Thighs Wide Shut Thighs Wide Shut

Friday, April 3

The Bryce Is Right

Fun & Games Games Games Games Games!
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

Hot on the heels of Superbad director Greg Mottola strikes back with Adventureland, a more personal film that's funnier, heartfeltier, and an all around more realistic tale of growing up pains than that overrated McLovin fest could and ever will be. And whatever you do, peas toss aside all preconceived notions that you may have created from that misleading trailer goings around. It makes it look like the dopiest dope fest this side of a NORML rally. In a sweaty 80s summer past, Mottola worked at Long Island's Adventureland (Pittsburgh's 111 year old Kennywood stands in its place for the film) and had the time of his life. He channels them times and his life into Pepsi girl's brother Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid & The Whaler is brilliant as usual), who reluctantly takes a job at a theme park before heading off to graduate school in the fall. What he experiences over the next few months will be a greater life lesson than any higher education institute could provide. There's a not so simple romance (with Kristen Stewart, who's growing on us with every movie), a not so simple mentorship (Ryan Reynolds, being more low-key than usual), the occasional fist to the testicles (thanks to Matt Bush, currently seen on numerous AT&T commercials) and BFF forming (Freaks & Geeks' Martin Starr, who deserves more work than all those other Apatowner kids making the rounds), all under the not so watchful eyes of two wacky bosses (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig). We haven't had this much fun at an amusement park since Navin R Johnson wanted to guess our weight so we could win some crap. So whatter you waiting for, cause this film has no height requirement for pure enjoyment. Plus we know yer dying to see what Ron Howard's other (not as attractive as Bryce Dallas) daughter Paige is all about in her film debut (Mottola was an extra in Ron's Gung Ho)!

Adventureland Ho!: Margarita Levieva plays Adventureland's resident heartdongthrob Lisa P. guess the P stands for Purrrrrrrrfect

Verdictgo: Jeepers Mos Def Worth A Peepers

Almos PITCH Perfect
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

The team that gave us the jarring Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden) fully take on the tale of a Dominican with American béisbol big league dreams in their bittersweet (sorry, had to use the pun) Sugar. Sugar is the nickname of our hero pitcher Miguel Santos (Algenis Perez Soto, making a stunning debut), a boy from an impoverished town who wants to make his friends proud and boku bucks to send home to his family. After rigorous training in technique and key English words (like 'line drive') at a Caribbean baseball academy (with consultation on and off screen from former Big Redder José Rijo), Sugar gets selected to play for a minor league ball squad in bumf&ck Iowa. There he lives with a devout old couple who love themselves their church and the ballplayers they house. Strict house rules are posted, language barriers can't be broken, and mild hilarity ensues. At first Sugar's totally rocking it with his killah arm, and with his heart, as he takes a liking to the old couple's winsome granddaughter (see 'aField' below), but things in life don't always turn out the way we want them to. How the story progresses from here turns out to be a lot less predictable than one might think and the harsh realities it presents is one of the main reasons why this is quite a special film, for fans of America's pastime (that's well past its time) or nonfans alike. Batter up!

Further aField: Ellary Porterfield could easily pass as another daughter of Ron Howard's, more akin to Bryce Dallas, and not like Paige (fythghs- there are also a set of Howard twin girls running around out there somewhere)

Verdictgo: Jeepers Mos Def Worth A Peepers

Paris 36 (Faubourg 36)
Stage Right, More Than Stage Wrong
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

It's 1936, and on the outskirts of Paris (we smell a title somewhere in here) the working class folks pass the hard times with the smiles generated at their local theater called the Chansonia. Then one day it closes and the folks' hard times get hardier and timerier. Longtime stangehand Pigol (Gérard Jugnot) is now jobless, and hopeless that he'll ever get the chance to take his beloved accordion playing son to the sea. The kid gets taken away and Pigol jumps back into the only world he knows, the theater. With the help of a Rupert Pupkinesque comedian, a rough and tough ruffian tuffian, and an undiscovered starlet (see '69' below) the four revive the gay old thymes by opening the curtains again. There's some curious political shiz running in the background, and it only helps to sharpen the film's colorful palette. It's like Cabaret, with less sexiness and more mustaches. No one can make schmaltzy sentimental cinema fly high quite like the French cancan. It's in their blood, and we're suckers for it. Paris 36 flies high and the fromage is as light as a feather, and we got suckered into the show that must go on

Paris 69: Nora Arnezeder is a niiiice

Verdictgo: Jeepers Worth A Peepers

Trailers & Mo | Official Website

While Parker Posey is away, loopy-cutie Zooey Deschanel shall and should play... the role of independent cinema ingénue supreme. She's been frequenting mainstream fair for awhile, but she never comes off as mainstream. Maybe that's why she was a perfect choice to be the Yes Man's breath of fresh air woman and such a poor choice to play a breath of stale air wife in The Happening. Then again, The Happening was a poor choice for a movie. Deschanel is right at home in the mini Gigantic, a trifle that doesn't really go anywhere, but it's hard to turn off the charm des chanel. Desch plays the love interest to buttoned-up matress selling soon to be Chinese girl adopting while periodically attacked by a homeless guy Paul Dano, but their love isn't all that interesting. What is interesting is how much Zooey reminds us of Paul's real life paramour Zoe Kazan. So much so that this is the third time we've mentioned the Zoe-y comparison. We're not so secretly dying for the two lovely ladies to pair up in a movie. We're thinking a reimagining of Salinger's Franny & Zooey, called Zoe & Zooey Go To The Zoo In Kalamazoo. It could also star Gigantic's Ed Asner and John Goodman, and feature a three way between the Zs and me. We're hoping that it would cause such an uproar that JD would come out of hiding and sell us one of his jars of urine

Gigantism: looking for sumtang a bit bigger? czech out Pixies covers by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova or Sheldon Williams = Ken Griffey Jr. on Nerve Tonic

Verdictgo: Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badges

Alien Trespass
Take A Pass
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

A 50s alien invasion sci-fi flick send-up is a rather nifty idea (although most didn't seem to think so when applied to Indiana Jones' world), and Alien Trespass certainly gives it the olde college try, so why then does it feel more like an olde elementary school try? It looks and feels right, the dialog is oh so corny (Eric McCormack does particularly well here, in the very first thing we've ever seen him in), and the Kang & Kodos one-eyed trespassers were actually kinda creepy, but there's juss something that aint right. It's not funny enuff to be a good parody nor amusing enuff to make this more than a rental, and to be purffectly honest, who wants to pay money to see Kevin Arnold's dad be angry and yell at people, for the jillionth time in his career? Dunno, maybe peeps who still feel jilted by the lame Ice Cube/Ice-T shoot-em down Trespass, which was co-written by Robert Zemeckis no less!

A Baird's Tale: Jenni Baird is aiiight, but we'll stick to explora-ing Diora

Verdictgo: Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badges

Sugar, Paris, Gigantic, and Trespass all open today in limited release, while Adventureland opens at a theater near Jews