From Italy, a revealing look at the mob; Joaquin Phoenix's swan song; the Jonas Brothers in 3D; and more.
Italy’s entry in the best foreign language Oscar race uses five interlocking stories to take an unflinching look at that nation’s notorious Camorra crime syndicate, which, in addition to the usual dabbling in murder and narcotics, has its long tentacles reaching deep into such legit businesses as waste disposal, couture fashion and the seats of government.
Directed by Matteo Garrone and based on Roberto Saviano’s best-selling expose, "Gomorrah" has won both a Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and the endorsement of none other than the mob maestro himself, Martin Scorsese. Be prepared to be wowed.
Joaquin Phoenix has said this is his final movie before giving up acting in pursuit of a career as a rapper. Good luck with that one, Joaquin.
Well, if this is indeed his last movie – and I highly doubt that it is – then the two-time Oscar nominee goes out on top with a fine portrayal of a suicidal young man whose tragic life takes a fortunate turn when he meets not one, but two very attractive women (Vinessa Shaw and Gwyneth Paltrow) in quick succession. But which one will he choose? Shaw’s sweet, caring Jewish princess or Paltrow’s needy and eccentric shiksa? James Gray, who has cast Phoenix in three of his four films, directs.
JONAS BROTHERS in 3D
I totally understand all the hoopla over Miley Cyrus. She’s a pretty good actor and has the potential to be a terrific singer. But I have to draw the line at the Jonas bros, whose jam with Stevie Wonder at the Grammys was embarrassingly bad. They can’t sing, they can’t play, and they have no charisma. But then I’m not an 11-year-old girl, this concert film’s target audience. I just pray one day they seek the error of their tastes in music.
STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI
Films based on video games seldom score high point totals with audiences. This nonsense about powerful forces of good and evil clashing on the street of Bangkok will likely be no different judging by the studio’s refusal to screen it for critics. Neal McDonough and Michael Clarke Duncan star.
Shane West from "ER" plays a techno geek who under mysterious circumstances receives a magical cell phone that enables him to hit jackpot after jackpot at the casinos. But then his luck suddenly turns bad, not to mention dangerous, as evil forces attempt to hunt him down. Ed Burns, Ving Rhames, and Martin Sheen costar in yet another film being withheld from critics.
The Patriot Ledger