THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Kunal Sharma, Eddie Hassell, Zosia Mamet, Yaya Dacosta, Joaquin Garrido (Directed by Lisa Cholodenko; Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg; Focus Features)
Jules (Julianne Moore) is a lovably flaky landscaper; Nic (Annette Bening), a distinguished doctor, is nice, too, but arguably more of a straight arrow. In many ways, they are a perfect pair. You could even say this affluent L.A. lesbian couple truly has it all, thanks, in large part, to Paul, a generous bachelor whose anonymous sperm donations, over the years, have made it possible for them to be the proud parents of a daughter and son, one of whom is about to become a college freshman.
So what could possibly go wrong? Simple. The kids have somehow managed to track down their biological pop and have decided to bring him home to finally meet his co-procreators. What follows is a wacky wave of shock, embarrassment, anger, frustration and fraternization, capped off with a totally unexpected burst of romance. Who could ask for anything more sitcomic? --Guy Flatley Now Playing Click here for A. O. Scott's review in The New York Times.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Tom Berenger, Lukas Haas (Written and directed by Christopher Nolan; Warner Bros. Pictures)
Christopher Nolan, the writer-director who intrigued and mystified us in thrillers ranging from “Memento” to “Dark Knight,” gives us plenty to be baffled about in his latest puzzler. The hero, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a man troubled by dreams and by memories of a past dominated by an enigmatic wife (Marion Cotillard) who is evidently no longer among the living. Leo's job in an unethical new world is to break into people's dreams, steal them and turn them over to his boss, who will then use them in his maniacal quest for power.
But that's just for starters. Leo's latest--and most challenging--assignment is to creep into an unsuspecting target's snore-time and plant a whole new dream, one crafted to turn the sleeper into a total loser and to transform his scheming boss into the biggest winner ever.
Sounds tricky, doesn't it? That may be the reason so many critics are saying that to truly grasp the profound meaning of "Inception," viewers must see it at least twice. On the other hand, is that really how you want to spend your down time? Click here for A. O. Scott's review in The New York Times --Guy Flatley Now playing
Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, Daniel Pearce, Hunt Block, Andre Braugher, Olek Krupa (Directed by Phillip Noyce; Written by Kurt Wimmer; Columbia Pictures)
Picture Tom Cruise as a loyally red-white-and-blue CIA officer who is suddenly forced to dash and smash, hide and seek, furtively around the globe on the next-to-impossible mission of clearing himself of charges that he is in fact a dirty-rotten Russian spy. Now picture Angelina Jolie in that same role. That’s right—Tom changed his mind at the last minute about participating in this project, so director Phillip Noyce and screenwriter Kurt Wimmer simply performed a sex change, undoubtedly increasing the action thriller’s potential box-office take. For, as moviegoers have demonstrated on numerous occasions, they love nothing more than watching Angelina truly kick butt. Click here for Todd McCarthy's review of "Salt" on Indiewire.com --Guy Flatley Now Playing
DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS
Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemain Clement, Stephanie Szostak, Lucy Punch, Bruce Greenwood, David Williams (Directed by Jay Roach; Written by David Guion and Michael Handelman; Paramount, DreamWorks and Spyglass Entertainment)
Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, who proved they know how to milk a silly story for whopper laughs in such champs as “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004) and “The 40 Year Old Virgin” (2005) are at it again. In “Dinner for Schmucks,” a reworking of Francis Veber’s French box-office hit “Le Diner de Cons,” Rudd plays the cluelessly insensitive clod who joins his callous boss Lance (Bruce Greenwood) in staging a dinner party/contest, with the prize going to the player who succeeds in bringing the biggest schmuck of the evening as his guest.
And that, of course, is where Carell, cast as the clumsily toupeed, conspicuously buck-toothed Barry—a natural-born goofball if ever there was one—comes in. Obviously, this material could be extraordinarily offensive, but preview audiences (and more than a few critics) have roared their approval. Maybe you should go see for yourself.--Guy Flatley Now Playing
Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black, Gerald McRaney, Bill Cobbs, Scott Cooper, Lorie Beth Edgeman (Directed by Aaron Schneider; Written by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell; Sony Pictures Classics)
Some people love a parade; others love a carnival or maybe a wedding. And then there’s the rare bird who loves a funeral, such as Felix Bush, the elderly, irascible—some said menacing--loner who emerged from his backwoods Tennessee home one day during the Great Depression with the wacky goal of finding somebody to give him a festive, folksy funeral, replete with music, booze, and cash prizes. All this while Felix was still among the living.
Sound a bit far-fetched? Well, according to the makers of “Get Low,” it’s all true, based on events in the life of an eccentric whose proper name was Felix Breazeale and who did manage to celebrate his own fun-filled send-off from our prosaic planet with mischievous, surprisingly raunchy panache.
Critics who voted thumbs up on this sleeper did so largely because of the solid, in-depth performances by veterans Robert Duvall as the cantankerous but vulnerable Felix, Bill Murray as the crafty, highly unorthodox director of the local funeral parlor, and Sissy Spacek as a sweet yet sassy widow who once made the mistake of letting Felix fly off on his own. --Guy Flatley Now Playing