Hi, everybody! I’m posting this from sunny Los Angeles, where I have ended up on a whirlwind trip to interview famous people and attend a proper Hollywood premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theater — the one with the handprints and everything. Sometimes my life just gets ridiculous, you know?
But never mind my life right now. You want to know about the movies opening this week, don’t you? Even the ones that aren’t “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”? Well, let’s get right to it:
“Animal Kingdom”: David Michod’s directorial debut follows a fairly dysfunctional Australian crime family through their paces in this buzzed-up thriller. Rad found it promising enough.
“The Disappearance of Alice Creed“: J Blakeson’s minimalist kidnapping thriller may be more sizzle than steak, plot-wise, but all three actors are great and the visuals are top-notch. Gemma Arterton might finally catch a break with this one.
“Eat Pray Love“: If you were looking for the precise point where entitlement meets pandering, check out Ryan Murphy’s ultra-glossy adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir. When even Richard Jenkins seems embarrassed, you have made a terrible mistake.
“The Expendables“: Having resurrected Rocky and Rambo, Sylvester Stallone now tries to bring back the entire cheesy 1980sÂ action genre. Hey, at least Eric Roberts is getting work again.
“Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”: I’ve been chasing this since Hot Docs, and still haven’t managed to catch a screening. But Glenn‘s praise is good enough for me.
“If I Knew What You Said”: An antisocial rocker girl is sent to a camp for the deaf in this Filipino export. Andrew is unmoved.
“Mesrine: Killer Instinct“: The first half of Jean-Francois Richet’s epic biography of the French master criminal Jacques Mesrine has some amazing moments and a compelling Vincent Cassel performance to power it along — but, obviously, no ending. And no release date for the second half, as of yet. Weird.
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World“: In which Michael Cera demonstrates that there’s some life left yet in that nervous-stammer tic of his, and — more importantly — Edgar Wright steps up and proves he’s the most interesting director working in commercial films today. It’s not perfect, but it rocks harder than anything else you’ll see this summer. And it’s an awful lot of fun.
“Soul Kitchen”: Fatih Akin tries his hand at comedy with this low-key farce set at a German restaurant. Udo Kier’s in it, so it’s on my list of things to see. And Susan didn’t mind it, either.
Right, that’s everything. I’ll be coming home on the red-eye, so I’ll see you all tomorrow. It’ll be like I never left!