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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Movie Guide: Depends on your POV

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

Hollywood's latest exercise in Rashômon-style storytelling is Vantage Point. As most of you no doubt realize because you've seen the trailer a quarter of a million times, Vantage Point deals with the attempted assassination of the President from a multitude of perspectives. As the movie's tagline says, "8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth." Critics have been flaming it with Variety's Justin Chang providing some choice barbs.

I actually had low expectations for Be Kind Rewind when I saw it at Sundance. The only reason I went is because I got shut out of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. This is one instance, though, where I'm glad I was wrong. Be Kind Rewind may not be a great movie, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. There's an extended "sweded" montage in the middle that will leave you cackling hysterically. Check out yesterday's LAist review here.

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Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The Signal is one of those movies that simply shouldn't work. It's made by young filmmakers (three co-directors working independently actually) and it's both low-budget and high-concept. Nevertheless, it provides some real scares and should be a welcome tonic to any horror fan tired of American knock-offs of better Asian films. It was a hit at Sundance 2007 and finally hits screens today. See it.

My review of Charlie Bartlett will go up later today. If you're set on seeing this movie, I'd recommend skipping my review since it is a bit mean-spirited and spoiler-ish. Understand, I went in with high expectations, but they were almost entirely unmet by the movie. Anton Yelchin is a fine actor (especially in Alpha Dog) and Robert Downey Jr. is a freaking demigod, but even they can't save this unfocused, over-plotted mess.

Witless Protection? Pass. Next! Actually, wait a minute. Here's my central, enduring beef with this type of movie: it's not R-rated! If you're going to have a big, dumb, broad comedy you have to give the filmmakers the leeway to get a little raunchy. Private School, for instance, is a terrible movie, but I still watch it for the boobs, the bad language and the sheer, stupid bravado of the players. Witless Protection is a limp, neutered pup.

Bab' Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul will be competing directly with the Witless Protection crowd this weekend. It tells the story of a blind dervish who wanders the desert with this plucky granddaughter in search of a reunion of dervishes that occurs only once every thirty years. As they journey, the dervish expounds on the tale of a prince who relinquished his kingdom to explore his own soul. Just like Larry the Cable Guy.

The Counterfeiters is one of those foreign films that will almost certainly be re-made by an American studio. It tells the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up in 1936 and run by--get this--the Nazis. In The Counterfeiters two operatives face the perilous choice between helping the Nazis and living in luxury or working against them and risking their lives. Yeah, I'll be seeing this.

Tickets & Showtimes

Vantage Point
Be Kind Rewind
The Signal
Charlie Bartlett
Witless Protection
Bab' Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul
The Counterfeiters

Reviews

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Vantage Point
Be Kind Rewind
The Signal
Charlie Bartlett
Witless Protection
Bab' Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul
The Counterfeiters

Previews

Vantage Point

Be Kind Rewind

The Signal

Charlie Bartlett

Witless Protection

Bab' Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul

The Counterfeiters