As we all breathlessly count the days — nay, milliseconds — until the June 1 release of Piranha 3DD, there's still plenty to gnaw on this Memorial Day weekend. Chernobyl Diaries screens tonight (i.e., the night before it opens) which is usually not a great sign, but it's likely critic-proof anyway (even for me, someone who's not entirely opposed to the idea of a new genre: nuclear-meltdown-sploitation! Sit down, 1979's China Syndrome. This one's got screaming teens and spooky spooks!) Er, anyway ... check back tomorrow for my review of that one.
Meanwhile, apply your brain and/or sense of social justice while watching Michael Glawogger's final entry in his "globalization trilogy," Whores' Glory (Dennis Harvey's review here), or adjust your popcorn levels accordingly for these other recommends:
FILM When trial locations are moved, it is generally because the crime is so notorious, or the local populace so riled, that it is not expected the plaintiff can avoid a hostile jury. It is seldom, if ever, moved for the precise opposite reasons: say, because a defendant is wildly popular and the person he's accused of murdering was considered "possibly the meanest woman in East Texas."Read more »
While all the cool kids are at Cannes, us losers are stuck stateside to contemplate the two big Hollywood movies opening this week: Battleship, which stars Liam Neeson, the guy still smarting from his titular role in the reigning biggest flop of all time, and aliens (and has no chance of being the best movie based on a board game); and The Dictator (review below). Your choice is clear.
You could also feed your Jack Black obsession (already running red-hot with the new Tenacious D album, natch) with Richard Linklater's new comedy, Bernie(review here).You could expand your cinematic horizons at the San Francisco Cinematheque's third annual "Crossroads" festival. Or, while weeping over blogs detailing Cannes flicks you won't get to see until 2013, you could organize your summer movie plan of attack.
And, of course, feed your Sno-Cap habit with The Dictator and other top picks from the rest of this week's opening slate:
FILM San Francisco Cinematheque artistic director Steve Polta balances familiar names with lesser known for the third annual "Crossroads" festival at the Victoria Theater, though Ken Jacobs' Occupy-strength Seeking the Monkey King (2011) promises to unseat the image of a mellowing old master.Read more »
FILM So far, 2012 has been a year of mixed blessings for Hollywood, contrasting mega-hits like The Hunger Games and The Avengers with one of the biggest mega-flops of all time, John Carter. But summer's really when show-biz turns deadly serious. Each week, there's a new wannabe blockbuster — pasteurized, processed, film-like products so huge they have the ability to make or break entire movie studios — hoping for returns big enough to make all involved even richer, and insure sequels and spin-offs for summers to come.Read more »
FILM In 1987, Soviet critics were polled to create a list of the nation's greatest films. Landing on top was a movie still little-known abroad, whose maker has completed just five features in 45 years — one of which he doesn't even consider truly his own work.Read more »
FILM The word that comes to mind when thinking of Elliot Lavine's semiannual film noir programs at the Roxie is inexhaustible. With 30 films packed into 14 days, "I Wake up Dreaming" wisely takes a pass on questions of noir's quintessence in favor of open-ended research into the mutations and paroxysms of mid-century malaise.Read more »
MUSIC He's an actor so versatile he can handle serious drama (2011's Carnage and We Need to Talk About Kevin) and screamingly hilarious comedy (especially, but not necessarily, when paired with Will Ferrell). But John C. Reilly is also an accomplished musician, a talent he's turned into a flourishing side gig that's now on tour. Read on for Reilly's best (so far!) musical moments to date.