Another weekend without Ratatouille. There are some other options, but I don’t think I’ll be truly happy until I see a rat running around a kitchen with a bunch of French chefs yelling “Sacré bleu!” and twisting their mustaches. But I digress. Here are your choices if you want to escape the heat by watching some movies this weekend:
A Mighty Heart – Michael Winterbottom is one of the most talented directors working today, and manages to jump from genre to genre with great ease. He has done comedy (24 Hour Party People, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story), science fiction (Code 46), drama (Road to Guantanamo, Welcome to Sarajevo) and what was basically artsy porn (9 Songs). Now he is directing the real life story of Mariane Pearl, whose husband Daniel was kidnapped in Pakistan. Advanced reviews are strong, focusing mainly on Winterbottom’s ability to tell a compelling story without being manipulative or schmaltzy. This is my pick of the week. It’s playing in Brooklyn at Cobble Hill Cinemas as well as the cinema on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights.
Evan Almighty – Jim Carrey movie sequels (and prequels) that don’t star Jim Carrey tend to be not so good. Take, for example, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, or Son of the Mask. Here we have a spin-off of Bruce Almighty, an already pretty crappy Jim Carrey movie which this time focuses on Steve Carrell’s character. It is also the most expensive comedy ever made. This will be playing at the Prospect Park Pavillion as well as the Court Street United Artists.
1408 – John Cusack’s daughter dies, after which he becomes obsessed with death and the supernatural. He checks into a notoriously haunted hotel room, hoping to see some ghosts and his dead daughter. When he doesn’t, he stands outside the hotel window holding up a boombox and plays Peter Gabriel at full volume. This one is also playing at the Prospect Park Pavillion and the Court Street United Artists.
You Kill Me – A Buffalo hitman (Ben Kingsley) with a drinking problem is relocated to San Francisco and starts attending AA meetings. He meets his sponsor, played by Luke Wilson, and gets a job at a mortuary where he falls for Laurel (Tea Leoni). The director, John Dahl, has directed some highly underrated films (Joy Ride, Rounders). Sadly, this film stars Tea Leoni, and as long as I live I will never forgive her for taking David Duchovny from The X-Files. She’s a jerk. This is playing at the Angelika.
It could have been so beautiful. Damn you, Leoni.
Black Sheep – Honestly, if this were getting better reviews, I’d be pretty excited purely because of the plot. A genetic engineering project goes awry and turns all the sheep in New Zealand (where sheep out-number people ten to one) into bloodthirsty predators. Tell me that doesn’t sound kick ass. This is playing at the Landmark Sunshine.
Broken English – Another Parker Posey movie about being a neurotic Manhattanite. Is she honestly just paying people to film her everyday life and then periodically releasing footage as her latest film? Don’t get me wrong, I love Parker Posey, but for serious, she could stand to branch out a little bit. Zoe R. Cassavettes, daughter of legendary director John Cassavettes, makes her second film in seven years. This is playing at the Landmark Sunshine.
In terms of midnight shows, there are screenings of Brazil at the Landmark Sunshine, Serenity on Saturday at Cinema Village on 12th Street, and Hard Boiled is playing at 10:30pm on Saturday at the IFC Center.
Next week: Ratatouille. Get excited.