A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Thursday, April 27

Weekend Movie Picks: 6.22

What's good, what's fun, what's intriguing, what's a must... now playing in Manhattan theaters.

What I'd like to see:

A Mighty Heart
Angelina Jolie (wait... she's still an actress?) as the wife of a kidnapped reporter in Pakistan. Based on the real-life story of the WSJ's Danny Pearl, directed by Michael Winterbottom, who made the ambitious, at times excellent Road to Guantanamo. I'll definitely see this, but am keeping my expectations low because the hype machine has been buzzing so loudly.

Broken English
The reviews have been middling, but I thought this story of Parker Posey looking for love—and going all the way to Paris to find it—looked cute and romantic.

Michael Moore's new documentary, about America's health-care system, early-released in NYC (because of YouTube downloading?) to one screen only, at the Loews Lincoln Square on 68th and Broadway.

A skeptic checks himself into a hotel room known to be haunted. Serious creepiness ensues. The trailer had spooky moments, and John Cusack is always fun to watch.

Czech Dream
Documenting the somewhat mean-spirited prank in which two young Czechs convince their consumption-mad country that they're opening the greatest store in history, and when everyone shows up, it's an empty field.

Eagle vs. Shark
The trailer makes the quirkiness look a tad too forced, but it could be sweet and romantic enough to win me over.

What I've seen, and liked:

Manufactured Landscapes
A visually amazing documentary about Edward Burtynsky, a photographer who specializes in massive shots of industrial landscapes, here focusing on environmental devastation in China and Bangladesh, wrought by our addiction to consumerism. Bo, Co and I all liked this a lot, and it provoked a great conversation on our way home, but we also all wished there had been more background and context given to imagery.

Nancy Drew
Emma Roberts is adorable as the extremely capable, buttoned-up sleuth, a fish-out-of-water in contemporary LA. Bo really liked this and Co absolutely LOVED it... totally on the edge of her seat the entire time, when she wasn't cracking up.

Ocean's 13
Funny, clever, stylish and exceptionally likable, starring the cutest guys on the planet. My favorite "summer blockbuster" thus far.

La Vie En Rose
Both Tom and I loved this Edith Piaf biopic: the music, the bravura performance by Marion Cotillard, the movie's structure and script.

Crazy Love
Crazy is right. As Burt Pugach and Linda Riss tell their improbable, seriously twisted tale of love and lye, you just have to sit there and shake your head in amazement. Excellent editing keeps the pacing brisk.

Golden Door
A beautifully-shot, richly-detailed drama of Sicilian immigrants coming to America in the early 20th-century, filled with surprising, Michael Gondry-esque touches of whimsy.

Let's Get Lost
Although hopelessly repetitive, as all junkie stories are, this documentary about Chet Baker is both sad and lovely.

Knocked Up
The reviews are right: this is rowdy, sweet, crude, smart, well-acted, hilarious.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Shockingly incoherent but definitely fun to look at. Think of it as a $200 million art film and you'll be all right.

Brooklyn Rules
Joins the long list of movies that I've liked about tough-neighborhood boyhood best friends coming of age... and coming apart? Set in the mid-'80s, in Bay Ridge, featuring an excellent Scott Caan.

The sweetest movie playing today: affecting, romantic and filled with great music.

Shrek the Third
Keep your expectations low, and you should be pleasantly entertained, occasionally amused. Your kids will definitely laugh.

Spiderman 3
Bloated and corny, sure, but Bo, Co and I had a blast.

Clever, cute, funny, with terrific performances all around. Looks great, feels great. My favorite movie I saw this Spring.

Away From Her
An almost great love story—husband and wife, married 44 years, she gets Alzheimer's—undermined by a somewhat dishonest script.

28 Weeks Later
The coolest looking movie of the year. Plus: tremendously tense and frightening. Too bad the script's so stupid.

The Lives of Others
A smart, well-crafted tale of suspense and betrayal, set in dreary 1980s East Berlin.



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