Monday, March 08, 2010

What's New in Blu? (Week of March 9)

“Up in the Air” (R)
Starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Amy Morton, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride
Directed by Jason Reitman

George Clooney has built a solid career on playing confident men, who border on the edge of cocky at times. His latest lead role, as Ryan Bingham, a veritable one-man corporate downsizer, fits comfortably into that list of characters. But naturally, his character’s confidence, even his very way of life, is challenged in “Up in the Air,” a well-crafted comedy-drama from director Jason Reitman (who adapted the screenplay with Sheldon Turner, based on the book of the same name). The current economic times we live in provides an undercurrent of truth to the film’s journey of a man who fires people for a living. He’s aided along the way by a young, new employee (Anna Kendrick) and a potential budding love interest (Vera Farmiga) he crosses paths with on the road. The acting is uniformly great across the board (Clooney, Kendrick and Farmiga all deservedly earned Oscar nominations for their performances) and Reitman, in just his third film (“Thank You for Smoking” and “Juno” are his other two), is crafting quite an impressive start to a career.
Grade: A-

Other releases:
“Capitalism: A Love Story” (R)
Starring Michael Moore
Directed by Michael Moore

“Old Dogs” (PG)
Starring John Travolta, Robin Williams, Kelly Preston, Seth Green, Ella Bleu Travolta, Lori Laughlin and Matt Dillon
Directed by Walt Becker

“Planet 51” (PG)
Starring the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, Seann William Scott and John Cleese
Directed by Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad and Marcos Martinez

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (R)
Starring Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz
Directed by Lee Daniels

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