Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Couch Time with Sheldon

I don't want to brag but I had a lot of time off during the holidays. Clearly, I was still posting here but I was not tending to my day job. As I did not flee the country for somewhere warmer, and as the universe decided I should get sick just after the new year started, I spent a fair amount of time on my couch during my break. Fortunately, a slew of movies had arrived at my door at the time so I was never without something to watch. Here are a couple of the films I caught ...

I love my family. Having spent an extended period of time with them during the holidays was a bit taxing at times but they are all saints compared to the Cody family in David Michod's Australian export, ANIMAL KINGDOM. Josh, played by newcomer James Frecheville, goes to stay with his grandmother (Jacki Weaver) after his mother overdoses and, before long, he falls in with his uncles and their sordid ways. Ben Mendelsohn plays the ring leader of this pack with such an intensely creepy presence that I almost had to leave the room at times when he was on screen. And it is easy to see why Weaver would be getting awards recognition for her role as the family matriarch. She has nothing but love for her family and will do anything .. and I do mean anything .. to protect them. (eOne)

Joan Rivers works very hard and she wants you all to know it in the new documentary based on the later years of her career, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, directed by Ricki Stern. Back when Rivers was on "The Tonight Show" as Jonny Carson's permanent stand-in, America loved her. She had a whip-smart tongue and she was a pioneer for female comediennes. The years were not kind though and public opinion of Rivers has been reduced to a joke, most often of the plastic surgery variety. Despite her mask, Rivers cannot hide from Stern's cameras and this touching documentary, while still somewhat self serving, is also a testament to how hard it is to be a living legend. (eOne)

Both films are available to rent or own now on both Blu-ray and DVD from eOne films.