Friday, August 20, 2010

Today's New in Theaters- 8/20/10

The Switch: Roger Ebert wrote of the long-forgotten Blake Edwards movie Skin Deep: "Skin Deep is sort of a filmmaker's triathalon, and if Edwards doesn't set any new records, he enters every event." I kept thinking of that line during Josh Gordon and Will Speck's adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides's short story, which rolls broad slapstick, bodily fluid comedy, wistful romance, and genuine pathos all into one. They don't exactly keep all the plates spinning, but the leads are terrific, and it's refreshing to see a movie that delivers more than it promises, rather than less.

Pirhana 3-D: I really do wanna be a grouch about this one, what with it combining the two things that I hate most about current mainstream cinema (it's a remake, and it's in 3-D!). But y'know what--if there were ever a movie to benefit from a big-budget 3-D remake, it's Joe Dante's John Sayles-penned Jaws rip-off, and the reviews thus far have been awfully affectionate.

Nanny McPhee Returns: Wait, were there people clamoring for a sequel to Nanny McPhee and I just wasn't aware of it? What other highly-demanded follow-ups can we look forward to? The Avengers Return? Remo Williams: The Adventure Continues? Howard the Duck II?

Vampires Suck: Goddamnit, America, listen to me and listen good: If this movie makes money, we have no one to blame but ourselves for all the terrible bullshit at the mutliplex. I'm not kidding! Seltzer and Friedberg must be stopped before they "spoof" again! (Eric D. Snider's takedown is worth a read.)

A Film Unfinished: It's only in a couple of markets, but the must-see film of the week is this stunning documentary, the tale of an abandoned propaganda film from the Nazi-era Warsaw ghetto. It is hard to watch, but a stunning piece of work.

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