December 01, 2011
Mike: We made a trip to the Landmark Sunshine on Houston St. the other day to catch a double feature of Rampart and A Dangerous Method. Rampart was ending its 1-week Academy qualifying run - it will be released in February - and A Dangerous Method just opened over the weekend. We like the Sunshine but the pricing is a bit too much - no discounts. So we don't go there often. But it's a nice theater and they have cool midnight shows on the weekends. Plus, their main basement auditorium is really nice. They just introduced a Landmark Club card, where you get your 10th ticket free. That's a nice incentive and definitely overdue for Landmark.
The Sunshine is right next door to Yonah Schimmel's Knish store, so before the first screening I popped in and bought a knish, which I quickly ate before entering the theater. But I was still hungry after the first movie so I bought a jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzel at the Sunshine - it was really delicious and something I'll have to get again. The Sunshine has a great selection of snacks - movie theater pricing unfortunately, but better than what you find at the major chains.
Woody Harrelson has been getting an awful lot of buzz for his role in Rampart. Oren Moverman, who directed 2009's The Messenger and helped earn Harrelson his second Oscar nomination, is proving to be a great actor's director - and Rampart is definetely an actor's film. Or more specifically, Woody Harrelson's film. He delivers perhaps his best performance to date. The supporting cast is decent - Robin Wright is solid and it's nice to see Ned Beatty again, and I thought the young actresses playing Harrelson's children were outstanding, but Sigourney Weaver seemed out of place and Steve Buscemi is really just giving a recurring cameo. Moverman delivers a nice looking 70s style police drama, but it's really not about the story or the supporting cast. It's about Harrelson's crooked cop denouement, and just for that the film is definitely worth admission.
In one scene, Harrelson eats a burrito in a hurry. It's a brilliant sequence that Harrelson delivers perfectly. Who knew that something as silly as shoving a burrito down your throat could be such a great example of the acting craft at its best.
Erica: I enjoyed this movie immensely. Harrelson is great as a corrupt cop who just wants a relationship with his daughters. Oren Moverman must love putting Harrelson and Foster in movies as war vets because this is the second time (The Messenger was the first) that we see that. Although Foster has a small role, it is a great performance. That could be because he is one of the producers in the film. The cast was great. Really, you put Buscemi in the movie for ten seconds? It is also nice to see Ice Cube in a role that isn't a stereotypical racial movie.
at 10:35 AM