Against the sensual backdrop of cholera and bacteriology in the 1920s, Naomi Watts gets into a serious case of “Who Would You Do?” with Edward Norton and Liev Schreiber (whose name, as I write, was just Auto Corrected by churlish Microsoft Word — a pain I know all too well). For interactive fun, pick one for yourself, then go see The Painted Veil to see if you have reason to seek out and fight Naomi Watts. Also in there somewhere is a sweeping, multilayered romance and character study.
Chow Yun Fat + Gong Li in a corset + The Lion in Winter = wuxia epic Curse of the Golden Flower, the most expensive Chinese film ever made, directed by Yimou Zhang (House of Flying Daggers, Hero). Review next issue.
Kids + Justin Timberlake + more young actors than you can shake a 21 Jump Street guest spot at = Nick Cassavetes’s Alpha Dog. Yes, that Cassavetes. Yes, that Timberlake. Again, review next time.
So, I can’t believe I’m finally about to write this, but, in all sincerity: **SPOILER WARNING**. Primeval, though you can’t quite tell from some of the “teaser” trailers out there that talk all that mess about “the world’s most prolific serial killer,” is about a big-ass crocodile. Sorry, guys. Not to ruin the surprise and such, but I just don’t want you guys expecting a high-concept, overwrought, jarringly edited slasher flick when what you’re getting is a high-concept, overwrought, jarringly edited big-ass-animal flick. ’T’wouldn’t be sporting. Primeval’s presumably part of the reason the other big-ass crocodile flick (not kidding — it’s one of three apparent ’07 flicks called Rogue, and stars Radha Mitchell) got pushed back.
Luc Besson takes a breather from producing hyperkinetic actioners to direct the presumably less hyperkinetic Arthur and the Invisibles, starring bushels of CGI elven folk and that little heartstring plucker from Finding Neverland, Freddie Highmore (get him in his Cute Phase while you can — only a little longer ’til he gets antsy and starts playing pushers, corrupt cops, male prostitutes — or all three at once — to build up his street cred).
Stomp the Yard follows a troubled LA street dancer who’s injected into the high-pressure world of fraternity step-show competitions. I’m thinking You Got Served, with more stomping. And more yards.
Well, all right. Fare well, That’s-a-Wrappers (By which I mean: Mom? You there? Get Dad, will ya?). It’s been more fun than I can hope to express. Like the man says: Be excellent to each other.
— Brian Villalobos
Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.