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Posts Tagged ‘Weekend at the Movies’

Summer continues with another huge blockbuster. Luckily, we’re in New York, so we’ve got plenty of options.

Angels & Demons: Ron Howard confuses me. He used to make great shitty movies, like Backdraft and Willow. Then he made shitty “good” movies like A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man. He also narrated and produced what is possibly the greatest television show in history. And now he’s spending his time adapting the most read (and criticized) novels in history. I have not read either novel, nor did I see The Da Vinci Code, so I’m probably not the best authority on this. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining, but judging by the reviews that are coming in, you might want to see Star Trek again instead. It’s playing at the Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street and Cobble Hill Cinemas (so is Star Trek, mind you).

The Brothers Bloom: The guy who made Brick is now switching from gumshoe detective stories to good old fashion crime capers. Although the movie itself looks a little too silly and quirky for its own good (the trailer makes it seem like Wes Anderson directing Ocean’s 11), I’m sure it’s still worth checking out. Brick was one of my favorite movies of whatever year it came out and has found its way into my personal DVD collection. Whether or not this ends up being a half as good, I think director Rian Johnson still has a great career ahead of him. It’s playing at the Angelika. Of course.

Big Man Japan: This is my pick of the week. A man can grow up to several stories high, and thus decides to defend his native Japan from weird monsters. The special effects look corny but hilarious, in a Stephen Chow kind of way. This looks like a lot of fun. Check out the trailer. It’s playing at Cinema Village.

Management: This movie looks painfully stupid. Steve Zahn falls in love with Jennifer Aniston (as people do) and then…becomes her stalker? Because that’s quirky and charming? I think that’s pretty much the plot. Woody Harrelson, who is always good at playing a tool, looks like he might be the saving grace of the film. It’s playing at BAM, weirdly enough.

Daytime Drinking: Apparently in some parts of Korea there are rules about drinking. For example, you can’t turn down a first drink. Also, you always have to accept a drink from an elder. Daytime Drinking is about a depressed man who wanders into one of these areas and has a perpetual hangover. No showtimes are available yet.

Tonight at the Landmark Sunshine you can see a midnight screening of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. Also, the IFC Center in the west village is screening Full Metal Jacket at midnight.

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Quantum of Solace

The Plot: James Bond is pissed off. Seriously, why’d you have to go and piss off James Bond?

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Most probably. In what is surely the most puzzling film title since Synecdoche, New York (and by the way Sunshine Theater, please don’t correct my pronunciation, especially when you’re wrong), Daniel Craig resumes his role as Britain’s ultimate super spy. Casino Royale was an incredible reinvention of the Bond franchise, comparable to the way Batman Begins reinvented the caped crusader. Unfortunately Quantum of Solace is not getting as much praise as Dark Knight received. All the same, critics seem to be agreeing that it is a worthy installment. The film also has a new director. Marc Forster, director of quirky comedies like Stranger than Fiction, wrist-slitting dramas like Monster’s Ball and flaming shit-piles like Finding Neverland, has taken over for Royale (and Goldeneye) director Martin Campbell. The writing team of Robert Wade, Neil Purvis and Paul Haggis remains the same. I just said “Purvis” and “Haggis” in the same sentence. Gross. 

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street, Regal at Union Square.

Paul Haggis.

Paul Haggis.

Slumdog Millionaire

The Plot: A kid tells his life story after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Definitely. This is already getting some of the best reviews of the year. The screenplay was adapted from the novel Q and A by screenwriter Simon Beaufroy, who most recently scripted Ms. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. The director, Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) is one of the most criminally underrated directors working today. Seriously, name a bad movie he’s made. If you named The Beach or A Life Less Ordinary, then I guess you’re right. But two out of ten isn’t bad, right?

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The Angelika.

A Christmas Tale

The Plot: A family comes together when their mother is diagnosed with cancer. So it’s a lot like Royal Tenenbaums. Only it’s at Christmas. And it’s French.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Yes. Wow! This is a good week. Brooklyn Skeptic came back just in time. This film stars the amazing (and still incredibly good looking) Catherine Deneuve, as well as Mathieu Amalric (who is also playing the creepy villain in Quantum of Solace). This is being marketed in the United States with a trailer featuring goofy Christmas music that probably belongs in something like Love Actually (sorry Reckles). I somehow don’t think this is the holiday romp that people will expect, but something slightly more somber and interesting. In any case, definitely worth seeing.

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The IFC Center.

Fuel

The Plot: A documentary about America’s addiction to oil.

