Not the Best Week for Cinema

Don't call him a slumdog. It just makes him mad.“Eclipse” may be set to conquer the world over this long weekend, but there are still plenty of movies opening. If you’re considering the counterprogramming, be advised — the selection seems pretty weak.

Fuel“: Biodiesel activist Josh Tickell would very much like you to stop using petroleum products, and he makes his case at length in this insistently bouncy little documentary-cum-informercial, which alternates insightful observations with really irritating cutesiness. That said, I do think he has a point.

“Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueberger”: Screened at Sprockets two years ago, Cathy Randall’s pleasant little Australian comedy about a Jewish misfit (Danielle Catanzariti) who reinvents herself to fit in with the cool kids finally lands a proper theatrical release. Susan really wants to get behind it, but can’t quite make it happen.

“The Last Airbender”: M. Night Shyamalan tries to recover from the back-to-back disasters of “Lady in the Water” and “The Happening” with a great big fantasy adventure epic based on a popular TV series — though you’ll notice his contractual “Written, Produced and Directed by” credit hasn’t gone anywhere. Andrew hated it, and so has pretty much everyone else thus far.

Pax Americana“: Denis Delestrac would like you to be very, very worried about the possibility of killer satellites hunting each other in orbit high above the Earth. He’s gone to very great lengths to make that very theoretical possibility as scary as possible. I call bullshit, but that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

“Solitary Man”: Michael Douglas dresses himself down as an aging hedonist doing a terrible job of facing his own mortality; Jesse Eisenberg is the college kid he Roger Dodgers into his capers. Susan found it passable; Jason, less so. Me, I’ll just watch “Wonder Boys” again.

Tehroun“: Gritty, low-budget movies about petty criminals in big cities all tend to play out the same way, unless there’s by a very talented filmmaker at the helm … and Nader T. Homayoun doesn’t have the chops to claim this totally derivative material as his own. The novelty will carry you for about 40 minutes, but then you’ll start thinking of all the other, better movies that have used this plot more effectively.

… um, I dunno. Have you seen “Mother” yet? It’s at the Bloor all weekend, and it’s terrific. Go see that.