* Miles Top Pick
Visit indyeastend.com for up to the minute theater listings and show times.
Sleepwalk With Me (NR) The comedian Mike Birbiglia employs a documentary technique to tell his first person tale of a struggling comedian trying to make it to the big time. He made most of the stuff up but no matter, it's a hilarious tale indeed. Don't miss it.
New To Theaters
The Expendables 2 (R ) It's hard to believe they made another one, but they did. This time around, as in their first effort, Sly Stallone and his Over The Hill Gang of mercenaries ham it up while the bodies stack up. Stallone penned the suitably unbelievable script, and Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarznegger (See our interview in this issue) et al pick up an easy paycheck while perpetrating the myth that they are still tough guys.
New On DVD
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins' wildly successful novel, directed by Gary Ross (Big, Dave) is the top grossing film of the year. Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) gets the coveted role of Katniss Everdeen and she's sensational. Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, and Woody Harrelson co-star. Yes, that's rocker turned actor Lenny Kravitz you see on the screen. It's a muted version of the novel, but nevertheless a must-see. Note: fans of the book were mildly disappointed.
Cosmopolis (R ) The director David Cronenberg (The Fly, The Dead Zone) brings us this complex, troubling Sci Fi flick starring the white-hot Robert Pattinson, who is brilliant as financial wizard whose world suddenly crumbles. Juliette Binoche and Paul Giamatti lead a sterling cast. This is a well-thought out fantasy/thriller and well worth seeing.
Hope Springs (Pg-13) Two old pros, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, are at the top of their games in this dramedy from the director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada). Kay (Streep) convinces her skeptical husband Arnold (Jones) to visit a couples specialist (Steve Carrell) in the hope of invigorating their marriage. It's a fun romp – and touching – and Oscar likely beckons for both stars.
The Bourne Legacy (PG-13) The hugely popular franchise – the films have grossed a billion dollars worldwide – carries on with a new Bourne, Jeremy (The Hurt Locker) Renner. It's even slicker than the others, and features a cast to die for – Rachel Weisz, Albert Finney, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, and the wonderful Joan Allen. Bourne lives on.
Celeste And Jesse Forever (R ) Celeste and Jesse are high school sweethearts who get married. But by age 30 Celeste is an upcoming executive and Jesse an unemployed underachiever. Celeste decides a divorce is the only way to save their long-term friendship. In lesser hands this movie might have flopped, but Rashida Jones (I Love You Man, The Social Network) has penned a sassy, multilayered script and Andy Samberg ("Saturday Night Life") is perfectly cast as Jesse. Jones, the Harvard-educated daughter of music producer Quincy Jones and the actress Peggy Lipton, has herself a hit.
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG-13) Greg Heffley, the hero of the book series, comes to the big screen as played by Zachary Gordon (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets). David Bowers (Star Wars Episode III) directs. If you are 13, this is a must see movie.
Klown (NR) This insane film follows three crazy people – two men and a 12 year-old, through a series of escapades too outlandish to even mention here. There is a slapstick element to the film we couldn't quite get into, but it is undeniably funny and strangely sentimental. It's worth the price of admission and then some.
Killer Joe (NC-17) It's been a while since William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) had a commercial smash and this film probably won't be – it's too brutal, for one reason. It's the story of a 22-year drug dealer (Emile Hirsch) who approaches his father (Thomas Haden Church) for help after his mother steals his stash. The pair decides to hire a hit man to kill the despised mother and collect her insurance. Enter Matthew McConaughey, who (Gasp!) gives a deeply textured yet disturbing performance as Joe Cooper. It's a mystery, suspenseful and even funny at times. Ultimately, though, it's too disturbing for the mainstream moviegoer.
Ted (R) Seth MacFarlane, the creator of "Family Guy," tries his hand on the big screen with this offbeat effort, about a grown man (Mark Wahlberg) whose cherished Teddy Bear suddenly comes to life. Really. There may be films that have been produced on flimsier plot lines, but we can't think of any offhand. Nevertheless, MacFarlane, has a sick sense of humor, and some of his stuff is truly funny.
The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13) Christian Bale returns as Batman/Bruce Wayne four years after the last megahit. As was the case the last time, the film is too long at 165 minutes, and all the action sequences begin to wear. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, and Anne Hathaway co-star. Tom Hardy, though, as the ruthless criminal Bane, gets the plum job as the villain that brings Batman out of retirement.
Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (NR) * Takashi Miike has created a remarkable film earmarked by his stunning camera work and gripping performances. On the surface it is the tale of a samurai who wants an honorable death by ritual suicide, but the plot runs far deeper, and branches out in many unforeseen directions. This film may not be screened on the East End, but New Yorkers should take note to look for it in the city.
The Collaborator (NR) Martin Donovan wrote, directed, and stars in this film, billed as a comedy about a screenwriter on the skids. It's not really funny, but critics seem to like it. On the other hand, audiences haven't. Be forewarned. Co-starring David Morse, Olivia Williams, and Katherine Helmond.
The Imposter * Critics are raving about this documentary about the 1994 disappearance of a 13 year-old in Texas. Director Bart Layton, in his first effort, deftly lays out a series of occurrences even Hollywood's greatest scriptwriters would have trouble coming up with. And it's all true. This film may not make it to the East End, but it is worth a trip to Manhattan if it doesn't.
The Amazing Spider Man (PG-13) Again? Yep. This time with a new director (Marc Webb) and a new cast. But Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as Peter brings some chops to the role. Unlike Tobey Maquire, a somewhat nerdy Spiderman whose overly innocent look seldom left his face, Garfield has a chip on his shoulder -- he's something of a rebel, and Emma Stone (The Help) is perfect as Gwen. It's slick summer fare to be sure, but it's edgy enough to distinguish itself from the original. Martin Sheen, Dennis Leary and Sally Field anchor an excellent supporting cast.
The Pact (NR) Nicholas McCarthy's first film has a tired premise: Two sisters (played by Agnes Bruckner and Caity Lotz) return home after their mother dies and stay overnight in the house. When the lights go out . . . yes, you guessed it – creepy things happen. Yes, folks, ghosts. The twist is the sisters unveil some dark secrets about mumsy. It is what it is – summer product for the young crowd.
People Like Us (PG-13) Alex Kurtzman, who worked with Chris Pine in Star Trek, casts his young star in a family dramedy this time around, and Pine once again delivers a fine performance. Cast as Sam, a high-powered salesman whose life crashes when a big deal collapses on the same day his father dies, Pine discovers he has a sister he's never met (Elizabeth Banks). It doesn't sound like much of a plot, but an absorbing screenplay and good actors make it surprisingly effective. Michelle Pfeiffer and the ever-present Mark Duplass co-star.