On Movies: Defying gravity, embracing technology
Hotel New Otani , 4-1 KioI-Cho, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, 102-8578, Japan, +81 3 3265 1111; from $303 per room per night One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas Keep an eye for Villa 1085 in “Casino Royale.” In “Casino Royale,” Bond girl Solange is seen arriving at the resort before checking into Villa 1085. The property appears throughout the film: Bond is seen walking through the reception area, playing poker in the library and exploring the Versailles-themed gardens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Ocean Club’s Dune restaurant now offers a Casino Royale cocktail — a combination of vodka, gin and wine. One&Only Ocean Club , One Casino Drive, Paradise Island, Bahamas; +242 363 2501; from $555 per room per night Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy Daniel Craig’s James Bond moors his yacht at this hotel’s private marina in “Casino Royale.” The crew took over the Cipriani’s restaurant to film this scene, and parts of the terrace appear throughout. Cast and crew stayed at the hotel during filming and the hotel’s head barman recalls Craig enjoying a nightcap or two with co-star Eva Green. On one of his first visits to the bar, the actor was apparently offered a martini but opted for a Bellini, instead. Hotel Cipriani , Giudecca 10, 30133 Venice, Italy; +39 041 240 801; from $1,547 per room per night The Langham, London In “GoldenEye” — the first James Bond film not based on Ian Fleming’s novels — this London hotel doubles as St. Petersburg’s Grand Hotel Europe. The Langham was built in 1865 and is one of London’s first purpose-built hotels. “Goldeneye” isn’t the hotel’s only starring role — it also appears in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s film “Winning London.” No, we haven’t seen it either. The Langham , 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA T; +44 20 7636 1000; from $454 per room per night Hotel Atlantic Kempinski, Hamburg, Germany Bond scrambles over the rooftop of the Atlantic Kempinski in “Tomorrow Never Dies.” Bond scrambles over the iconic, globe-adorned rooftop of the Atlantic Kempinski in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and the hotel’s exterior also appears throughout the film. Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, stays in the hotel’s Atlantic Suite and several scenes were filmed there. Brosnan, the director Roger Spottiswoode and Desmond Llewelyn (who played Q) all stayed at the hotel during filming.
‘Enough Said,’ ‘Rush’ and other new movies, reviewed
More coverage “And in both wings of the stage, it was just rows and rows and rows and rows of geeks on computers. . . . “It was an amazing experience, but it’s not what I consider ‘moviemaking.’ ” The reason for all the geeks and gizmos was that for much of Gravity, its two characters – NASA astronauts played by Bullock and Clooney – are floating in orbit around Earth. Zero gravity inside their space craft – and outside the craft, spinning and cartwheeling in the vast, empty, silent void. In order to create the effect of weightlessness, all sorts of rigs – nest-like rigs, bicycle seat-like rigs, rigs designed and manipulated by the puppeteers behind the stage production of War Horse – were deployed. And while the actors were in their rigging, CG animation sequences, produced over the two years leading up to the live shoot, were projected in that cube, or onto it, or something like that. Even Cuaron finds it hard to explain. “The technologies involved robotics and LED lights and integration of CG with live action,” he says. “I doubt, at the end, that my explanation would really clarify much, but I can tell you this: Everything was preprogrammed, so the actors were limited in terms of what they could do, or couldn’t do .
Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth, reveals something about the male ego through its main characters, and Blue Caprice depicts the tragic true story behind the D.C. sniper shootings, though the film doesn’t dig deep enough, according to Hornaday. Divorced parents Albert (James Gandolfini) and Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) explore middle-age romance in Enough Said. (Photo by Lacey Terrell/Fox Searchlight via Associated Press) Enough Said (PG-13) Like the best romantic comedies of Hollywoods Golden Age, Holofceners film zings and pops with hilarious dialogue (‘What the hell is chervil?’ Eva snorts after Marianne lovingly gives her fresh herbs from her perfectly un-manicured garden), but also gets to the heart of human nature: in this case, the lengths people go to in order to fill their empty spaces, and how lovable foibles become intolerable flaws. Ann Hornaday Rush (R) As much escapist fun as ‘Rush’ is as an adrenaline-juiced car-race movie, its most interesting as a rare depiction of male vanity, how physical attractiveness informs self-worth and potency, and the role beauty so often the sole purview of women on screen plays in mens relationships and personal insecurities. Ann Hornaday Inequality for All (PG) this film avoids the familiar impartial-arbiter mode of documentary filmmaking and adopts a single perspective as its own. (Viewers will not, in other words, hear from any Gordon Gekko types arguing that wealth belongs to those who can take it.) Both films pair bits of biographical color with footage of well-polished lectures, bringing in just enough outside material to make them feel like real movies. John DeFore Blue Caprice (R) As admirable as Moorss oblique style is, though, Blue Caprice doesnt offer the sense of catharsis or closure, let alone new information, that makes it more than a cold, if disciplined, directorial exercise. Muhammad, who was executed in 2009 , and Malvo, who is serving a series of consecutive life sentences , remain enigmatic, remorseless figures, their depravity never deeply examined past their emotional problems and psychological ills. Ann Hornaday Don Jon (R) The only real down side of Don Jon is the extreme vulgarity, especially early on. Its easy to imagine that some of Jons audacious admissions could alienate certain audience members, and it would be a shame if the outrageousness overshadowed the movies thoughtful revelations and surprisingly sweet heart. Stephanie Merry Baggage Claim (PG-13) Theres so much wrong with Baggage Claim from its outdated story line and similarities to the dreadful Whats Your Number to Talberts clumsy, flat-screen directing that its all the more surprising when things go right. But it would be unfair to deny that it doesnt provide its own modest, sometimes outright hilarious, pleasures. Ann Hornaday Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG) But instead of upping the ante, as so many sequels do, Cloudy 2 merely gets the band back together including perky weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), immature bully Brent (Andy Samberg) and Flints level-headed father (James Caan) for a repetitive mission that calls to mind multiple beats from the first movie. Sean OConnell Metallica Through the Never (R) Thanks to wireless instruments, guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo are highly mobile, and even drummer Lars Ulrich moves around a lot. They interact with other performers in scenarios that appeal to some metalheads taste for carnage and destruction. The last staged catastrophe seems rather tasteless, but it turns out to be a clever setup for the back-to-basics finale. Mark Jenkins Haute Cuisine (PG-13) Frot manages the tough trick of playing someone whos both standoffish and likable. Hortense isnt easily amused or benevolently quirky, the way so many female characters can be. Shes serious, but her passion for recipes and fresh produce proves appealing. “Haute Cuisine” also strays from the typical formula because its devoid of a romantic subplot. Stephanie Merry The Trials of Muhammad Ali (Unrated) Bill Siegels The Trials of Muhammad Ali reminds us, though, that the boxer fought significant battles outside of the ring, as well. And in doing so, Trials educates casual boxing fans about the unexpected political, religious and social strife Ali encountered and largely brought upon himself during a tumultuous time in our nations racially divided past. Sean OConnell You Will Be My Son (R) It would be easy to make a movie pitting Paul, the deadbeat dad, against Martin, the long-suffering descendant who deserves his multimillion-dollar inheritance. But director Gilles Legrand, who co-wrote the script, opts for a more difficult and satisfying approach. Paul is unabashedly cruel, but Martin acts insufferably childish. Stephanie Merry Zaytoun (Unrated) As the most immediate dangers subside, the film addresses increasingly sentimental concerns: Yonis pregnant wife awaits his rescue; Fahed carries an olive sapling his father dreamed of planting near their old house. John DeFore Newlyweeds (R) The audience Newlyweeds will appeal to most is film buffs who are always on the lookout for bright young things because this movie has them.