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Weekend Movie Guide 06/10: Super 8 & Steve Coogan

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A group of close childhood friends. A town gripped by strange phenomena. A government cover-up. A mysterious, maybe malevolent creature. Sound familiar? No, it isn't another re-release of E.T., although that film is clearly a spiritual ancestor to the highly-anticipated Super 8.

With 2009's Star Trek, writer/director/producer/wunderkind J.J. Abrams proved that he could re-energize a beloved series while staying true to its roots. In Super 8, he shies away from specific characters, instead referencing the feeling - and yes, the magic - of '80s era Stephen Spielberg & Amblin Entertainment. As Spielberg did nearly 30 years ago, Abrams embraces an atmosphere that is both safe & spooky. While nostalgia plays a factor, Abrams realizes the sincerest form of flattery isn't mere imitation but true succession. Which may be why Amblin's head honcho himself is a co-producer on the film.

Another Steve returns to the screen, this one from the other side of the pond. British comedian Steve Coogan reunites with director Michael Winterbottom (the two collaborated on 24 Hour Party People & Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story) for another meta-darling, The Trip. Edited from a British TV series of the same name, The Trip stars Steve Coogan as Steve Coogan. Coogan lands a heavenly gig reviewing London's finest hotels & restaurants, only to see it go to hell when he's stuck with boorish friend Rob Brydon (Rob Brydon). It's many dinners with Andre, or - for the less pretentious - Larry David with a dash of Anthony Bourdain.

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Looking for something a little further off the beaten path? Check out our weekly guide to the best of LA's repertory theaters, midnight movies & special coverage of the LA Greek Film Festival. See you at the movies!

Wide Release
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (Reviews) (Showtimes)
Super 8 (Reviews) (Showtimes) (IMAX Showtimes)

Limited Release
Bride Flight (Reviews) (Laemmle Theatres)
Catching Hell (Reviews) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)Just Like Us (Regent Theatre)
The Makioka Sisters (Reviews) (Laemmle's Claremont 5) (Laemmle's Town Center 5)
Renee (Reviews) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)The Trip (Reviews) (Laemmle Theatres) (The Landmark)
Viva Riva! (Reviews) (Nuart Theatre)