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Weekend Movie Guide: That! Guy! Is! Beowulf!

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It almost feels like summer again as Beowulf comes crashing into theaters with a huge amount of hype. From where I'm sitting, though, that hype actually looks deserved. If 3-D is (once again) the future of film, consider me an early adopter. Combine a technical innovator like Zemekiswith two--and I mean this as a true compliment--odd birds like Avaryand Gaimanand you get a movie that is relentlessly beautiful and compelling.

Love in the Time of Cholera is, of course, an adaptation of Nobel Winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez's seminal novel. We'll see how much of Marquez's trademark magical realism sneaks into the movie. Ordinarily, this isn't a movie I'd be dying to see but the presence of Javier Bardem is a big draw for me. He's as good an actor as we have right now. Watch this right after No Country for Old Men and be awed by his talent.

There was a rumor that Smiley Face was being mishandled by its distributor and headed straight to DVD. Thankfully, that's not the case. Gregg Araki directs Anna Faris as a girl who eats all of her roommate's cupcakes, only to later find out they were liberally laced with weed. This is a steep departure for Araki--a director I hugely admire. Coupled with the delicious Faris, this is a strong #2 on my weekend watch list.

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I'm not sure why but there is something deeply familiar about Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I hate to say it feels derivative, but it feels...well, derivative. The only way I can imagine seeing this movie is over Christmas with my niece and nephew, so I'll hold off commenting on it. It was directed by Zach Helm (plus) and stars Dustin Hoffman (big plus) and Natalie Portman (super plus), so maybe it won't be as bad as I'm imagining.

Thanks to Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly enjoys an inexplicably passionate fan base (I always thought Darko was only okay). His newest, Southland Tales was ruthlessly booed at Cannesand suffered through a year of re-shoots and post-production. We'll see if all that extra work and money rescued this cynical look into the future. The presence of Dwayne Johnson and Justin Timberlake does not fill me with confidence, though.

Redacted is the latest from former master Brian De Palma. Reviews have been sharply mixed regarding this fictionalized account of American military atrocities in Iraq. Shot on multiple media formats, this documentary-style film seems to wander in the same territory as De Palma's earlier Casualties of War. Audiences have shunned movies about Iraq lately and I'm guessing Redacted will be the latest victim.


Tickets & Showtimes

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Beowulf
Love in the Time of Cholera
Smiley Face
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Southland Tales
Redacted

Reviews

Beowulf
Love in the Time of Cholera
Smiley Face
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Southland Tales
Redacted

Previews

Beowulf

Support for LAist comes from

Love in the Time of Cholera

Smiley Face

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Southland Tales

Redacted

Support for LAist comes from

Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Walden Media