Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
Consumerism runs amok in savvy satire 'The Joneses'
You know "the Joneses" that we're all supposed to be keeping up with? They actually exist in the eponymously named The Joneses, a sly and sharp black comedy from filmmaker Derrick Borte about consumerism and its consequences. Liberated from the prison of metaphor, they stride onto the screen intact, the coolest new family on the block with all the coolest new stuff that all their neighbors instantly covet. In an already affluent neighborhood, they raise the curve for essential possessions and throw down the gauntlet: let the games begin!
Sappy filmmaking bobbles great story in 'Perfect Game'
A wonderful true story lurks inside the family-friendly baseball movie, The Perfect Game. In 1957, a motley group of street kids from a working-class industrial area of Monterrey, Mexico, not only shaped themselves into a baseball team with the heart and chutzpah to earn official Little League franchise status, they also became the first foreign team to advance all the way to the top in the Little League World Series across the border.
Boy saves medieval masterpiece in lovely, animated ‘Secret of Kells'
A boy on a heroic quest is not an unusual subject for an animated family film. But there's an extra layer of intrigue when the quest involves creating and preserving one of the most beautiful pieces of artwork in human history. When Irish animator Tomm Moore set out to make his first feature, he decided to delve into his own Celtic heritage for inspiration; the result is the lovely and poetic The Secret Of Kells, which imagines the story of a boy in a medieval monastery who helps to save the gorgeous 9th Century illuminated manuscript known to history as "The Book of Kells."
Lust, longing, betrayal, revenge, madness. These are the elements of grand opera, used to swoony effect by veteran Italian filmmaker Marco Bellochio in his arresting Vincere (Victory). His subject is the woman and child Benito Mussolini left behind while reinventing himself as Il Duce. Political content is acute throughout; the director draws parallels between Mussolini's opportunistic path from young Socialist troublemaker to Fascist dictator and the ruthlessness with which he abandons the woman who loves him. But the film plays out as a rapturous fever dream of love and loss told entirely from the viewpoint of Ida Dasler (played with simmering grace and erotic intensity by Giovanna Mezzogiorno).
Kick-ass heroine powers taut thriller, 'Girl With Dragon Tattoo'
She gets mad. She gets even. And she manages to maintain a fragile balance of power in a world dominated by absolute male authority where the odds are skewed dramatically against her. She's Lisbeth Salander, a brave new breed of movie heroine unleashed in the bracing Swedish crime thriller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. As portrayed onscreen by the riveting Noomi Rapace, Lisbeth is one tough cookie, with a secret, well-guarded vein of vulnerability and a take-no-prisoners moral ethic. She plays for keeps.
Its detractors call it "The scandal of the art world in modern America." The private art collection of Albert C. Barnes, "the single most important cultural artifact in America of the first half of the 20th Century," and how it was hijacked by an unholy alliance of museums, politicians, and custodians determined to exploit its marvels for profit, is the story told in The Art Of The Steal, a compelling, infuriating documentary from filmmaker Don Argott that sets up a classic case of corporate greed vs. legal and artistic integrity. The working-class son of a Philadelphia butcher, Barnes made a fortune with an antiseptic compound around the turn of the last century.