Weekend Roundup: Local Film Festival News & Movies I watched

It was quite a busy weekend I just had, dampened a bit by a coating of snow on the ground Saturday morning. Our local weatherman Paul Douglas aptly called it groan-worthy, and we now have a Winter alert with possible 3-5 inches of snow in the next 36 hours! Heh, so much for Spring 😦

Anyway, why talk about the weather when we’ve got movies to talk about, right? A couple of film-event announcements I’d like to share with you:

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival opened last Friday which will go on until May 5. It currently screens 170 films from 50+ countries for three weeks. One of the independent movie screened is Cracks, directed by Ridley Scott’s daughter, Jordan. This event wasn’t off my radar somehow, but I’ll be checking the schedule and see if there is anything I’d like to see.

The other film festival in town, Twin Cities Film Fest or TCFF for short just announced its dates for 2011, it will take place Tuesday, September 20th – Sunday, September 25th, 2011! They’re currently awaiting film submissions on various categories and the festival organizers will have a booth at the 2011 The Twin Cities Actor Expo on April 30th. I’ll be sure to cover that one in the Fall like I did last year.

Did you see Rio this weekend? Once again an animated feature wins box office as people flocked to see the animated feature Rio, which looks pretty cute, especially since I was quite addicted to the massively popular Angry Birds game for quite a while, which have a cameo of sort in the movie. Animated movies continue to prove successful for Hollywood, as Hop and Rango were two of the highest-grossing movies of 2011 so far. Last year How to Train Your Dragon also pulled in impressive numbers (earning $43 mil – $3 million higher than Rio) which was also released in the Spring season (per boxofficemojo).

I didn’t make it to the theater, but managed to see a couple of movies. One was The Switch, (you can view the trailer here), which was one of the better Jennifer Aniston rom-coms, which is not saying much. I only saw this because I love Jason Bateman, and really he’s the heart and soul of this movie. Him and the little boy Thomas Robinson who plays Aniston’s son, who is just down right adorable!

The premise of a woman wanting to have a baby on her own and the male seed swap thing is a bit of a twist on the conventional genre, but in the end it still has the same ‘ol cliches. I mean, it’s exasperating to watch a supposedly nice looking, smart, and successful guy being in love with a woman for years and not have the guts to at least tell her. I mean, a woman actually had to resort to a turkey baster, for goodness sake, you’d think the guy would drop more than a hint that he actually has feelings for her?? It doesn’t help that the only reason we think they have feelings for each other is because the trailer says so (read: the chemistry between Aniston & Bateman is barely there). And from that preview, you pretty much know where the story is going and you can probably guess the ending, too, and you’d likely be right. Even the charismatic Bateman, and the occasional funny bits from Jeff Goldblum (relegated to playing the BFF) can’t elevate this from being a run-of-the-mill rom-com. Oh well, it wasn’t a complete waste, just not something I’d highly recommend.

The other movie I saw was RED, which I reviewed last year when I scored an early advance screening. I liked it then and I still do now. The cast seems to have a great time working together and it shows, I particularly enjoyed watching Helen Mirren and Brian Cox in this, they’re just so adorable as an odd romantic couple. And of course, the tall, dashing Karl Urban [sigh]… which really makes me want to start a “Karl-Urban-for-Bond!” campaign already!

Well, what movie(s) did you end up this weekend? Seen anything good?

36 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: Local Film Festival News & Movies I watched

  1. Pingback: Weekend Roundup: Local Film Festival News & Movies I watched … | Animation Film / Animation Film News

  2. I saw the new “Jane Eyre” and LOVED it. (But it still doesn’t compare to the 1944 Joan Fontaine/Orson Welles version). Nothing says Gothic like black and white !!!

    1. Hi Daniel, welcome back to FC! Glad to hear you loved Jane Eyre… see guys… a man can love Jane Eyre and still be manly like Daniel! πŸ˜€

      Man I gotta check out the 1944 version, been hearing so much good things about that one. And yeah, black & white movies can be much more dramatic.

  3. Hey Ruth,

    Sorry I havent been around much the last couple of days, been a wee bit busy with real life activities. Back now.

    You are so lucky to have film festivals near you. We do not have anything in Brighton. I know London is only 50 miles away but it means getting a major babysitting thing going to see anything. Not easy.

    The Girls and I really want to see Rio, looks super cute. I didnt realise that Angry Birds make an appearence I will be looking for that one!

    We have the Switch at home. But for some reason it has got lost in the ‘to watch’ pile. I must get it out again. Been a bit wrapped up in my TV shows lately.

