On In the Heart of the Sea And The Rest Of The Weekend’s New Film Releases.

In the Heart of the Sea.
Director: Ron Howard.
Writer: Charles Leavitt.
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson.
Playing At: Wide.
I'm a big fan of Ron Howard. He may not be the most stylish director and not all of his movies are winners, but he's always committed and willing to try new things. What's new this time is a big-budget 3-D epic about the whaler crew that inspired Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick. I think we could always use more movies set on ships that aren't Peter Pan or Pirates of the Caribbean. I sure could go for a Master and Commander sequel or even a remake of Mutiny on the Bounty. And while this movie will surely be a sight to behold on the big screen, I will be shocked if it's actually a hit, even if Thor is the star.

Macbeth.
Director: Justin Kurzel.
Writers: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Leslie, Todd Louiso.
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano.
It changes from time to time, but I think Macbeth might be my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. It's the most densely layered of all his plays, an intense, foreboding production of the end result of greed and violence. Plus, Justin Kurzel (the chilling Snowtown) has picked two of the world's finest actors to play Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) and his treacherous Lady (Marion Cotillard). It may end up being style over substance, but I am all about this style. Read a more in-depth review here.

Repertory Pick of the Week.

The Royal Tenenbaums.
Director: Wes Anderson.
Writers: Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson.
Cast: Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.
Showing: Saturday, December 12.
It's not hyperbole to say The Royal Tenenbaums changed my life. I discovered it right as I was getting into good movies. This was my gateway to smart comedy, leaving the Adam Sandlers of the world behind for laughs laced with melancholy. I still think Wes Anderson has yet to improve on this witty, warm-hearted tale of a truly dysfunctional family. It's also a victory lap for Gene Hackman, who was simply magnificent here as the self-absorbed patriarch. The man only made three movies after this. He retired in 2004 before he had too many blemishes on his resume. The film is screening as part of the Texas Theatre's fifth anniversary celebration, which also includes additional screenings (both public and private) and a big concert/dance party.

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