Friday, June 24, 2011

Pick O' the Week - June 24

With only an abbreviated week standing between me and two months of summer vacation, the movie theatre gods have not offered much in terms of new releases this weekend. The two new films going head to head are Bad Teacher starring Cameron Diaz and Pixar's Cars 2. I did see Bad Teacher today and it was exactly what I expected: a somewhat funny story with a really bad ending. You can look for my review in the coming days. If anyone out there has seen anything great that we at CineCritical may have missed, please tell us!

But here are my pics for the last weekend in June:

In Theatres: I may have slightly bashed Super 8 in my three-star review this week, but it is still worthwhile summer fare from an interesting director who some have hailed as a superstar. J.J. Abrams is a great storyteller and invents great characters, but he does have his weaknesses. Many have cried foul over the end of Lost and the Alias certainly faltered in its dying days, and Super 8 certainly gets tangled in its own mess before the credits roll. The kids are the best part of the film and their story and performances are worth checking out.

At Home: Last weekend I stumbled upon a title I had previously seen just after high school. Adaptation stars Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper (who won an Academy Award) in a story about Charlie Kaufman (Cage) trying to write the screen adaptation for a book written by Susan Orlean (Streep). It is a wacky film directed by the equally wacky Spike Jonze (of Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are). It is one of Cage's better performances and it is available on Netflix.

On TV: While summer movies are a bit of a drag this year, television's current summer pleasure is back this weekend with its fourth season. True Blood is as fantastically campy as it is melodramatic and it thrives on cliffhangers. Alan Ball has created a great series about vampires (and werewolves and witches) that makes us all forget about that other vampire saga. The only thing that would make me happier is more Pam and Jessica. And let's not forget the great eye candy!

Retro Re-watch: Inspired by events at a school concert, I offer The Sound of Music. Robert Wise's 1965 adaptation of the Rogers and Hammerstein stage musical is a beloved classic. After Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews cemented her status as a shining star in this musical. The story is unforgettable and the songs are engraved in our minds. It is truly one of the best movie musicals of all time.

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