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Just Wright

Just Wright stars Queen Latifah as a physical therapist for a pro b'ball player (Common). He's being pursued by her gold-digger cousin (Paula Patton) and, for the first 2/3 of the film, t'ain't a bad sit. Then it falls all to pieces.

MacGruber

MacGruber stars familiar Saturday Night Live actors (Will Forte in the title role with Kristen Wiig) joined by Ryan Phillippe dropping as many four letter words per minute as possible. That gets boring after a while as our heroes go up against a villainous Val Kilmer. The overall film is amusing enough that it isn't a terrible sit but it won't work for stoners and probably not for one or two renters. Find a big crowd this weekend and let the stupidity wash over you.

John Rabe

John Rabe is based on the true story of a card carrying Nazi (played by Ulrich Tukur), working for Siemens in China, who pretty much single handedly saved close to 200,000 Chinese from what is historically known as "The Rape of Nanking" -- torture and murder at the hands of the Japanese army. Steve Buscemi co-stars. One of two well made, serious flicks for the week. The other is . . .

 

holy rollers

Holy Rollers, in which ultra-orthodox Chasidic Jews from Brooklyn smuggle the Ecstasy pill into the States for an enthusiastic market. The film is fictionalized but the facts behind the fiction are all fact. For those that prefer films for the art house it's a perfectly OK sit. If you happen to be Jewish, there are moments that carry the emotional velocity of a sledgehammer.

Get Him to the Greek

Get Him to the Greek is, as long as you don't mind the fact that Brits consider a certain four letter word to be a noun, pretty noun-ing funny. Sean Combs as the maniacal record company honcho steals the show

a

If you can get through the Aussie accents, Animal Kingdom is a great example of at least half of what could have been a blow your socks off crime drama -- in this case the story of a young man who joins the family biz, crime, after the OD of a protective mother. While we don't recommend paying full ticket price we're taking note of an incredibly creepy performance by one Jackie Weaver as Janine Cody, a mother who sides with her criminal son when her grandson cooperates with the authorities. It's work we've already noted to remember six months from now.

s

Those who prefer the art house to the cineplex should support Spoken Word , whose writing is clever enough to keep us interested, even with a no name cast. The story centers on a successful, San Francisco based poet who leaves his hot girlfriend behind to return to Santa Fe, where his father is dying in end-stage cancer. There, he settles al emotional debts with his dad, and with the friends he left behind. Dry but well written.

Catfish

Catfish is such a waste of two hours we can't begin to tell you... OK, we will. Some New Yorkers travel to Michigan to meet someone they met in a net chat room. Surprise! The person isn't what they expected!. As for the film? zzz.

The Freebie

The Freebie is another such a waste of two hours -- a young, married couple takes a night off to try someone else (sic) -- Six pages of script and 94 minutes of improvisation do not a movie make. Feh.

Last Exorcism

The Romantics stars Katie Holmes. For every femme who suffered through Zombie Mutants Eat New York (sic) and want to inflict similar pain and boredom on their man friends, this if perfect. By the time it was done, we were praying for death. Literally. Cranky was bored to the edge of toxicity..

Last Exorcism

Resident Evil 3D: Afterlife (in 3D) is the fourth film in the series starring hot action babe Milla Jovovich. If you haven't seen the first three episodes -- and we've missed the last 2 -- this one is fairly incomprehensible. Ali Larter adds more estrogen to the cast -- but the guys in our audience did nothing but complain that Ms. Larter kept her clothes on. OTT the story involves a zombified apocalyptic future in which promises made in earlier films have not been kept. The 3D is adequate but the film is for fanboys only. Everyone else rent the DVDs or a wait for the eventual marathon midnight screening.

Last Exorcism

Legendary stars Danny Glover and WWE champion wrestler John Cena. The latter, who abandoned his family years before for a wrestling career, returns after a car accident kills dad. His younger brother wants training but views the request as a last gasp attempt to reunite what is left of the family. Patricia Clarkson plays mom and we'd view the film in a Manhattan theater.. except that the film isn't playing in Manhattan. It's across one river over in New Jersey or another somewhere in Brooklyn. We've heard of limited releases but this is ridiculous!

conviction

Conviction stars Hilary Swank in the true story of an illiterate housewife who spends 18 years getting her GED, college and law degrees in order to (legally) free her wrongly convicted brother from prison. On paper it reads like a great story. In reality it's terrible. Hilary Swank is now a genre of her own making and we were too bored to write it up.

howl

In 1955 a revolutionary poem called Howl rubbed average American noses in a whole different kind of American culture - the homosexual kind. It's graphic language branded it obscene but the recreation of the trial in San Fran is dull as dirt.

Jack Goes Boating

Jack Goes Boating stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his directing debut. A story of two couples -- one forming and one falling apart -- has a script that is far too subtle for a first timer to sink his teeth into (either that or the script just bites). For the art house.

Punching the Clown

Sarah Silverman really likes Punching the Clown about a folkish singer of songs that are off-kilter in the Sarah Silverman vein. Cranky likes it , too. Said singer goes to LA to find fame, fortune and everything that goes with it . . . and that last bit isn't what he expected at all. The film is funny if you're sober (so rent, eventually) and will probably be a blast if you're blasted. Not that you should ... but you stoners know who you are <g>

girl who kicked the hornet's nest

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (Swedish) is the final film in the original trilogy adapting the beyond best selling novels does its best to be friendly to all those who know neither book nor previous film. We just about got the gist of it but spent 2 1/2 hours reading the screen to do so. This is not where you want to start. An American remake will be coming.

Cherry

Cherry stars Kyle Gallner as a college freshman who can't take his eyes off a fellow student ... hot single mom Linda (Laura Allen) whose 14 years old daughter (Britt Robertson) gets in the middle in a very interesting way. The story has some nice twists to it but you'll never see it in a theater ... wait and rent

Monsters

Monsters offers up a post apocalyptic future and the promise of radiation mutated BEM's on one side of a "safety wall" that seals the US off from Mexico. Working hard to build suspense, the film utterly and totally failed to even keep us interested when we saw it.

 

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