Friday, July 22, 2011

Pick O' the Week - July 22

Another summer weekend has arrived, this time on the heels of a major heat wave. I spent part of yesterday afternoon hiding in a dark movie theatre watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 for the second time. I loved it the second time and would be more inclined to give it 3.5 stars out of 4, but it is not fair to go back on my initial judgments. I will be spending the weekend away at a wedding and will not have time to hit the theatre. It is a good thing that the new releases, Captain America: The First Avenger and Friends With Benefits, do not interest me in the slightest. I could find myself drawn to the latter, only because Emma Stone has a supporting role. If Siobhan, our resident comic book authority, goes to see Captain America, she will have to be the one to tell CineCritical readers whether or not it is worth our time!

In Theatres: A week after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 was released, I am sure most die-hard fans (minus one) have already seen it. One decent title that has slipped under the radar with bigger blockbusters hogging the ticket sales is Horrible Bosses. I reviewed it this week and it is worth your time if you are looking for raunchy laughs and to see Jennifer Aniston at her sex-crazed best.

At Home: Chicago, the 2002 film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture, is one film that I could probably watch once a week for the rest of my life. It is perfectly cast and the film is so wonderfully paced that you hardly notice two hours went by. And if you are a fan of televisions's So You Think You Can Dance, Oscar-nominated Chicago director Rob Marshall will be a guest judge on the show next week (alongside Lady Gaga).

On TV: Movies come first, but I also have a television obsession and summer is a great time for cable shows to succeed. Curb Your Enthusiasm returned for its eighth season (making it HBO's longest-running series) this month after finishing season seven in late 2009. Larry David's blend of improvisation with incredibly discomforting situations makes the show a winner. The show also features a hilarious supporting cast and frequently fantastic guest stars, including Ricky Gervais, who will highlight the eighth season.

Retro Re-watch: For me, there is nothing like a great satire. Citizen Ruth stars Laura Dern in one of her best performances as a drug-addicted pregnant misfit who suddenly becomes a media sensation in the politically-heated debate about the legality of abortion. It is the first feature film directed by Alexander Payne, who went on to write and direct Election (1999) and Sideways (2004). If I had a better head on my shoulders this would be one of my personal top ten films!

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