm Tolbin about a young Irish woman (Saorise Ronan) who, unable to find work in her home country, emigrates to New York in the 1950s for a better life. By this time, the formerly ostracized Irish-Americans had mostly outgrown their lower-class status, so the film seems to be less about the typical immigrant struggle and more about finding love, identity and belonging as the protagonist becomes torn between her old and new homes. The film has earned very positive reviews since it premiered at Sundance last year, and Ronan has already been nominated for several best actress awards. In addition, director John Crowley has done good work in Intermission while screenwriter Nick Hornby is originally a novelist whose books High Fidelity and About a Boy have been made into films.

45 Years

The lead couple of Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling took home Silver Bears for best actor and actress at the Berlin Film Festival (and numerous other accolades and counting) in this film that is, well, again, based on literature, this time the short story Another Country by George Constantine. Andrew Haigh of Weekend fame directs this drama piece about a childless, retired couple preparing to celebrate their 45th anniversary (their 40th anniversary plans were derailed) when authorities inform them that they’ve found the frozen and perfectly preserved body of the husband’s ex-girlfriend who plummeted to her death in the Swiss Alps shortly before their marriage. Things subtly start changing, and a quiet marital crisis develops.

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