Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This Week at the Movies: 'Captain America,' 'Sleepover' and 'Another Earth'

I'm keeping it short and sweet this week.

My Patch reviews included "Captain America: The First Avenger," a perfectly fine comic book origin story, as well as two interesting, if not perfect, new indies: "The Myth of the American Sleepover" and "Another Earth."

Check'em out here.

A number of new films will be released this weekend. I'm going to try to catch up with "Crazy, Stupid, Love," "Cowboys and Aliens," "The Guard" and "The Future."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Give 'Em Hell Harry: The Final 'Potter' Picture and Two Wonky Docs

In case you haven't heard, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" opened this past weekend. And I'm pleased to say that it was a fine sendoff to series that has encompassed eight films and 10 years.

This week, I also reviewed too solid documentaries, both of which covered kooky subjects. One, of course, was Errol Morris's "Tabloid," which chronicles the strange, sordid tale of former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney.

I also caught up with James Marsh's sad, peculiar "Project Nim," a documentary about an experiment to raise a chimpanzee among humans and teach him sign language.

Check out my reviews for Patch here.

This coming week, I'll catch up with "The Myth of the American Sleepover," "Another Earth" and "Captain America: The First Avenger." That is, if I haven't been singed to a crisp by this hellacious heatwave that has gripped the nation. There's good news, though. Only 43 days left in July and August!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hollywood's Comedy Shock and Awe: 'Horrible Bosses' and 'Zookeeper'

This week's movie post examines the Hollywood comedy in all two of its modern forms - the safe, PG-rated movie for children or the hard R-rated raunchfest in the vein of "The Hangover," "Bad Teacher," "No Strings Attached" and, most recently, "Horrible Bosses."

The jokes in Seth Gordon's film hit more than they miss, but just by a slim margin. There is, however, a great "Snow Falling on Cedars" joke (!?) in the picture. On the other hand, most of the sequences between Jennifer Aniston and Charlie Day are, well, a little uncomfortable.

On the PG side of the spectrum, there's "Zookeeper," a perfectly harmless, but nevertheless pretty bad, Kevin James picture that relies on the hilarity of talking animals, poop and people falling down for laughs. So, there you have it.

Click here for my reviews.

This coming weekend, I'll review "Harry Potter" and "Tabloid" as well as take part in the cult movie marathon I'd mentioned last week.

I got an early start last weekend by watching Mario Bava's "Rabid Dogs," which is known in the U.S. as "Kidnapped." I'd rank it among my favorite of the Italian horror maestro's pictures. It's a particularly grim piece of work, but it's also tense as hell and masterfully directed.

Last night's offering was the incredibly strange British curio "Goodbye Gemini." If you think that vaguely sexual brother/sister relationships are creepy, well, this could just be the movie for you. Love that score, though.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bay's Latest Sturm Und Drang, Puiu's Glacial 'Aurora' and Hanks' Cheerful 'Larry Crowne'

Here's my (slightly tardy) This Week at the Movies post for Patch.

Over the weekend, I caught up with Michael Bay's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," which is slightly better than the abhorrent "Revenge of the Fallen," but still pretty visually fractured and headache inducing.

Christi Puiu's "Aurora" tops Jean Luc Godard's "Film Socialisme" as the biggest art house letdown of the summer. While it's far from a bad film, the Romanian director's latest is a glacially paced drama that follows the downward slide of a budding sociopath. The picture has its moments, but also a punishing running time. And this is coming from a big fan of Bela Tarr's "Satantango."

Also reviewed is Tom Hanks' "Larry Crowne," which occasionally gets a little too quirky for its own good but is mostly charming.

Here are the reviews.

This coming weekend, I'm going to try to catch up with "Horrible Bosses" as well as a few indies - namely, Catherine Breillat's "Sleeping Beauty" and John Carpenter's "The Ward."

And, next week, I'm planning a major cult movie marathon that could include the likes of "The Image," "Insignificance," "Cannibal Ferox," Mario Bava's "Kidnapped," "Darktown Strutters," "Goodbye Gemini," "The Howl," Brian De Palma's "Hi, Mom" and "Women in Revolt." Quite a lineup. I've never seen any of this bunch and figured I'd squeeze them all in during a week's time. More on that later.