Blockbuster season is almost over. This weekend we wind down with a lesser sci-fi remake, a teen comedy and a historical epic that I had never heard of until yesterday. We’ve also got some great looking documentaries in limited release.
The Last Legion: Yeah, so until yesterday, I had no idea what this was. It’s pretty easy to get my attention when it comes to movies, so I’m going to go ahead and say that this did not have a very good ad campaign. Which means the studio isn’t so pumped about it. The movie stars Ben Kingsley as Ambrosinus, a shaman who is a mentor to Romulus Augustus, the soon-to-be crowned emperor of the Roman Empire. Colin Firth also stars as what I can only assume is a foppish, stuttering romantic, who wins over the Barbarian insurgents with his puppy-dog eyes, curly hair, and sweet sensibility. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street.
The Invasion: A remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, clearly making its mark as genuine by taking the “of the Body Snatchers” out of the title. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig star in this film about an alien virus that attacks you while you sleep. Nicole Kidman jumped at the chance to star, feeling a certain connection with the story, as her husband used to talk to her about Xenu and Dianetics while impairing her judgement with free stress tests and deep tissue massages. This is playing at the Prospect Park Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street. (Also, if you’re interested, BAM is going to begin playing the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers on September 10th.)
Superbad: While the premise to this film, which is being advertised like crazy, may sound similar to most teen comedies, I can assure you that it is much funnier. I had the opportunity to see an advance screening several months ago, and it is definitely the funniest movie I have been to this summer. Michael Cera, who played George Michael on the greatest television show in history, stars alongside Jonah Hill. The two play beautifully off of each other, Cera’s awkward romantic being the perfect bedfellow (once literally) to Hill’s vulgar affability. It was also written by Seth Rogen (who plays a cop in the film) and produced by Judd Apatow. This is definitely my pick of the week. It’s playing at the Prospect Park Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.
Death at a Funeral: While this is getting mixed reviews thus far, it looks amusing and is directed by Frank Oz, who brought us In & Out, Dave, and the voice of the character Yoda. In my book, that is a delightful combination. The film also includes several great actors, including Rupert Graves, Alan Tudyk and Peter Dinklage. This is playing at BAM and the Brooklyn Heights Cinema and the Landmark Sunshine.
The 11th Hour – Another movie about global warming. This one apparently features less Al Gore giving a Power Point presentation and more Leonardo DiCaprio making pretty at the camera. DiCaprio produced and narrates the film. This is playing at the Sunshine.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – This documentary chronicles two ex-video gamers who return to compete for the Guinness record for high score at Donkey Kong. I would file this one with Air Guitar Nation as documentaries that are amusing, but don’t really need to be seen in theaters. This is playing at the IFC Center.
Manda Bala (Send a Bullet): This documentary explores the violence and corruption in Brazil from different classes. This film has already won the Cinematography award and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. It’s playing at the Angelika.
Otherwise, The Natural is playing tonight at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Daft Punk’s Electroma is the midnight movie at the Sunshine tomorrow night and next week at McCarren Park on Tuesday is Purple Rain! David Wain’s The Ten is also now playing at BAM.