Theatrical Releases This Week
Playing for Keeps
Director: Gabriele Muccino
PG-13; 106 mins
Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid star in Playing for Keeps, a romantic comedy about a charming, down-on-his luck former soccer star (Butler) who returns home to put his life back together. Looking for a way to rebuild his relationship with his son, he gets roped into coaching the boy’s soccer team. But his attempts to finally become an “adult” are met with hilarious challenges from the attractive “soccer moms” who pursue him at every turn. (Synopsis by Film District)
Welcome to this year’s “Gigli.” All the star power can’t save this from becoming a struggle between a crappy sports movie or a misogynistic romantic comedy.
Director: Sacha Gervasi
PG-13; 98 mins
Hitchcock is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho. (Synopsis by Fox Searchlight)
In a word; ambitious. It is tough to fill an iconic role, and the actors and script do a passable job. There is not enough weight to the story, but the style and humor of the master is present.
DVD Releases This Week
The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
PG-13; 165 mins.
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane. (Synopsis by Warner Brothers)
A satisfying end to Nolan’s trilogy. While “Rises” isn’t genre-breaking like his first caped crusader films, it is enough to make you want more. Detractors complain that the movie is too long and not strong enough to stand on it’s own, but let’s face it, this exists to put an end to the Nolan era of Batman. It doesn’t need to be great in its own right.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Director: Peter Hedges
PG; 100 mins.
Director/writer Peter Hedges brings enchantment to the screen with The Odd Life of Timothy Green, an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim — and their small town of Stanleyville — learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts. (Synopsis by Disney)
Too sentimental and too odd to be considered successful. There is a lot of potential left untapped while the clichés of family values are paraded around. That’s unfortunate because, as a concept, there was a lot to like about this film.
Beasts of a Southern Wild
Director: Benh Zeitlin
PG-13; 91 mins.
In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions. (Synopsis by Fox Searchlight)
The winner of the Grand Jury prize at Sundance is something to be seen to be believed. An amazing directorial debut that captures life in a way few films can. An instant American film classic – do not miss this one.