Capsule reviews of recently released movies 

Bobby, Wrestling with Angels

Page 2 of 4

DECK THE HALLS (PG) Matthew Broderick plays a slow-burning, white-bread neighbor to a Christmas-crazed man (Danny Devito) who plans to festoon his home with enough lights to be visible from outer space.

DÉJÀ VU (PG-13) An ATF agent (Denzel Washington) travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered in this film shot in New Orleans. Expect the requisite slickness from director Tony Scott. The trailer looks bizarrely similar to Taye Diggs' new TV series "Daybreak" -- or is that just another symptom of déjà vu?

THE DEPARTED 4 stars (R) In this exciting, almost insanely intricate crime thriller set in Boston, Leonardo Dicaprio plays an undercover cop trying to ingratiate himself with an Irish mobster (Jack Nicholson), who has a mole in the police force passing as a high-level cop (Matt Damon). Nicholson oversells his naughty-Jack shtick and Vera Farmiga fails to engage our interest in the psychiatrist attracted to both undercover cops in this remake of the superb Hong Kong flick Infernal Affairs. But in his best film since Goodfellas, director Martin Scorsese makes an invigorating return to form that doesn't let the grand thematic gestures spoil the guilty pleasures of suspense scenes, rock soundtracks and profane repartee. -- Holman

ENCOUNTER POINT (NR) This documentary explores the experiences of a wounded Palestinian, a grieving Israeli mother and other members of a grassroots movement pushing for peace in the Middle East.

FAST FOOD NATION 4 stars (R) Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater presents a fictionalized adaptation of Eric Schlosser's best-selling expose of the unappetizing dietary and workplace consequences of America's huge fast food corporations. Despite a tendency to preach at the audience, Fast Food Nation generates a surprising level of empathy for the ordinary characters in its interlocking narratives, including a hapless fast food marketing veep (Greg Kinnear), a teenage burger-slinging cashier (Ashley Johnson) and an illegal immigrant (Catalina Sandino Moreno) maltreated at a dehumanizing meat-packing plant. They could all use a break today. -- Holman

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS 3 stars (R) Director Clint Eastwood reveals the history behind one of the 20th century's most famous images: the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. The film suffers from a convoluted flashback structure and spells out its themes about heroism with an unnecessarily heavy hand at the end. The battle scenes, however, reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan, convey the staggering scale of a world war, and the centerpiece story about the "Iwo Jima Marines" and their role in a 1945 bond drive explores some unexpectedly skeptical and complex ideas about selling war to a weary U.S. public. -- Holman

FLUSHED AWAY 3 stars (PG) A posh London pet rat (voiced by Hugh Jackman), travels the bathroom plumbing down to a zany, rodent-ruled metropolis in the English sewer system. Trading plasticene for pixels in its first computer-animated feature, Aardman Animation downplays its deadpan whimsy for the Shrek model of pop gags and bathroom humor. Despite the uncouth material, the film proves surprisingly fleet and funny while never apologizing for its overt "Englishness." Coming off a year of countless goofy-mammal movies, Flushed Away leaves the competition circling the drain. -- Holman

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION 3 stars (PG-13) See review.

THE FOUNTAIN 4 stars (PG-13) See review.

A GOOD YEAR 2 stars (PG-13) A competitive, status-driven London financier (Russell Crowe) learns to slow down and appreciate life's simpler pleasures when he inherits a chalet in Provence from his beloved uncle (Albert Finney). Crowe and his Gladiator director Ridley Scott both attempt a change of pace with this drowsy romantic comedy, but you're all too aware of the broody actor's efforts to lighten up and the filmmaker's restlessness with the flimsy material. Scott nevertheless gives the film a sunny sheen worthy of glossy-magazine travel porn, and three actresses of different ages -- Abbie Cornish, Marion Cotillard and Isabelle Candelier -- bring plenty of ooh-la-la. -- Holman

HAPPY FEET 3 stars (PG) Forever improving on nature, Hollywood offers an animated answer to the crowd-pleasing penguin doc March of the Penguins. A mix of environmental message and "American Idol"-song and dance extravaganza, the energetic adventure centers on a penguin who, unlike his peers, cannot sing, but can hoof like there's no tomorrow. -- Feaster

HARSH TIMES (R) Christian Bale and "Six Feet Under's" Freddy Rodriguez play old friends trying to stay on the straight and narrow but increasingly drawn to the lifestyle of crime and drugs on Los Angeles' mean streets.

IMAX THEATER Deep Sea (NR) Get an up-close-and-personal look at sea turtles, giant octopi and other strange and colorful marine life in this visit to the ocean floor. Greece: Secrets of the Past (NR) This documentary explores the archaeological secrets of ancient Greece and features the Parthenon in its original glory as well as the volcanic eruption that buried the island of Santorini. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6300. www.fernbank.edu.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Film Clips

Restaurant Review: Bread & Butterfly
Restaurant Review: Bread & Butterfly

Search Events

  1. ‘HOTTLANTA’ spotlights Atlanta’s dance culture

    Upstart producer Mr. 2-17’s first feature film chronicles local dancers and crews
  2. How Bomani Jones went from Clark Atlanta to ESPN 1

    Sports writer and on-air personality’s wild ride to media stardom
  3. 'Anomalisa' transcends artificiality of animation

    Puppet-like characters crave connection in quirky, heartbreaking tale from Charlie Kaufman

© 2016 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation