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Arts and Entertainment

Today's Movies: Ratatouille, Sicko, Vitus + More

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A CG rat, a couple documentaries, John McClane and a Swiss genius...should make for an interesting weekend in the theaters. Be sure to also check LAist's LA Film Festival coverage for some other gems playing around town this weekend.

Ratatouille - As far as I'm concerned, Pixar has yet to put out a bad film. Some of my friends argue that "Cars" was a glorified NASCAR commercial and "The Incredibles" lacked originality (just like "Heroes"), but I thoroughly enjoyed both. Now the animation studio is going out on a little bit more of a limb, trying to base a family friendly comedy on the premise of a rat in a kitchen, something that makes most of us lose our appetite. If anyone other than Brad Bird were at the reins I'd be worried, but I have faith he'll come through with a whole lot of help from Patton Oswalt in the title role.

Apne - Bollywood film about boxing...that's all I got.

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Death at a Funeral - Frank Oz (yes, Yoda/Bert/Grover/Cookie Monster/Miss Piggy/Fozzie Bear/Animal/Sam the Eagle/Swedish Chef and any other muppet character you hold dear) directs this film about a man (the extremely talented Peter Dinklage) exposing a terrible secret about the deceased at a funeral. THAT is dark comedy.

Evening - A Bevy of today's most powerful actresses in one film. Streep, Close, Redgrave, Collette...all helping tell a story about a woman looking back over her life.

Ghosts of Cité Soleil - Lately, documentaries have been the strongest arm of journalism. In a time of 24 hour blather networks like CNN, MSNBC and FOX, someone who spends more than 25 seconds of copy on a story has my respect. "Ghosts of Cité Soleil" follows the lives of two gang leaders is the worst slum of Haiti. Apparently the footage is phenomenal (good thing too, the directors flat out risked their lives for it).

In Between Days - Indie/Foreign film about a Korean immigrant falling in love with her friend and adjusting to life in America.

Live Free or Die Hard - Ah, John McClaine...Could you really kick Jack Bauer's ass? I know you originated the whole "Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'" style of action star back when Bauer was just a misunderstood bully in "Stand By Me", but to be honest you're getting a little, well, old. That being said, if you can still surf an friggin' jet you're fine by me (oh, and can you get me an iphone from that Mac guy you're in the movie with?).

Over the GW - A group of teens trapped in a cult like rehab center more concerned with brainwashing than detox.

Sicko - Michael Moore returns to the screen with a documentary about our bass-ackwards health care system. A few friends of mine have seen advance screenings and say that even if you hate Moore's style, its hard to argue with the points he makes here. It's on the top of my list for weekend films.

Vitus - Swiss film about parents heaping pressure on their musically gifted son when all he wants is to be a kid. His talent on a piano is both a blessing and a curse. A real life boy genius plays the boy genius.