Seeking an antidote to the holiday season's traditional tidings of great joy? Director Takeshi Kitano (1997's Fireworks) returns this week at the Lumiere Theatre with Outrage, a bloody, deliriously eccentric gangland drama about rival yakuza clans competing for the favor of their head family in the Japanese underworld. Elsewhere:
1. Noir City Xmas
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Dec. 14
David Gordon Green, who directed Your Highness from a script co-written by Ben Best (The Foot Fist Way) and star Danny McBride, describes his new high-concept comedy as the story of a medieval prince who smokes weed and fights dragons.
Right he is. Whether a tale so slight, framed within an adventure of such modest visual sophistication, will leave a lasting impression – especially in the perpetually impaired memories of the movie’s stoner demographic – seems unlikely. But Highness lives and dies not by the sword, but by the charisma of the man so clumsily wielding it, the exquisitely coiffed McBride.
I have seen only a single episode of Land of the Lost, the popular mid-’70s TV series that inspired (loosely speaking) Will Ferrell’s latest foray into the creative abyss, yet I can reasonably assume, given its three seasons on NBC and the years of syndication that followed, that it was more ambitious than director Brad Silberling’s stillborn comedy of the same name.
Was it better looking? Let’s not get carried away.
Fresh off the success of his recently renewed HBO series Eastbound & Down, which cast Danny McBride as a degenerate ex-baseball star whose boozing and athletic decline earned him a one-way ticket out of the game, director Jody Hill returns with yet another portrait of an unlovable loser in the mall cop-meets-Taxi Driver fantasy Observe and Report.