Two PG Romances in One Week

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm

We don’t get many PG movies designed for general audiences but this week we have two, both sweet romances, “Letters to Juliet” and “Just Wright.” The first is the story of girl about to be married who helps a woman find the love she lost half a century before. The second is about a physical therapist brought in to help an NBA star get back into the game. While the films are not intended for or suitable for children and today’s PG is more like the PG-13 of ten years ago, it is still very nice to see Hollywood recognize that it is possible to tell a love story without a lot of nudity, bad language, or violence.
Also this week: “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, the latest in dozens of depictions of the gallant rebel who took on the corrupt on behalf of the downtrodden.

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Commentary Opening This Week Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Opening this Week: ‘The Back-Up Plan’ and ‘The Losers’

Posted on April 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

It’s Mars and Venus time this week with a romantic comedy that brings Jennifer Lopez back to the screen for the first time since “Bordertown” and “El Cantante” in 2006 with “The Back-Up Plan” and the first big guns and explosions movie of the year, “The Losers,” based on a revitalized comic book franchise starting in 2003. In honor of Earth Day, “Oceans” is being released on Thursday as well. It looks spectacular!

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Opening This Week

Opening this Week: Hot Tub Time Machine and How to Train Your Dragon

Posted on March 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm

The silly gross-out comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine,” starring John Cusack, Craig Robinson, and Rob Corddry opens this week, with three forty-something buddies getting sent back to 1986. It co-stars two performers who were making some of the most popular movies of the 1980’s. The animated 3D film How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best films I have seen this year. It features three actors who were in far poorer films earlier this month — Jay Baruchel of She’s Out of My League, Gerard Butler of The Bounty Hunter, and America Ferrara of Our Family Wedding and so it was especially nice to see all three of them in a movie I really loved. I’ll be posting an interview with the writer/directors later this week — stay tuned because they are as much fun as their movie is.

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Opening This Week

Opening This Week: Comedy, Romance, and War

Posted on March 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Four big movies are opening this week. There’s a comic clash of cultures “Our Family Wedding” when “Ugly Betty’s” America Ferrara and “House of Payne’s” Lance Gross fall in love. “Twilight’s” Robert Pattinson and “Lost’s” Emilie de Ravin play characters who are both dealing with tragic loss who try to find solace in each other in “Remember Me.” “She’s Out of My League” is an outrageously raunchy comedy with Jay Baruchel (“Tropic Thunder”) as an airport security guy who falls for a dazzling girl (Alice Eve) and finds his biggest obstacle is his own insecurity (closely followed by learning to ignore the terrible advice of his friends). And in “The Green Zone,” Matt Damon reunites with Paul Greengrass, the director of the last two Bourne movies, for the fact-based story of an American officer who finds he cannot trust his intel about weapons of mass destruction and has to find out for himself.

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Opening This Week

Opening this Week: Avatar, Young Victoria, and Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Posted on December 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

This week, I’ll be reviewing “Young Victoria,” with Emily Blunt as the teenager whose reign as queen of England defined an era. It is produced by Sarah Ferguson, former daughter-in-law of Queen Victoria’s great-great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. And there’s also the romantic comedy about an estranged couple who are stuck with each other in the witness protection program, “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. But the big news this week is “Avatar,” now officially the most expensive film of all time, from James Cameron, whose last record-breaking budget led to record-smashing box office returns: “Titanic.” “Avatar” is a 3D animated story about a world of 10-ft blue creatures with tails and the humans who interact with them via computer-generated substitutes. That review will be up late Friday; the others on Thursday night.

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Opening This Week
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