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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Movie Guide: Fairy tales can come true...

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Feeling down? See this immediately! | Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Convincing people to go to a movie theater and see a documentary is a labor of love for me. Folks always protest that they'd rather see something else--something bigger and shinier!--but if they suck it up and buy the ticket for the doc they are invariably happy that they did. This weekend, a truly great documentary unspools in Los Angeles. It's called Young @ Heart and it's about a group of elderly New Englanders who love to sing, well, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, The Ramones, etc. That's right--it's about senior citizens who live to rock. See it.

If you insist on seeing something bigger and shinier then you could probably do worse than Street Kings. For me, it feels like a glossier version of Dark Blue from a few years ago but--hey--I liked Dark Blue. Sagas about corrupt L.A. cops are right in my wheelhouse. Apparently, they are also in director David Ayers' wheelhouse. He wrote Training Day, S.W.A.T., Harsh Times and, uh, Dark Blue so he knows the landscape pretty well. Now if only Keanucould act a little better. At least Hugh Laurie can.

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Another PG-13 horror flick...boo! | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

My jeremiad against PG-13 horror movies continues as Prom Night hits the screens. Let me get this straight--you hire Brittany Snow to be in a horror movie with a semi-decent pedigree, and then you shackle her prodigious talents with a PG-13 rating?! What needs to happen in this world to return horror movies to their rightful state of extreme and unnecessary violence and extreme and unnecessary nudity?! I'll tell you what will work--no ticket sales. If you must see Prom Night, buy a ticket for something else and sneak in.

With the success of Juno it looks like the blase Ellen Page is being positioned as the draw for Smart People (is monotone acting the new black? Is Ellen Page the new Jack Webb?). Not for me, though. I'm there to see two very underrated actors get a chance to play together onscreen--Dennis Quaid and Thomas Haden Church. Most people will probably hate Smart People (it does seem to be quite taken with itself) but I'll give it a shot.

Richard Jenkins is one of those actors that no one knows by name but everyone knows by sight (and usually likes). In The Visitor he finally gets a chance to step out of the shadow of being a supporting actor and really carry a movie. I'm not sure I buy the premise of the film--illegal aliens break into guy's apartment, live there, ultimately befriend him--but I'm glad to see Jenkins in such a big role. Incidentally, when was the last time an undocumented worker was treated as anything less than noble and heroic in a film?

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I love surf movies. In my DVD collection you will see them represented to an unusually high degree and I see every--every--surf movie that manages to slip into theaters. Bra Boys tells the story of the legendarySydney, Australia surfing club (gang). Narrated by fellow Aussie Russell Crowe, it's a fairly one-sided version of the Bra Boys history (its directed by an actual Bra Boy, Sunny Abberton). Objective or not, I'm there this weekend.

Tickets & Showtimes

Young @ Heart
Street Kings
Prom Night
Smart People
The Visitor
Bra Boys

Reviews

Young @ Heart
Street Kings
Prom Night
Smart People
The Visitor
Bra Boys

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Previews

Young @ Heart

Street Kings

Prom Night

Smart People

Support for LAist comes from

The Visitor

Bra Boys