Conflicting Value Systems

Her priorities are not your prioritiesIt’s supposed to be a hot, sticky weekend. If you don’t fancy sweating your way through Pride, you’re not interested in the giant robot movie and you’ve already seen “Summer Hours“, here’s what else is opening.

“Cheri”: They were advertising the crap out of this in the London Underground last month. It’s the reunion of Michelle Pfeiffer with her “Dangerous Liaisons” director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Christopher Hampton. That was two decades ago; the North American ads are going out of the way to emphasize the Frears-Hampton connection without quite dragging Pfeiffer into it. That might make her look old, you see. Susan and Jason respect the effort without quite tipping over into endorsing it.

The Girlfriend Experience“: In which Steven Soderbergh turns porn star Sasha Grey into a respectable actor — or lets us understand she’s been acting all along. Soderbergh’s short, stark and semi-experimental deconstruction of expectations is very good, and you should see it.

“My Sister’s Keeper”: Nick Cassavetes’ new film has something to do with parents who conceive a sibling in the hopes of saving their ailing child. I think. Deirdre says it’s effective, but seems to feel dirty about it.

“Tokyo Sonata”: Kiyoshi Kurosawa started the J-horror movement with his brilliant “Cure”, and spent a decade refining genre filmmaking. Now, he’s put that all aside to tell a simple story of a splintering Japanese family, and it’s a stunner. Andrew and Adam agree.

Whatever Works“: Woody Allen uses Larry David as a mouthpiece to rant about the stupidity of his fellow humans, the pointlessness of existence and the redemptive power of boinking a worldly older guy — whomever you might be. I think I speak for all of us when I say: Ick.

And speaking of ick: Michael Jackson has died. I expect the sordid stories to start leaking out over the weekend, once his former friends and associates fully understand that libel law no longer applies and start jockeying for bookings on “Larry King Live”.