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Friday, April 2, 2010

Film Clips: This weekend’s movie openings and more

click to enlarge Nicholas Hoult and Sam Worthington star in Clash of the Titans
  • Nicholas Hoult and Sam Worthington star in Clash of the Titans

OPENING FRIDAY

CLASH OF THE TITANS 2 stars (PG-13 ) While humans challenge the Greek pantheon and conniving Hades (Ralph Fiennes) plots to overthrow Zeus (Liam Neeson), reluctant demigod Perseus (Avatar's Sam Worthington) must retrieve the head of Medusa to stop the gigantic Kraken before it eats Princess Andromeda and/or destroys the city. — Holman

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO 3 stars (R ) An anti social, dragoon-tatted hacker (Noomi Rapace) teams with a disgraced journalist (Michael Nyqvist) to reopen a 40 year-old missing persons case that remote islands, wealthy industrialists and former Nazis. This adaptation of the internationally bestselling thriller features the workmanlike plot and slick direction worthy of a TV spy series, but Rapace’s avenging feminist character elevates it above the second rate. Neverthless, Roman Polanski’s recent ‘The Ghost Writer’ has about half the twists and twice the suspense. — Holman

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (NR) Wild Reeds director (André Téchiné) helms this drama about a young Parisian woman (Émilie Dequenne) who claims to be the victim of an anti-Semitic attack and becomes the center of a media firestorm.

TYLER PERRY’S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO? (PG-13 ) What could mess up a vacation to the Bahamas? Four married couples. Perry's sequel to Why Did I Get Married is sure to be a neat little package wrapped in humor, sweetness and sorrow. The bow? A lesson in love and relationships.

VINCERE 4 stars (R ) At a time when words like “socialist” and “Nazi” are used as interchangeable political epithets, director Marco Bellocchio presents a compelling refreshing course on the rise of Mussolini (Filippo Timi) from a rockstar among young revolutionaries to Italy’s fascist director. Beautician Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) gravitates to Mussolini’s charisma, bears him a son and then suffers enormously when the war-mongering agitator abandons her and denies their relationship. Vincere maintains a stirring, operatic tone with larger-than-life performances and wall-to-wall music (particularly when Dasler is institutionalized), but Mezzogiorno keeps the passionate performance from reducing to histrionics. — Holman

DULY NOTED

BACK TO THE FUTURE 4 stars (PG) The Plaza Theatre’s “Art Opening and a Movie” series pairs the art of Chris Hamer while Robert Zemeckis’ superbly structured comedy about a high schooler (Michael J. Fox) who goes back in time to improve the lives of his then-teenage parents. April 6, 9-10, 9:30 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

WHEN YOUR STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS (R ) A film about The Doors. Narrated by Johnny Depp, this documentary releases never before seen footage and new insights regarding the legendary rock band. Free-$5. April 9-18. Showtimes vary. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.

FORCES OF NATURE Earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, oh my! Three incredibly furious natural disasters are at your disposal. The good news: there is a screen separating the two of you. Through May 27. $8-$13. Show times vary. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.

ARABIA For those of you whose only knowledge of Arabia comes from Aladdin or various news outlets, this movie is for you. Unfortunately, there's not a magic carpet ride, but it's a journey from the ancient Arabian world to modern day. Highlights include viewing shipwrecks at the bottom of the see and seeing the Islamic yearly pilgrimage to Mecca. Through July 29. $8-$13. Show times vary. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.

RIDE AROUND THE WORLD Many people think that the cowboy was born in America. Truthfully, the connection between man and horse has been around for over 1,500 years. This movie follows this rich culture from gauchos to vaqueros. Through June 25. $8-$13. Martinis & IMAX exclusively. Fri., 8 p.m., 10 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.

RECENTLY REVIEWED

CHLOE 4 stars (R) A Toronto gynecologist (Julianne Moore) suffering a mid-life crisis tests her husband’s (Liam Neeson) fidelity by hiring a young call girl (Amanda Seyfried) to flirt with him. Despite the borderline-ridiculous subject matter, director Atom Egoyan and his terrific cast create rich characterizations and compelling examples of obsession and self-doubt. The final scene veers too far into melodrama, but overall, Chloe’s insight into the complexities of sexuality gives erotic thrillers a good name. – Holman

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE (R) Three estranged friends, Adam, Lou and Nick, (John Cusack, Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson) try to reconnect through a booze- and energy drink-fueled hot tub rave. They cause a rupture in the space/time continuum, and the three, along with Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), get sent back to 1986. Think Back to the Future meets A Christmas Carol on cocaine. — Debbie Michaud

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 4 stars (PG) A wimpy Viking (voiced by Jay Baruchel) captures a dragon and opts to train rather than kill it, in defiance of the violent traditions embodied by his father (Gerard Butler). Matching lavish designs, thrilling battle scenes and breezy comedy, How To Train Your Dragon does for dragon-fighting what Kung Fu Panda did for martial arts. While DreamWorks animation used to specialize in pop references and bathroom humor, the studio manages to make a movie about Vikings – Vikings! – with scarcely a belch joke. Plus, it looks great in IMAX 3-D. – Holman

PRODIGAL SONS 4 stars (Not Rated) Kimberly Reed’s autobiographical documentary validates clichés of truth being stranger than fiction. The film begins with Reed, a tall, willowy blonde, returning to her Montana home town worried about her reception at her high school reunion – since her class mates will remember her when she was a young man. The fraught transgender tensions turn out to be a subplot to Prodigal Sons, as Reed finds her primary conflict with her adopted brother, who suffers from mood swings and memory problems due to a brain injury, and, flabbergastingly, discovers through the course of the film that he’s related to Hollywood royalty. The film doesn’t dig quite as deeply as such dysfunctional family docs as Capturing the Friedmans, but still proves to be a gripping film about the complexities of identity and kinship. — Holman

(Photo Warner Bros.)

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