Is it Worth Eleven Dollars?: Again I would say yes. The film won the audience award for best documentary at Sundance, and director Josh Tickell seems like a less annoying version of Michael Moore. Plus, if you watch the trailer, Luke Perry is in the movie! It must be said though, Luke Perry most likely contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer a lot during the 90’s with his hair products alone.

I brought this out from under my pillow, just for you.

I brought this out from under my pillow, just for you.

Where is this playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: I can’t seem to figure that out, but I’ll get back to you.

Otherwise, the incredible Rachel Getting Married is at Cobble Hill Cinemas (as well as BAM). Also, JCVD, the film about Jean Claude Van Damme has just started at Brooklyn Heights Cinema (they’re finally getting a new-ish movie!). In Manhattan, there’s a midnight showing of Grindhouse tonight at the Sunshine, and David Cronenberg’s Videodrome is playing at midnight at the IFC Center.

And finally, We Are Wizards, which is a documentary about the creative drive that has been inspired by Harry Potter, is playing at Cinema Village on 12th Street. It features BS faves Harry and the Potters.

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As we celebrate a day off on Friday by binge drinking and eating (God bless America and no place else), that leaves plenty of time on Saturday and Sunday to see some of these movies or to catch up on some you might’ve missed last weekend (see Wall-E).

Hancock
The Plot: Will Smith is a drunk superhero.
Is it worth eleven dollars?: It doesn’t sound like it. I know that Will Smith seems to have a lock down on the July 4th weekend ever since Independence Day, but this is getting pretty bad reviews thus far. Peter Berg seems to jump around a lot between genres (The Rundown, Very Bad Things, Friday Night Lights) but it’s clear that he works well with darker material. Unfortunately, any real dark humor that might’ve been in this film was flushed down the toilet when they gave it a PG-13 rating. It is however nice to see Jason Bateman being involved in something other than spreading rumors about the Arrested Development movie.
Arrested Development
Just shut up and make it already (I’m not talking about you, George Michael and Maeby).

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street, Cobble Hill Cinemas. 

The Wackness
The Plot: A kid smokes pot and tries to have sex in 1994. Not sure I can relate, I probably wasn’t doing that until 1998.
 
Is it worth eleven dollars?: I would say yes. It was a pretty big hit at Sundance (although, so was every movie ever made) but it’s getting some okay reviews so far, and at the very least, it’ll be a nice trip down memory lane for people in their twenties.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Sigh. The Angelika.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson

The Plot: Johnny Depp narrates this documentary about Hunter S. Thompson.
 
Is it worth eleven dollars?: I met a girl outside a bar a few weeks ago who told me that she had cried when Hunter S. Thompson died. And then she took a “fridge-full of acid.” If you go to see this movie, and you should, try to avoid her. Definitely not a friendly.
Fear and LOLing in Las Vegas
Fear and LOLing in Las Vegas.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?:  Angelika.

Kabluey
The Plot: A guy moves in with his brother’s wife and starts working as a mascot.
 
Is it worth eleven dollars?: The trailer is actually pretty funny. You know when you see people dressed up in big, fluffy mascot costumes and you have to resist the temptation to run and tackle them? Here you get to see it happen.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Cinema Village.

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The Love Guru
The Plot: Mike Myers juggles midgets, goofy accents and dick jokes while simultaneously beating a stampede of dead horses.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. The trailer for this, which I’m sure contains most of the funny jokes from the film, is painfully unfunny (with the exception of Justin Timberlake doing a Québécois accent). When your coworkers start spitting out catchphrases from this movie, it will be better to have not seen it and not know what they’re referencing. Trust me.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Pavilion and United Artists on Court Street.

Get Smart
The Plot: Steve Carell steps in for Don Adams as Maxwell Smart.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Probably not, sadly. Although if you want to see a comedy this weekend, my guess is that this will be a hell of a lot funnier than The Love Guru. Steve Carell seems like a pretty good choice to play the bumbling super spy, and with cameos from Bill Murray, Patrick Warburton and James Caan, it’s probably pretty entertaining. And the Rock isn’t the Rock anymore, nor is he Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Now he’s just Dwayne Johnson. I think that’s cause for celebration.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Pavilion and United Artists on Court Street.

 

 

 

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
The Plot: A little girl in the depression.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: I don’t really know anything about this. It’s barely getting a release though, so probably not. Unless you’re a ten year old.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Clearview Ziegfeld on 54th Street.

