Coming on Strong

Here's to an event that goes precisely as planned! Huzzah for us!If it’s Friday, there must be movies …

Beat the World“: It was only a matter of time before someone tried to launch a Canadian version of the “Step Up” series. But I really didn’t think it would be this bad. Like, really bad. Seriously, it’s terrible.

Bridesmaids“: I’ve heard some critics are dismissing Kristen Wiig’s savvy, subtly feminized comedy as nothing more than a chick-friendly version of “The Hangover”. That doesn’t make sense to me; the obvious point of comparison is the squirmy awkwardness of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, and not just because Judd Apatow’s on board here as a producer. Although his presence does explain the food-poisoning gag.

Meek’s Cutoff“: Kelly Reichardt’s terrific drama considers the American pioneer experience without any of the patriotic myth-making, to reveal a group of exhausted people trapped on a confusing journey with no clear end in sight. Great work from Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood and Will Patton; no sign of Lucy the dog, though.

“Meet Monica Velour”: Evidently performing community service after nearly derailing “The Ghost Writer”, Kim Cattrall plays a former porn star who seeks out a nerdy young fan. Susan liked it okay, anyway.

“Potiche”: Every time I turn around, Francois Ozon is working in another genre. And just as I’ve recovered from “Time to Leave”, here he is with a period comedy (sort of) starring Catherine Deneuve as a trophy wife who becomes her own person when she’s tasked with running her husband’s business. Susan is all for it.

“Priest”: Remember that fun little B-movie a couple year where Paul Bettany played an angel who went rogue to stop the end of the world? Well, Bettany and director Scott Charles Stewart have some more apocalyptic action to share; this time, it’s an adaptation of a graphic novel about a world overrun by vampires and the one cleric who dares to fight back. No press screening, which is rarely a good sign … but then, Sony didn’t screen “Legion”, either, and that was decent enough.

“The Strange Case of Angelica”: The only new film directed by a bona fide centenarian, Manoel de Oliviera’s gauzy ghost story had enough going for it to draw Glenn into its mysteries. Of which there are, well, more than one.