Friday, July 30, 2010

Today's New in Theaters- 7/30/10

Dinner for Schmucks: Jay Roach's remake of the Verber comedy "The Dinner Game" is packed full of likable, funny people: Rudd, Carrell, Galifianakis. Ebert thinks it works, primarily because of the specific way that Carrell plays this schmuck, though some other critics think it's a little long and tonally scattered. Either way, with this personnel attached, it's at least worth a look.

Get Low: One of the highlights of this year's Tribeca Film Festival was Aaron Schneider's low-key small-town period dramedy, which boasts yet another marvelous Robert Duvall performance, ably backed by Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black, and the great Bill Murray.

Charlie St. Cloud:  Once upon a time, a young director named Burr Steers made a terrific little movie called Igby Goes Down, and I said, "this guy is one to keep an eye on." I may have made a bad call there. His last film was the dopey, formulaic Zac Efron vehicle 17 Again; he's now inexplicably reteamed with the teen heartthrob for this tween-bait weepie. Orndorf notes that the picture "means well"; I'll take his word for it.

Cats and Dogs 2: Wait a second, what?

The Extra Man: I keep waiting for American Splendor writer/directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini to make another great film; I guess I'm gonna have to keep waiting. You can see what they're going for here, a tone of studied and delicate whimsy, but they just can't nail it; the script is all over the damned place, and Paul Dano (as we've seen again and again and again) is no leading man. There's one reason to see it, though: Kevin Kline, whose grand, theatrical performance is smashing.

Smash His Camera: Director Leon Gast's portrait of Ron Galella, the self-proclaimed "paparazzo superstar," is compulsively watchable; he's an entertaining character, the archival footage and photos are marvelous, and several good stories are well told by Galella and several articulate interview subjects. A few more critical voices might not have hurt, but it's still a well-done, stimulating doc.

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