 

 

 

Brick Lane
The Plot: A young woman from Bangladesh moves to England and into an arranged marriage.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: If you’re my mom. I say this because we saw a trailer for it together and she whispered to me that she wanted to see it. So if you’re like my mom, or really want to be more like my mom (and why shouldn’t you?) then you should check this out.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Landmark Sunshine.

 

 

Full Grown Men
The Plot: Two losers try to re-capture their youth by taking a road trip to an amusement park.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. This looks great and is already getting some fantastic reviews. It doesn’t start until next Wednesday, but is definitely worth checking out. Matt McGrath and Judah Friedlander star as the titular pair. The film also stars Alan Cumming, Debbie Harry and Amy Sedaris.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Starts Wednesday the 25th of June at Cinema Village.

Mongol is opening at BAM and Cobble Hill Cinemas, and Tarsem’s The Fall is opening at Brooklyn Heights Cinemas. Grease is the midnight movie at the Landmark Sunshine tomorrow night, and Woody Allen’s Sleeper is playing at midnight tomorrow at the IFC Center.

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The Incredible Hulk

The Plot: The Hulk is back! Did you miss him? No? Me neither. 

Is it worth eleven dollars?: I’m not going to lie, the movie looks action packed and is getting good reviews already. But really, was Ang Lee’s Hulk so bad that it warrants a remake as little as five years later? Of all the recent superhero movies that sucked, why remake the only one that was sort of interesting? It might not have been your typical summer blockbuster, but for fuck’s sake, Eric Bana fought a giant poodle! What more do people need?

This film should take priority in terms of Marvel remakes.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: United Artists on Court Street, Cobble Hill Cinemas, Park Slope Pavilion.

The Happening
The Plot: If it’s anything like the trailers, the film will consist of people being confused and looking gravely at the camera for an hour and a half.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Everyone is talking about M. Night making his first R-Rated film. Who cares? My guess is that it’s going to suck and be more violent than his average films. First of all, I have read the spoilers for the film. While I’m not going to reveal what exactly is “happening,” I can tell you that it’s really stupid. He tried to release special footage of the film, but it just made him look desperate and Mark Wahlberg look like the worst actor in history. My only hope is that Zooey Deschanel emerges unscathed.

 

She’s pretty.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street.

Encounters at the End of the World
The Plot: Werner Herzog’s Antarctic Vacation.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Herzog has been in the news more recently for being one of two psychopathic directors involved in a fight over Bad Lieutenant. I haven’t heard much about this documentary to be honest. But, given some of his past experience, I’m sure it’ll be worth seeing.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Film Forum. 

 

Baghead

The Plot: A group of mumbling hipsters go on vacation and plan a horror movie that starts to come true.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Definitely. The last Duplass Brothers movie was the emotionally taxing Puffy Chair. This looks like a very interesting horror concept from some of the pioneers of mumblecore (this could be called mumblehorror). The reviews confirm, this is definitely worth checking out.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: I can’t seem to find that out. I’ll update when I do.

 

Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg

The Plot: Guy Maddin tries to relive his childhood in Winnipeg by casting people to act it out in his soon to be former apartment.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. This movie looks balls out crazy, but fascinating. I was upset to miss Brand Upon the Brain when it came out last year, but I’m going to be sure catch this in theaters. People are already saying it’s fantastic.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: IFC Center.

Eraserhead is the midnight movie at the IFC Center, and 2001: A Space Odyssey is playing at midnight tomorrow at the Landmark Sunshine.

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Don’t Mess With the Zohan

The Plot: Adam Sandler continues to be Rob Schneider’s primary source of income.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Probably not. But I might see it anyway, because I could use a laugh. Adam Sandler, who has recently given his two cents on homosexuality, 9/11, and God, has now decided to chime in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The movie is getting pretty mixed reviews, but that’s a better reception than his last couple of movies have gotten. I personally can’t wait to see Sandler’s next movies on abortion, the death penalty and his dramatic meditation on stem-cell research in which he plays a mitotic cell with a goofy voice (the cell will violently divide after being picked on all its life and hearing Rob Schneider yell out “you can do it!”). 

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Pavilion, Cobble Hill Cinemas, United Artists on Court Street.

Kung Fu Panda

The Plot: Jack Black plays a panda.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Apparently. While it’s hard for me to take any animation that isn’t Ratatouille particularly seriously, this has been getting pretty fantastic reviews so far. The idea of Jack Black playing a large, awkward panda who sits on people doesn’t sound particularly funny to me, but hey, who am I to judge?

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?The Pavilion, Cobble Hill Cinemas, United Artists on Court Street.

