Thursday, November 13, 2008

What, When, Where this Weekend - Quantum of Solace, Slumdog Millionaire, A Christmas Tale, We Are Wizards

What, When, Where is a weekly guide to select screenings, discussions and events in the NYC-area of interest to screenwriters.

Opening this weekend...

QUANTUM OF SOLACE, written by Paul Haggis and Neal Purvis, dir. by Marc Forster

Premise: Seeking revenge for the death of his love, secret agent James Bond sets out to stop an environmentalist from taking control of a country's water supply.

Playing: Everywhere.

Casino Royale was my favorite Bond movie in a long, long, long time. I felt like it returned the series to the exercises in badassery they used to be. Hence, a little discouraged to see the lukewarm reviews. Don't let me down, Mr. Bond.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, written by Simon Beaufoy, dir. by Danny Boyle

Premise: The story of how impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik became a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?" -- an endeavor made without prize money in mind, rather, an effort to prove his love for his friend Latika, who is an ardent fan of the show.

Playing at: Angelika, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

Lots of great buzz about this. I've got a love-hate relationship with his movies (Love = Trainspotting, Sunshine, Shallow Grave, hell, even enjoyed A Life Less Ordinary... Hate = 28 Days Later, grrrrr) but I'm eager to check this one out.

A CHRISTMAS TALE, written by Emmanuel Bourdieu and Arnaud Desplechin, dir. by Arnaud Desplechin

Premise: The Vuillard's shared history of physical and mental illness, estrangement, self harm, and loss doesn't lead itself to the idea of a cheerful holiday season. But can a Christmastime reunion, a scheme concocted by three of the youngest family members, finally bring peace their clan?

Playing at: IFC Center, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

It's not even Christmas yet - why are so many holiday movies being advertised already? (Four Christmases, I'm looking at you.) Anyway, I really want to see this one. I just wish it were opening at a time when I was remotely in the holiday spirit.

WE ARE WIZARDS, written and directed by Josh Koury

Premise: The documentary profiles some of the power players in the underground Harry Potter creative community. I'm not talking sinister meetings in the woods about the Dark Arts. Instead, the film offers us a seven-year-old rock star and his teen pop idols, hilarious audio-commentary set to the movie and online creative writing sites waging war with corporate agents.

Playing at: Cinema Village 12th Street

I feel like I'm one of the few people left in the world who is still in the dark with the whole Harry Potter thing. I haven't read any of the books, and the only bit of the movies I've seen was the first one on mute, while listening to the hilarious Wizard People, Dear Readers commentary track by Brad Neely. All I know is the series is that it's about a school of wizard kids who play soccer on brooms or something.

I'll get around to 'em eventually, I know. But in the meantime this documentary looks interesting, and hey, it's got Brad Neely in it!

What are you doing/seeing this weekend?