What has Jason Bateman done to deserve this? So often cast as the lone voice of reason in a world of hysterical nitwits, the Arrested Development star is rarely given roles that take advantage of his exceptional comic timing and his uncommon ability to engage audiences even when trapped in movies as brainless as last year’s Couples Retreat.
With Noir City 9 descending on the Castro for the next 10 days and San Francisco's 13th Independent Film Festival arriving in early February, the new year is already heating up for local cinephiles. Here, as always, are some of the finest selections currently playing at an indie theater (and, in this week's edition, a Loews cineplex) near you.
1. Barney's Version
I’m not sure how much of The Men Who Stare at Goats is true. It’s inspired by Jon Ronson’s book, which documents a time when the U.S. military encouraged a select few in its ranks to hone their psychic abilities, believing, however inaccurately, that the Russians were doing the same. But what transpires in the movie, directed by Grant Heslov (HBO’s Unscripted) and starring George Clooney, is so flagrantly over-the-top it seems like a lunatic riff on the facts.
Only a week left until G.I. Joe and Meryl Streep’s Julia Child bull their way onto the big screen. Can you contain your excitement? Until then, here are some of the most intriguing selections now playing at an indie theater near you.
With Oscar nominee David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) reportedly in “advanced talks” to direct, and at least two of Hollywood’s hottest young actors – Superbad’s Michael Cera and the ubiquitous Shia LaBeouf – rumored as contenders to star, the upcoming movie about the creation of Facebook (working title: The Social Network) seems closer to becoming a reality.
Fans of Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise can stop waiting to exhale: Thanks to more than 600 sellouts, including 274 for midnight screenings scheduled tonight, Revenge of the Fallen is already a box-office hit. Numbers like that have placed it among the top 25 pre-sellers of all time, but a nagging question remains: Is it any good?