Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
Appealing cast vs. silly premise in 'No Strings Attached'
Like many romantic comedies, No Strings Attached begins with an absurd premise. It's about a couple who have fun together, the sex is fabulous, and they're simpatico in every way, but they can't be together because of one of those ridiculous, self-imposed conditions you find only in the movies that they spend the entire movie trying (and ultimately failing) to stick to.
And while the audience is still trying to suspend its disbelief, the first half hour of the movie goes by in a series of drunken encounters, idiotic guy talk, and a barrage of penis jokes. Not jokes involving actual penises, but jokes involving the word "penis," which is evidently supposed to be hilarious in its own right because, once upon a time in the Stone Age, it was one of those words you weren't allowed to say in the movies. (It's like the first time Mel Brooks discovered he could get away with saying "shit" onscreen, and then he couldn't shut up about it; every new film was peppered with gags where that was the entire punchline.)
Weir limns gripping trek from Siberia to India in 'The Way Back'
Imagine a 4,000-mile trek on foot from the frozen wastes of Siberia to Mongolia, across the Gobi Desert to Tibet, and over the Himalayas into India. It's an incredible journey supposedly made by a handful of indomitable escapees from a Soviet prison camp in 1941, as depicted in The Way Back, another absorbing drama on the collision and collusion of man and nature from the formidable Peter Weir.
Fine acting, raw emotion highlight post-love drama 'Blue Valentine'
lthough it bills itself as "a love story," the unsettling drama Blue Valentine begins after most conventional love stories have long since concluded, some time after happily ever after has morphed into stuck forever. The antidote (or maybe the evil twin) to a thousand Hollywood fluff comedies like How Do You Know, where all that matters is landing the right guy, or gal, this prickly drama from Derek Cianfrance pokes into the raw wound of disappointed dreams and desires while grappling with the elusive nature of love, and why and how it can just as easily slip away.
Femme autoworkers strike for equality in entertaining 'Made in Dagenham'
Even women who have never worked in a factory will find something to cheer about in Made In Dagenham. Yes, this fiction film tells the true story of working-class women employed at a Ford Motor Company satellite plant in industrial England in 1968 who went out on strike to demand equal pay for equal work. But the issue of sexual inequality is painted in much broader strokes in this entertaining portrait of uppity women daring to do the unthinkable —stand up themselves—in a pre-feminist era when the old boy network still ruled every facet of society.