The Path to Righteous Box Office

Quick! John Malkovich is trying to kill the Pope!Hey, remember when “The DaVinci Code” premiered at Cannes three years ago, and everybody had to make a big deal out of it? There’s no such strategy for “Angels & Demons”, which is just getting a plain old global opening.  But it’s still big enough that everyone else is getting out of its way …

Angels & Demons“: Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman bring us another sprint through art history with Harvard symbologist Robert Landgon. And unlike “The DaVinci Code”, you can actually watch this one without wanting to track them down afterward and punch them in the jeans.

“Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action”: Velcrow Ripper’s look at spiritual activism finds the wandering documentarian dropping in on Alice Walker, Desmond Tutu and Daryl Hannah. Susan found it disappointing; Jason had a more qualified reaction.

Is Anybody There?“: John Crowley, director of “interMission” and “Boy A”, tries his hand at the sort of prefabricated kids-n-oldies melodrama that we’ve all come to loathe on the film-festival circuit, with Michael Caine as an angry, senile magician who teaches a weird kid about life. It’s excruciating, really.

The Queen & I“: Iranian-born documentarian Nahid Persson Sarvestani tracks down the Shah’s widow expecting to confront an ideological opponent, and finds a fellow exile instead. I’m not entirely sure why this wasn’t in Hot Docs, but it certainly should have been.

Right, back to work … long weekends mean tighter deadlines, you know!

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