    Yeay for RED. I thought it quite fun too. You know I love Mirren right?

    Speaks soon my friend


    1. Hey Custard!!! I’ve missed you dude… I thought you just didn’t want to see any more of the ‘girly’ post, he..he..

      Yeah, it’s cool that we have TWO film festivals. I blogged extensively last year when TCFF debuted (there’s a tab of it at the top of the blog to see ’em) and I’ll do so again this year. Yeah, if it’s 50 miles away I might not be able to get involved either.

      Rio looks darn cute… and yeah, Angry Birds make an appearance (check this out http://www.rovio.com/index.php?mact=Blogs,cntnt01,showentry,0&cntnt01entryid=55&cntnt01returnid=58 ) I loooove that game, VERY addictive.

      Yes we both love Mirren and I still meant to do that list I mentioned on your post. So stay tuned πŸ™‚

  4. I watched three whole movies this weekend: The Taming of the Shrew, A Clockwork Orange, and Mansfield Park. Reviews up on the first two, I wasn’t feeling up to it yesterday so not finished w/MP just yet.

    I should go check to see if RED is in one of our Netflix queues … πŸ™‚

    1. I still need to read your Clockwork Orange review. I’m not that interested to see it though, no matter what people say that it’s a classic. It just looks creepy to me.

      RED is a hoot! If you live near me I’d lend it to you as I bought the Blu-Ray.

        1. Yeah well, usually my fave seasons (Spring & Fall) always seem so darn short! So are you in Manhattan? I was just in NYC around Christmas, wish I could stay longer.

          1. I’m in Queens, one of the outer boroughs. Actually, now that I think about it, two weeks of spring would suit me fine because it would mean less hay fever!

  5. Ted S.

    Wow I didn’t know about MPLS/St. Paul film fest, might have to check it out.

    I only watched Harry Potter 7 part 1 over the weekend and I thought it was great. Director David Yates redeemed himself after the not so great The Half Blood Prince. Definitely looking forward to the last Potter movie.

    1. It flew past me as well Ted, my friend at work was asking about it on Friday afternoon and I was like, what film festival?? πŸ™‚ I gotta see what catches my interest, there are a lot of independent/foreign movies in this one and it goes on until May.

      Yeah, I like Part I too, it definitely makes me anticipate the final one even more. Did you read my review from a while back? I haven’t read the book so I’m really curious what’s gonna happen w/ Snape.

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah I read your review of HP 7, I think it’s the best one since the third film. I think the film’s pretty faithful to the book. You might find out about Snape’s fate early in the second movie, unless they changed things around.

  6. I must admit I’ve enjoyed most of Aniston’s films, although I’m not into her as a celebrity. πŸ™‚ I just love when romcoms bring me positive mood.
    I’m also uber-happy that RIO was successful at the box office!

    1. She isn’t as annoying as most people make her out to be, and she’s not bad in this one. I just get tired of seeing her look exactly the same from movie to movie, the same flawless complexion, hairstyle, manner of speaking, etc. I mean if you do a collage of her movies in one clip, it’ll be impossible to tell which movie is which.

      Did you see Rio Dezzy? What did you think of it?

      1. I think she demands in her contracts to always look like that in films. She probably has self-esteem issues and that’s why she always wants to look flawless, which is ironic having in mind that most ladies find her adorable and lovely as she is.
        I haven’t seen RIO yet, I was busy watching GAME OF THRONES and the new episodes of CAMELOT and BORGIAS, I’m currently in heaven with my TV epics πŸ™‚

        1. Yeah I heard that about Aniston, which is just crazy. I mean, she’s surely ten times more beautiful in her off days than most women in their best, y’know? But I think insecure women is a turn off for men so that might explains why she’s still single. She seemed to be into Gerry Berry for a while but glad he wasn’t swayed.

          Ha..ha.. you must be so happy w/ all these epic shows coming out, good for you Dezzy!

  7. I have some mild interest in seeing The Switch. Like you, I really like Jason Bateman and will probably give this a rental at some point.

    Last weekend, I saw the 2nd Harry Potter. A bit better than the first one! πŸ™‚

    1. Jason makes this one more bearable, Castor, so it’s worth a rental IMO.

      Oh so you finally got into Harry Potter franchise, eh… glad you enjoyed it. I was on HP marathon last year too, and now I can’t wait for the final film.

