Monday, May 31, 2010


The summer movie season is off to a strange and rocky start. Of the movies I've seen (some I have yet to review), the comedies are killing the action movies 2-1.


* Iron Man 2. Robert Downey Jr. is good, but he's no Scarlett Johansson.

* MacGruber, a surprise comedy hit from the SNL-factory. Somehow the thinnest sketch of all-time has become one of the show's best movie spin-offs.

* Mother and Child, the antidote to that Babies film. Starring Annette Bening and Naomi Watts.

* Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, a not terrible but not terribly good video game adaptation with Jake Gyllenhaal. Should have been called Abs of Time. Am I right, ladies? Can I get a wut-wut?!

* Robin Hood, the 2010 reboot of the folk hero from Ridley Scott and his glowering muse, Russell Crowe. It is to Robin Hood what "Garfield Minus Garfield" is to the Jim Davis comic strip, except "Garfield without Garfield" is actually entertaining for a couple of minutes.

* The Secret in Their Eyes, this year's Best Foreign Language Oscar winner is a twisty, involving thriller.


* 35 Shots of Rum, a marvelous Ozu-like drama from Claire Denis.

* The Cry of the Owl, featuring Julia Stiles in a chilled adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel.

* The Dukes, a genial comedy about an aging doo wop group trying to get through hard times. Part heist picture, part social commentary, it's flawed but feels good. Written, directed by, and starring character actor Robert Davi, playing alongside Chazz Palminteri.

* Five Minutes of Heaven, a revenge story that goes surprisingly intellectual on us, but not in a good way. Good performances from Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt, though.

* El Mago: Cantinflas is a legend in Mexico, but this 1949 film might make you wonder why; also, Los Tres Mosqueteros, the Cantinflas adaptation of The Three Musketeers could have been funny at about 2/3 the length.

* Mine, an alternately enraging and uplifting documentary about the plight of the pets left behind in Hurricane Katrina.

* The Sun, Russian director Alexander Sokurov's unconventional biopic of Hirohito

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