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Weekend Movie Guide: Ferrell + Sports = Comedy?
A shy Will Ferrell covers his shame | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema
I'll go on the record and say that I think Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is the funniest movie in the last ten years. Will Ferrell's subsequent pictures--most of them amusing to varying degrees--have never lived up that early, brilliant standard. Semi-Pro is his latest picture and if its previews are any barometer of its quality, it looks like Ferrell has fallen short yet again. Don't get me wrong--I'm sure I'll laugh plenty, but I doubt that Jackie Moon will linger with me for very long after I've left the theater. Whither the apocryphal Anchorman 2?!
The Other Boleyn Girl may be a victim of bad timing since it explores much of the same territory as the recent Showtime series The Tudors. Eric Bana may be a step up from Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but neither Natalie Portman nor Scarlett Johansson can match the simmer of Natalie Dormer. Let's face it--Portman and Johansson struggle when they're asked to play against type (see Girl with a Pearl Earring and Goya's Ghost). An R-rating might have saved this movie (rampant nudity in the court!), but it settled for a milquetoast PG-13.
Bring forth the hippies! | Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions
You'd never guess by looking at its A Scanner Darkly-type publicity shots, but Chicago 10 is actually a documentary. It's a heavily-stylized look back at the eight anti-war protesters who were put on trial following the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Director Brett Morgen previously pushed the boundaries of the doc form with his hilarious The Kid Stays in the Picture and Chicago 10 looks to be an even more ambitious effort.
Penelope has been sitting on the shelf for quite awhile. Take that as a warning sign. Seems like the distributors are banking on the appeal of co-star and producer Reese Witherspoon to draw in the Legally Blonde crowd. Ditto, for new Quasi-It Boy James McAvoy (who's actually a very fine actor). I like Christina Ricci well enough but Penelope doesn't seem to fit into her wheelhouse--namely, playing dark, damagedand cynicalcharacters.
While not exactly a sequel, City of Men is cut from similar cloth as the amazing City of God. What it lacks is Fernando Meirelles as a director (he produces on Men). Spun-off from the TV series of the same name, City of Men follows two ghetto orphans on the edge of manhood struggling to survive in one of Rio's many slums.
Romulus, My Father may ultimately be the best movie opening this weekend. It's based on the memoir of Australian philosopher Raimond Gaita and relates the tale of Gaita's noble father, Romulus, and his family's desperate struggle to survive in rural Australia during the 1960s. Boleyn's Eric Bana stars as Romulus.
Sort of strange that a movie which takes place at Christmas is coming out in February, but there's the world of limited exhibition distribution for you. Director and writer Angelina Maccarone's Vivere tells the overlapping and interconnected story of three women having a very weird Christmas in a strange city.
Tickets & Showtimes
The Other Boleyn Girl
City of Men
Romulus, My Father