Weekend in D/FW: ‘Carlos,’ ‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘Somewhere,’ ‘Country Witch’

Only in movie-land, where we decide the best of the year long before the year itself is over, can we declare that the weekend begins on Thursday morning. But we all must plan ahead to squeeze in as much cinematic goodness as possible. Herewith my top 5 picks: ‘Carlos.’ Five hours? Made for television? Bah! It’s still one of the year’s best, according to those who know, detailing the famed Carlos The Jackal and his exploits. (Saturday and Sunday, one showing each day, The Texas Theatre) ‘Blue Valentine.’ Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a married couple experiencing problems. At … Continue reading Weekend in D/FW: ‘Carlos,’ ‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘Somewhere,’ ‘Country Witch’

‘Gulliver’s Travels’ Go Where No One Wants to Go (Review)

Gulliver's Travels
Jack Black in 'Gulliver's Travels.' (Fox)

“We’re the little people,” Jack Black says to a fellow mail room employee in Rob Letterman’s version of “Gulliver’s Travels,” which opens wide across the Metroplex tomorrow. Black is called Lemuel Gulliver in the film, a nod to the narrator of Jonathan Swift’s savage satire, first published in 1726. Little else about the new version could be considered a tribute, however.

Oh, Gulliver ends up shipwrecked on the island of Lilliput, all right, where he is reckoned a giant among the six-inch high (give or take an inch) inhabitants and honored for his size and strength. Yet the new film lacks any desire to explore the satirical possibilities of its source material or update the story in any meaningful way. Instead, it seems that the filmmakers counted on the combination of live action and computer-generated imagery to dazzle the audience into overlooking the crushing lack of amusing dialogue or interesting characters.

To be fair, it’s not entirely bereft of charm and invention. But it’s a close call.

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