Each week, Past the Popcorn offers a thorough look at the latest round of films opening on big screens.
Let’s just get it out of the way. The one real clinker in wide release today is the new Will Ferrell comedy Step Brothers. Ferrell’s private parts… Need we say more? Jeff Walls doesn’t… much. “It’s just plain disturbing,” he says.
Greg Wright gives The X-Files: I Want To Believe a fairly cool review… but it’s not bad, he says. The opening scene, according to Wright, is “entirely in keeping with the tone and style of the TV series. That’s either an ill omen, or a promise of the fun to come… depending on how much of an X-Files fan you are—or were. Too often, Carter’s script jumps off into narrative conveniences that break the dramatic tension.”
Wright was more impressed with the Canadian-themed R-rated period melodrama The Stone Angel. Like I Want To Believe, he says, it’s chock full of spiritual themes—but he found it much more satisfying. “This is no simple tale of familial favoritism: it’s truly an epic tale of biblical proportions, offering insight into the kinds of rifts that tear nations apart even after five thousand years—and into the kind of spiritual healing that’s free for the taking.”
Kathy Bledsoe was also high on the PG-13 Brideshead Revisited, also a period drama—this time set in England, and also rife with religious themes. “Why revisit something that has been written and done as a mini-series on BBC?” Bledsoe asks. “Well, for one thing, the big screen brings a grandeur to the story that the small screen cannot. … This is a film into which you can lose yourself; and where better than in a dark theater with a big, wide screen and popcorn?”
Finally, Mike Gunn recommends CSNY Deja Vu… if you’re a CSNY who hates war and the Bush Administration. Everyone else? Stay far away from this political screed.