Six Picks for the Weeks of November 19-December 2

  • Publish Date: November 18, 2012
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, this week's edition of 6 Picks covers a two-week period. Look for 6 Picks to return to its normal schedule on December 2nd.

Life of Pi Read reviews
In theaters Wednesday

Pick 1On the surface, Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s best-selling, Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi is tailor-made for awards season. Take a book with critical and commercial success, attach an award-winning director, and presto: a stream of little gold statues are handed to you. But adapting the story of a shipwrecked Indian boy named Pi who is stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger into a cinematic experience proved to be difficult. In the end, Lee was able to take David Magee’s (Finding Neverland 67) script and cinematographer Claudio Miranda’s skill with 3D technology to produce what many believe to be the director's best film since 2005’s Brokeback Mountain 87. The film stars newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi, and he’s supported by Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, fluorescent fish, and endless ocean and sky.

Check out some of the breathtaking imagery from the film at the official website.

Hitchcock Read reviews
In theaters Friday

Pick 2Director Sacha Gervasi (Anvil! The Story of Anvil 82) goes from documentary to biopic with his new film, an adaptation of Stephen Rebello’s book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. As the book’s title implies, the film focuses on Hitchcock’s struggles to get Psycho made even after the success of North by Northwest one year earlier. Anthony Hopkins portrays the legendary director, but of almost equal importance in the story is his wife Alma, played by Helen Mirren. While Gervasi wasn’t allowed to use or re-create any footage from the original film, he did cast Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, and Jessica Biel as Vera Miles. Michael Wincott haunts Hitchcock’s dreams as real-life murderer Ed Gein, the inspiration for Robert Bloch’s novel on which the 1960 horror classic is based.

Share your shower scream at the official website.

Trapped in the Closet
New episodes airing on IFC beginning Friday at 9p

Pick 3Fans of utterly bizarre, unpredictable television have something to be thankful for this weekend: new chapters of R. Kelly's ongoing (and never-ending?) series Trapped in the Closet. Billed as a "hip-hopera," the hilarious musical soap finds the R&B hitmaker writing, directing, and starring as multiple characters, including returnees such as Pimp Lucious and new faces like marriage counselor Dr. Perry and underworld crime figure Beeno. Expect 20 new chapters in the upcoming batch, airing exclusively on IFC and IFC.com And, if for some reason you haven't already watched the first 22 chapters, IFC will be screening those, too, in a marathon beginning at 10a on Thanksgiving (and again at 7p on Friday).

Find out what's inside the closet at the official show site, where you can watch past episodes online.

Hitman: Absolution 360 reviews PS3 reviews PC reviews
New game in stores Tuesday

Pick 4It's been so long since we've had a new installment in the ongoing stealth action series Hitman that the most recent title, Blood Money, was released for the PS2 and Xbox. But Agent 47 finally sneaks back into stores on Tuesday with a new mission that finds him operating as a free agent on the run in the U.S. while caught up in a dark conspiracy that has him hunted by the police. A new "instinct" mechanic is intended to make the game a bit easier for novices, and disguise plays a big part in the new game. Early reviews are solid, for the most part.

Sneak up on the official site.

Killing Them Softly Read reviews
In theaters next Friday (November 30)

Pick 5Andrew Dominik’s third film updates the action of George V. Higgins' 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade to post-crash, pre-election 2008. In the film, Brad Pitt, who also starred in Dominik’s 2007 outing The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 68, plays a hitman tasked with tracking down two bumbling criminals (Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McMairy) who rob a mafia-controlled poker game run by Ray Liotta. Joining Pitt is Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini, as another killer brought in to help with the job, as well as Richard Jenkins as the middleman between the big bosses and the hired gunmen. The foregrounding of the political climate and economic crisis has been a negative for some critics, but don’t be concerned that Dominik has gone for substance over style with his latest; word is that there’s still plenty of beauty in the brutality.

Let Brad Pitt tell you how to kill someone softly at official website.

The Hour
Season 2 premieres next Wednesday, November 28 at 9p on BBC America

Pick 6Dismissed by some as a British Mad Men wannabe, BBC period drama The Hour scored respectable reviews in its first season last year, while also earning a few Golden Globe nominations. Next week, BBC America will air the six-episode second season, which picks up the action in 1957 (a year after the events of the first season) and once again focuses on the BBC's news department, which this time is caught up in a domestic scandal. The excellent cast once again centers on Dominic West (The Wire), Ben Whishaw (Skyfall), and Romola Garai (Atonement), who are joined by newcomer Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It), playing the new head of the news department.

Spend a few minutes with The Hour at the official show site.

Closing the book on last week

#1 Product Most Popular Title on Metacritic
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360) 83 Week of 11/11-11/17
#1 Movie Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 53 $141 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album #1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Taylor Swift: Red 76 3rd week at #1
Top-Rated TV Show Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
Sunday Night Football (NBC) 20.9 million viewers; week of 11/5-11/11

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