Everything Under the Sun

TendernessNow, this is the sort of movie week we’ve been hoping for for a very long time … no, not everything’s top-flight, but we’re getting a terrific studio picture, a flawed but promising debut and a genuine masterpiece, and that’s more than good enough.

“Cell 213”: The presence of Eric Balfour — who’s just about the least compelling actor working today — kept me well away from this Canadian prison-horror thriller. Andrew‘s review suggests my instincts were dead on.

“Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer”: Apparently this is based on one of them beloved children’s books, now with added barfing, shrieking and farting. Rad says it’s no “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, so … yeesh.

“Loose Cannons”: Ferzan Ozpetek delivers an Italian bedroom farce with a twist: The main character keeps trying to come out to his family, and can’t. Glenn calls it derivative but fun, so if that’s what you’re after …

Submarine“: Richard Ayoade’s quirky coming-of-age drama hits the right notes and features three excellent supporting performances from Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor and the terrific Paddy Considine. I seem to be the only person who think it stumbles in the second half, though.

Super 8“: J.J. Abrams salutes Steven Spielberg — and finds the chronological and thematic mid-point between “Close Encounters” and “E.T.” — with this crackling kid’s adventure. But it’s the human element that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Tree of Life“: In which Terrence Malick contemplates life, the universe and everything through what feels an awful lot like an autobiographical lens. It’s one of the most remarkable experiences I’ve had in a movie theatre in years; let’s just leave it at that.

So, which will you see first? Also, Thom Andersen is presenting his short films tonight at the Lightbox, followed by a Q&A with Jesse Wente; we discuss that here. And don’t forget, “Jaws” plays the Underground Sunday at 9:30 pm. Wouldn’t want to miss that, would we?