  8. PrairieGirl

    For some much-needed comic relief I watched The Best of Dan Ackroyd on Saturday Night Live. And for some much-needed steamy hot, masculine eye candy I saw the 2006 BBC TV bio pic Beau Brummell: This Charming Man starring the ever-pleasing James Purefoy in the lead role as the 18th century male fashionista. I’m still trying to catch my breath just thinking about it!

    1. Oh how fun! I think SNL is a heck of a lot funnier back in the day, I love Bill Murray, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, etc.

      James Purefoy is definitely eye-candy material, thanks for introducing me to this period flick, sounds like the perfect role for him. Man why doesn’t he get more leading roles in Hollywood???

  9. Funk

    Hi Ruth how’s it going, thats one of the perks of living up north you know, snow in April, one last time to shovel snow or do some cross country skiing, really makes it seem worse if you’ve had a few weeks of good springish weather. It’s been unseasonably cool here to, and one of the towns in the higher elevations here in the ROK, had some snow flurries over the past weekend. Didn’t watch much this past weekend but baseball games. Have a few movies on tap for this weekend though, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, the foreign film “Let the Right One In” and my Saturday afternoon matinee “The Long Riders”.

    Am looking forward to the latest “Jane Eyre” though, and may try to find the one that Daniel mentioned, that came out in B&W during the 40’s. That sounds most interesting..

    Keep the great work!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hello Funk, how’ve you been man? Perks? What perks? No, I don’t mind Winter (coming from someone from the tropics that’s really something, eh? :D) it’s just it’s been a pretty brutal Winter so I’m anticipating Spring more than usual. And yeah, it did get pretty warm a couple of weeks ago which makes it hard to hear the dreaded ‘s’ word again. All right, I’m gonna stop complaining, it’s really not that bad.

      You watch baseball games on TV then? What’s your favorite team? The Twins is huge here as you know, but I’m actually not into that sport at all, I just don’t get the appeal, ahah.

      Oh I actually have never seen ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ but that’s definitely fitting for Easter. I might make a short list of Easter movies for this weekend.

      I need to see the 1940 JE as well, but you really should give the new one a watch, too. Let me know what you think once you do, ok?

      Talk to you soon, Mr. Funk.

      1. Funk

        I haven’t seen the Greatest Story since I was kid, got an invite to our class reunion this fall, so feeling kinda nostalgic and being Easter decided to go with that.
        Greatest Story is quite long clocks in just over 3 hours. From what I’ve read Max von Sydow is just superb.

        King of Kings used to be shown alot, and I kinda think the Wizard of Oz to for some odd reason..

        I’m hardwired for BaseBall, I’ve been a St. Louis Cardinal fan since Dad gave me my first mitt. Being in Korea we get MLB, Korean League and Japan League games. My favorite Korean teams are Lotte Giants and Kia Tigers.

  10. Would love to see that RIO movie…hehehe the title is same with my favorite nephew’s name, see how cute he is here> http://kamekroten.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/wordless-wednesday-tv-addict/ . He had taken his aunty’s hobby πŸ˜‰

    I have seen the trailer of The Switch in the upcoming movie before the cinema issue in our country…not my kind of cinema movie was what I thought at that moment.

    This sentence: “the chemistry between Aniston & Bateman is barely there” makes me less interested with it. Will only watch it in TV.

    1. Oooh he is cute indeed! My cousin’s name is Rio as well, I guess it’s a pretty common name in Indo.

      Nah, it’s not worth seeing at the cinema, but for a rental it’s not bad, especially if you like Bateman.

  11. I figured having two famous directors for brothers would disqualify your movie from being counted as indie, but i suppose not. I’m hoping maybe i will be able to watch that in theaters, as there is no way i am getting to Minneapolis. But with my luck i will probably end up having to wait for it on dvd

    My niece was at the house this weekend so i didn’t get much movie watching done(I think i may have seen 1 movie, but i can’t remember right now)

  12. mcarteratthemovies

    I miss the days when Jennifer Aniston did rom-coms that were actually funny and charming, like “Picture Perfect.”

    1. I’ve never seen Picture Perfect… now I’m curious. I think Aniston can act if she wants to… the trouble is, she seems more concerned about her image than acting as a craft. How else would you explain looking always, well, picture perfect, in every single movie!

  13. I saw The Switch a couple months ago and I completely agree with you about Jason Bateman being the best thing about the movie. Without him, it would have hardly been watchable.

    1. Yep, he’s the only reason this movie was even on my radar! There’s another rom-com w/ a similar premise called The Back-Up Plan, and even though Alex O’Loughlin is eye-candy material I still won’t watch that one!

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