Hoping to catch a few more Oscar nominated flicks, I watched Changeling over the weekend. In the intense film, Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, a woman whose son goes missing and her subsequent struggle with the police department who replaces him with another boy. As a mom, the movie hit incredibly close to home. Though it was an incredibly moving story, I found myself closing my eyes and covering my ears during certain graphic scenes. Do you find some things harder to digest since having children?
All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue. In addition to my selections below you can now add High School Musical 3, Flash of Genius, Religulous, and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People to your queue.
If you're trying to catch all the Oscar-nominated performances before the big night, now's your chance to see Angelina in her award-worthy role in Changeling. Here's the Netflix plot description in case you forgot: "Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) is overjoyed when her young kidnapped son Walter is brought back home. But when Christine suspects that the Walter who was returned to her isn't her actual child, the police captain (Jeffrey Donovan) has her committed to an asylum. John Malkovich co-stars as the crusading reverend who comes to Christine's rescue in this gripping, 1920s-set drama helmed by ace director Clint Eastwood."
I'm glad to see they dispensed of that creepy movie poster for the DVD cover. Extras include featurettes titled "Partners in Crime: Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie" and "The Common Thread: Angelina Jolie Becomes Christine Collins."
Two more up next, so read more
Angelina Jolie looked radiant as she stepped out on stage to promote Changeling in Tokyo earlier today. She's been supporting Brad for his Benjamin Button premieres lately, but now it's her turn to work the crowds. Brad recently spoke about how the couple hasn't celebrated their multiple award nominations yet, saying "Man, we're too busy dealing with Kleenexes and diapers and getting everyone fed to really celebrate. We'll do that next year." With such a gorgeous family, it's totally understandable the Jolie-Pitts have a different set of priorities, but hopefully they can find some time to celebrate if they head back to the states in time for the Oscars luncheon early next week.
To see more photos of Angelina promoting her movie just read more
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt stepped out side-by-side in London today for a Changeling photo call. Angelina opened up a bit about her mother during the press conference, a subject that got her choked up (check out the video after the jump). She said, "She was really sweet and was never angry — she couldn't swear to save her life. But when it came to her kids, she was really fierce and so this is very much her, her story. She was the woman I related to, who had that elegance and strength through just knowing what was right." Angelina also said that there are more kids on the way and that she spent most of the past year "in pajamas and coloring." Things will probably only get busier for the Jolie-Pitts as Brad continues filming Inglorious Bastards and starts promoting The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but so far it looks like he and Angelina are doing a good job meeting up all over the world.
To see more of Angelina and Brad, and Angie during her press conference, just read more
If you haven't seen Changeling yet, I highly recommend you check it out. The Eastwood directed gut-wrenching story features a mother named Christine, played by Angelina Jolie, who loses her son. Tragic and touching. But enough with the spoilers; check out what Angelina recently said about the cool '20s era costumes she wore for the film.
"The wardrobe choices are really the first steps toward Christine," Jolie says. "There is something about the style of clothes of the Twenties that is very sweet. They make you feel a little softer and just so delicate, hidden behind it all. It helped me very much."
To hear what the costume designer had to say about the clothes, read more
The animated sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was a big hit with audiences over the weekend, earning a whopping $63.5 million. In fact, it set some records and "narrowly scored the best opening of the year for a family toon, as well as the seventh best bow of all time." Madagascar 2 just barely surpassed Wall-E which brought in $63 million its opening weekend.
In the No. 2 spot came the Paul Rudd comedy Role Models that exceeded expectations with an estimated $19.3 million. High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Changeling, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno rounded out the top five followed by Soul Men, which opened at No. 6.
Picture courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Those whippersnappers have once again snapped up the box office crown. Over the Halloween weekend, High School Musical 3 got top marks at the box office for the second weekend in a row, this time bringing in just over $15 million. According to Variety, this pushed "its worldwide total to an estimated $146.8 million after 10 days in release."
Kevin Smith's raunchy comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno debuted at No. 2, just barely beating out Saw V with each movie raking in something in the $10 million range. Opening nationwide over the weekend, Clint Eastwood's Changeling nabbed the fourth spot with an estimated $9.4 million. Per location, however, Changeling is the big winner, with an "average of $5,085, the best of any film in the top 10 chart." The Haunting of Molly Hartley rounded out the top five with approximately $6 million over its opening week.
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
Changeling: An Emotional Meat Grinder Clint Eastwood sure isn't one to shy away from dark, gut-wrenching material for his directorial projects, and Changeling is no exception. I went into the screening bracing myself for sorrow and pain, but I didn't brace myself enough. Changeling contains all the heavy sentimentality of Million Dollar Baby and that punch-in-the-stomach anguish of injustice found in Mystic River.
Clint Eastwood sure isn't one to shy away from dark, gut-wrenching material for his directorial projects, and Changeling is no exception. I went into the screening bracing myself for sorrow and pain, but I didn't brace myself enough. Changeling contains all the heavy sentimentality of Million Dollar Baby and that punch-in-the-stomach anguish of injustice found in Mystic River. Add to this the terrible real-life tragedy involving innocent children and you've got a very difficult (though worthwhile) movie-watching experience.
In 1928, single mother Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) returns home from her job at the telephone company to discover that her son Walter has gone missing. After a few months, the LAPD claim they've found her son and they bring a child, claiming to be Walter, to Christine. She insists he isn't her child but the shady police captain, J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan), desperate for the LAPD to have a positive story in the news, bullies Christine into believing that she's just a woman who has been driven to hysterics by grief and worry. All of Christine's further attempts to convince the police department that her son is still at large are shot down until Jones finally hauls Christine away to a mental institution to shut her up. For more of the story and some of my thoughts on it all, read more
This latest drama from director Clint Eastwood looks powerfully emotional and possibly devastating. Set in the late-1920s, Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, a mother whose son has gone missing. A boy shows up claiming to be her son, but isn't, and Christine must then fight against corrupt police officers (who consider the case closed) in her frantic search for answers.
Of course, I'm going to watch Changeling in theaters and I'm curious to see what could be Oscar-worthy performances, but I'm not gonna lie: I'm bracing myself for my heart to be wrung out and left on the clothesline.
Will you head to the theater to see Changeling? Or do you prefer the privacy of your own home for movies like this? You could always wait until it comes on TV someday. Or maybe this isn't your cup of tea(rs) at all.