Past the Popcorn film roundup—A Decent Enough Week… If Your Expectations Are In Check

Movie ticketsEach week, Past the Popcorn offers a thorough look at the latest round of films opening on big screens.

The two biggest releases this week are about what you’d expect, if not a whit more. The flashiest of the pair is The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as Anne and Mary Boleyn — both mistresses to Henry VIII, and the former his second wife. Says Greg Wright, “It’s too bad, really, that Chadwick ends up steeplechasing through the film’s final act. At a thematic level, his film is an enticing look at the question: ‘Is ambition a sin or a virtue?’ The question also works well as a metaphor for the film itself. Did it shoot too high, or too low? In any event, the film is ultimately more sin than virtue.”

The more populist release this week, though, is Will Farrell’s Semi-Pro, another of his period genre spoofs. This time he takes aim at pro basketball in the person of Jackie Moon, a one-hit musical wonder who uses the proceeds from the tune to buy himself a team he can be the star of. Is that just a metaphor for a Ferrell flick? “There were many points in the film where I couldn’t help but burst into laughter,” writes Jeff Walls, “but those moments seem to be getting fewer in fewer in every new Will Ferrell movie. Think of some of the lesser Robin Williams comedies and you’ll know exactly what I mean.”

Mike Gunn also has mixed praise for the independent film The Band’s Visit, calling it a “witty and important movie” with a “humdrum pace.” He elaborates: “Kolirin does a fantastic job of communicating a cross-cultural and political message without preaching at us or making us hold hands and sing ‘We Are the World.’ Instead, he takes his time demonstrating the point, allowing us to feel what it’s like for tension to be relieved through hospitality, mutual sharing, and love. It will take a patient and astute moviegoer to enjoy the fine nuances of this film.”

Also new this week: City of Men.

Comments are closed.