After a brief postponement from the fall — to edit a violent sequence in a movie theater — Gangster Squad, the 1940s and ’50s crime thriller from Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less)
seeks a hostile takeover of the weekend box office.
How about a little forward thinking in 2011? Let’s say goodbye to 2010, at least for a moment (because, like all new year’s resolutions, this one is inevitably doomed to fail) and focus on what is to come, not as the blind wandering around in search of flickering lights in dark art-houses and multiplexes, but with, at the very least, a penlight and an outline of the new horizon.
After blowing the relationship film 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith,' director Doug Liman gets a second chance with 'Fair Game,' and the stakes are actually higher because this one is based on the true story of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watt), a CIA operative outed by the Bush administration after her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), dared to call the Bush administration out for misquoting facts to "prove" Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction. Liman, Watt and Penn come through. Grade: A-.
There's no way one can view the new film 'Milk' without thinking about Proposition 8, the recently passed ballot initiative that bans same-sex marriages in California. In a strange and ironic parallel, Harvey Milk's crowning achievement, well documented in the film, was his battle against Proposition 6, which would have barred gay teachers from jobs in California public schools.
It seems director Gus Van Sant stands more than foursquare with the strays of the world. His career highlights include 'Drugstore Cowboy,' 'My Own Private Idaho' and 'Good Will Hunting.' So it should come as no surprise that the tragic story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), San Francisco's and the nation's first openly gay public official voted into office, might stir a sense of kinship in him.