Friday’s Flicks

(Photo courtesy of Dreamworks)

Things are starting to look up as winter turns to spring: Four of this week’s five opening movies get the CityBeat thumbs up, including a slapstick-laden comedy starring pasty-chested lothario Will Ferrell as, of all things, a figure skater; the latest thriller to showcase affecting actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt; an animated Disney flick; an immigrant drama from filmmaker Mira Nair; and, most curiously, the return of a Nick Nolte indie that opened in local art houses last summer.

Opening films (click on grade to read review):

Blades of Glory: B-

The Lookout: B

Meet the Robinsons: B

The Namesake: B

Peaceful Warrior: C+

Flick of the Week: The Lookout

(Photo courtesy of Miramax Films)

Screenwriter Scott Frank — the guy behind deft adaptations of Elmore Leonard novels Get Shorty and Out of Sight, among other less successful films — gets his first shot behind the camera with The Lookout, a sly thriller starring young actor of the moment Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Best known as the lank-haired kid on TV’s 3rd Rock from the Sun, Gordon-Levitt has successful transitioned into movies by employing a discerning eye for unique, challenging material. His lacerating performance as a soulless gay hustler in 2004’s Mysterious Skin obliterated his sitcom past, and Brick, writer/director Rian Johnson’s obtuse, Raymond Chandler-esque noir set in a modern-day SoCal high school, was a fine follow-up that cemented Gordon-Levitt’s status as an actor of uncommon intensity and depth.

Now comes The Lookout, another off-kilter noir that finds Gordon-Levitt inhabiting another troubled soul with what’s fast becoming his trademark: a subtle, brooding complexity that brings to mind the holy trinity of Brando, Dean and Clift.

Hyperbole? We’ll see: Later this year is John Madden’s adaptation of another Elmore Leonard novel, Kill Shot, in which Gordon-Levitt plays an upstart killer opposite none other than Mickey Rourke, a guy who knows a thing or two about being a young actor of the moment.

— Jason Gargano

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One Comment on “Friday’s Flicks”

  1. Kenny Says:

    Whoa, John Madden is adapting Elmore Leonard novels for the big screen now? Does he do telestrator over top?


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