Film This Weekend at the Movies
posted by August 15 at 15:51 PMon
I don’t believe we’ve hit the very nadir of summer movie season—I think that’s next week, with The Rocker and Death Race and House Bunny in wide release and even Northwest Film Forum resorting to some movie about climbing mountains—but this week is pretty damn depressing.
So take this opportunity to remain immobile indoors with an electric fan and watch 2008 Stranger Genius Lynn Shelton’s My Effortless Brilliance on IFC’s hoity-toity new pay-per-view service, IFC Festival Direct.
(Highlight of the official trailer: “HIS EGO IS OUT OF CONTROL.”) And no, we did not give Shelton a Genius award because she cast a former Stranger film editor in the lead role. And, uh… I promise we didn’t give it to because her new movie was about HUMP, The Stranger’s porn festival. I hate HUMP. God, this is awkward.
Opening this week:
Andrew Wright reviews Tropic Thunder. It may mock retarded people, but Wright remains heroically tepid: “Tropic Thunder… may ultimately feel a bit toothless—it’s difficult to cut too deeply when your satirical take on studio blockbusters and crazy actors is produced by a major studio with Tom Cruise in a supporting role—but offers a number of genuine laughs between the self-congratulatory waves. It’s just good enough to make you wish it were better.” (Technically opened Wednesday.)
Lindy West watches Star Wars: The Clone Wars so you don’t have to: “‘AAAAHH! EE WONKO KOKA OO CHOBEE!’ says Jabba. ‘BABA LOOGAAH JEDI GLEE GLAAH JABBABABA! CHODA GLAH GLAH BABABABABABABA LOOGAH!’ And the Jedis are all, ‘Sure, Jabba, we’ll get your stinky baby back!’ Then there’s lots of sarcastic swordplay banter (‘I’m impressed.’ ‘Now you die.’ ‘Shall we continue?’ ‘My pleasure’), stuff blows up, we meet Jabba’s Southern gay uncle, Meshach Taylor the Hutt, and everything turns out just fine.”
Canceled press screening or no canceled press screening, Andrew Wright quite likes Mirrors: The movie “distinguishes itself from the glut via an unusually suggestive premise (reflecting goblins wreak havoc on haunted security guard Kiefer Sutherland), a genuinely creepy burned-out department store backdrop, and a number of hard-R, unreservedly gooshy shocks.”
Jen Graves writes up Frozen River: “Frozen River was shot in subzero weather on Lake Champlain in northern New York, and it renders starkly the cracking lives of two women, Ray (the mother, played by the truly great Melissa Leo, whose face you’ll recognize from a hundred nuanced supporting roles), and Lila (Misty Upham).”
I review the new Woody Allen movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona: “I do hope that this is the last time Woody Allen will cast Scarlett Johansson in anything, because in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, she’s approaching pure trollop. As Cristina, an anything-goes sexpot who entertains artistic pretensions, Johansson could be Brigitte Bardot dubbed with a flat American accent. If you entertain the idea that she might be parodying herself, it’s almost an interesting performance.” The Spaniards don’t come off any better.
And I all but gag on Henry Poole Is Here: “Henry Poole Is Here is condescending toward believers, contemptuous toward disbelievers, and has the worst soundtrack in the entire history of cinema.”
Midnight Meat Train is, sadly, departed from theaters, but Lindy West will catch you up to speed.
She also throws herself in front of the Fly Me to the Moon bus. Thanks, Lindy.
Never fear, though, there are multiple jackpots in this week’s Limited Runs. Where to begin?
SIFF Cinema has all of Jean-Luc Godard’s ’60s hits (save Vivre Sa Vie, which plays next week): Two or Three Things I Know About Her tonight, Weekend tomorrow, A Woman Is a Woman Sunday, Band of Outsiders (my personal favorite) Monday, Masculine, Feminine Tuesday, Pierrot le Fou Wednesday, and Breathless Thursday. If you missed it at SIFF, go immediately to see Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven at the Varsity (Tuesday evening shows are bargain priced!). At Northwest Film Forum, don’t miss Being There, the climax and finale of the Hal Ashby series, or the in-person appearance of Bay Area filmmaker Craig Baldwin (Tribulation 99) and screening of his newest found-footage collage, Mock Upon Mu, which is about Scientology, in part. NWFF also has Orson Welles’s Isak Dinesen adaptation The Immortal Story and an extra-special edition of its quarterly filmmakers’ challenge: Every movie in the Tubs Film Challenge program was filmed at the abandoned Tubs. Grand Illusion has the comics adaptation Happily Ever After. Looking for something to do tonight? At 7 pm at Vermillion Gallery, they’re projecting two Japanese monster movies, Monster from a Prehistoric Planet and Godzilla vs. Megalon, in 16 mm—good job with the old-school, guys. If you get sick of monsters, head over to Cal Anderson Park for Three Dollar Bill’s screening of The Gang’s All Here. Totally incompatible with either of those excellent choices is Jean Renoir’s excellent The Golden Coach at SAM, also tonight. And looking ahead to next Wednesday, I heart Powell and Pressburger’s Black Narcissus.
As if that weren’t enough to keep you occupied: Here’s our complete movie times search. Enjoy!