Winter Movie Guide: December 2011 – Week 1

This week, both films are limited release films.  Shame will be on 9 screens nationwide, most likely in New York and Los Angeles for the most part.  Outrage will be getting a similar release, although I believe it will be on 20-40 screens, most likely in more cities.  These might be the ones that require a bit of travel, but there’s a reason, because they aren’t mass-market crap.  Do yourself a favor and check out one or both if you get the chance.

Shame

Written by Steve McQueen & Abby Morgan

Directed by Steve McQueen

Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan & James Badge Dale

“In New York City, Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life — which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction — is disrupted when his sister Cissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.”

Back for their second film together, Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen this time come at us with a sexual thriller set in New York City as the follow up to their powerful film Hunger, about a much different subject matter.  Shame is sure to be a tour de force of acting, as Steve McQueen directed Fassbender in his starmaking role in Hunger, he has since gone on to star in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, the upcoming Prometheus from Ridley Scott, and most recently, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, the only shining point of the movie.

Joining Fassbender is Carey Mulligan, who has proven her talent time and again, first in An Education, but most recently in Drive.  Much has been made of the subject matter, and the NC-17 rating didn’t help those matters.  However, having seen McQueen’s first film, I have faith that he will have a lot to say with the subject matter, and from the look of the trailer, it looks to be expertly shot as well.  See for yourself right here:

Rated NC-17.

Outrage

Written & Directed by Takeshi Kitano

Starring Takeshi Kitano, Kippei Shiina & Ryo Kase

“The boss of a major crime syndicate orders his lieutenant to bring a rogue gang of drug traffickers in line, a job that gets passed on to his long-suffering subordinate.”

Takeshi Kitano has had an interesting career.  After making it big as a comedian in Japan, he began directing yakuza films, some extremely violent, others quiet and mournful, but punctuated by violence.  Outrage is said to be his most violent film yet, and from the amount of gunfire in the trailer, I can see why someone may say that.

The good news is that Magnolia Pictures has picked this one up.  Ten years ago, to see a Kitano film, one had to wait for the Japanese DVD and import it.  Today, Magnolia has it available on VOD before the theatrical release.  At the same time, there’s something special about seeing a crazy Yakuza film on the big screen, and few bring the visual elements that Kitano does.  Sure to be a special treat for many, as few Kitano movies have seen theatrical release here, and it’s been a few years since Kitano made a Yakuza film.  No reason to skip it, unless it isn’t playing in your city.

Check out the trailer to see what you think:

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