Miss Conception

The Plot: Someone came up with a clever pun for a title and decided to make a movie around it.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Good lord no. This film looks incredibly stupid. Heather Graham stars as a woman who wants to have a child really badly, and for some reason does all of this with a British accent. While it’s exciting that Heather Graham is playing a regular person instead of a pornstar or prostitute, this still doesn’t look like the best career choice for her.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Can’t seem to find where it’s playing.

The Go-Getter

The Plot: A kid steals a car and escapes his small Oregon town, developing a relationship with the owner of the car and many people on the road.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. Reviews for this are great so far, and the film boasts a great cast including Lou Taylor Pucci, Zooey Deschanel, Maura Tierney, Judy Greer and Jena Malone. 

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Quad Cinema.

Mongol

The Plot: The early life of Genghis Khan.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. This looks like a great epic. And the only other film I can think of that tackles the life of Genghis Khan is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Landmark Sunshine.

“This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China, and who, we were told, 2 hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman’s Sporting Goods.” 

The Promotion

The Plot: Two men attempt to get a promotion at a small grocery store.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. Although this may be worth checking out on video. Seann William Scott, who recently came out and shit on all of his most recent films, co-stars with John C. Reilly, who has apparently given up dramatic acting. Check out the trailer.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Angelika.

When Did You Last See Your Father?

The Plot: A man visits his dying father against whom he has held a grudge for years. 

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. This looks like Big Fish sans the whimsy. The film stars Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth. 

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Angelika.

Other than these, Klute is playing as the midnight movie at the Landmark Sunshine and Zardoz, one of the most bizarre films I’ve ever seen (featuring Sean Connery in the below outfit) is playing at midnight tonight at the IFC Center.

Looking sexy. 

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After a brief hiatus for a Florida vacation, here’s what’s coming out in Brooklyn and Manhattan this weekend.

Sex and the City

The Plot: Four women have a lot of sex in an urban area.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: If you’re me, no. If you’re you, maybe. You pretty much know if you want to see this movie or not. If the thought of watching these four women for almost two and a half hours (I’m not joking, the movie clocks in at 145 minutes) makes you want to cover yourself in Chanel Number 5, light yourself on fire and then ask someone to put it out by beating you with a Manolo Blahnik, then you should probably avoid the multiplexes this weekend.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Pavilion, BAM, Cobble Hill Cinemas, United Artists on Court Street.

The Strangers

The Plot: Creepy masked people haunt Liv Tyler demanding refunds for Jersey Girl.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. This will be my alternative to Sex and the City. Early buzz is pretty mixed, but some great critics have chimed in saying that it is an above average thriller in the tradition of Straw Dogs and the incredible French horror film Them.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

The Plot: Documentary about steroids and why America is obsessed with strength.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. So far this has gotten fantastic reviews. This is director Chris Bell’s first documentary (or feature length film). Like Morgan Spurlock, Bell apparently uses his own family as a case study for the film, but also manages to interview people like Ben Johnson.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Landmark Sunshine.

The Foot Fist Way

The Plot: A Tae Kwon Do teacher at a strip mall has a nervous breakdown.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Maybe, although this might be more of a rental. It’s barely being released in theaters because I think distributors probably think it will gain more of a following on video. All the same, it looks pretty amusing. Danny McBride got his start in David Gordon Green’s drama All The Real Girls, but since seems to enjoy starring in more comedies. This summer he can be seen in this, Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: CC Village East Cinemas on Second Avenue.

Savage Grace

The Plot: Something about a crazy lady who sleeps with her son. Or something.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yeah, I know next to nothing about this movie, except that it’s causing some controversy because of its depiction of an incestuous relationship between a mother and son. But Julianne Moore is in it. I just looked up the director, Tom Kalin, and his last movie was the awesomely titled Robots of Sodom. So this looks like a good bet.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: IFC Center.

Stuck

The Plot: A woman hits a homeless guy with her car, and has to decide whether to save him or let him die.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. The film was directed by Stuart Gordon, the man who was responsible for the incredible Re-Animator back in the eighties and most recently directed the David Mamet-penned Edmond. His films are always quite sick and dark, but usually laugh out loud funny. The reviews thus far state that this movie is no exception.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Angelika.

The midnight movie at the Landmark Sunshine is To Catch a Thief. The IFC Center lists its Midnight Movie as being Battlestar Galactica (many Brooklyn Skeptic hearts just went all a flutter). I’m assuming they mean the mini-series two hour opener, but it doesn’t say.

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