Friday, May 21, 2010

Today's New in Theaters- 5/21/10

Shrek Forever After: I tweeted this review link yesterday, and my nephew asked the not-unreasonable question "Why do these continue to exist?" My reply: "$$$$$$$$$$$$." It certainly isn't to make people laugh (which they barely bother to do) or to conjure up some kind of emotion (which they try and fail at, badly). It's a nice-looking movie, but that's about all you can say about it (well, Morgenstern comes up with a few more things).

Macgruber: Confession: I don't really watch SNL all that much anymore. I mean, when I hear that something funny happened, I track it down on Hulu, but whenever I try to sit down and watch the damn thing from end-to-end, shesus is it mostly terrible. So my first encounter with "Macgruber" was a couple of weeks back, on the mostly-solid Betty White episode, and there didn't seem to be much to it that screamed, "Let's make a movie of this!" But pre-release buzz has actually been very good, and all three of my fellow DVD Talk theatrical critics liked it-- and seriously, that like never happens.

Solitary Man: There's talent to burn on both sides of the camera in the latest from Brian Koppelman and David Levien, but it doesn't quite come together-- the picture feels slight and unfinished, more like a filmed outline than a fleshed-out narrative.

Holy Rollers: Unsurprisingly, the week's best new release is the one you're probably least likely to have heard of. Kevin Asch's true story of a smuggling ring in which Orthodox Jews were hired as couriers to bring ecstasy into America from Amsterdam sounds like a wacky fish-out-of-water comedy, or jokey drug pic, but it takes the material (and the moral implications of it) seriously and thoughtfully. Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, and Ari Graynor do their best screen work to date.

Two in the Wave: Some of the filmmaking choices are a little peculiar, but Emmanuel Laurent's documentary account of the French New Wave and how the key friendship behind it (Truffaut and Godard's) fell apart in its wake is compelling, required viewing for cinephiles.

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