Friday, August 11, 2006

Movies opening this week

Step Up (Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Damaine Radcliff, dir. Anne Fletcher)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
The most amazing thing to me about this movie is that the writer is the same guy who wrote Save the Last Dance as well as a VH1 movie called The Way She Moves about love among salsa dancers, and he's never written anything else. That's it. Just the same movie three times, it looks like. I guess once you succeed at something in Hollywood, you just keep doing it over and over again until they stop paying you. Wide release

World Trade Center (Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello, Maggie Gyllenhaal, dir. Oliver Stone)
Honestly, I'm sort of glad not to have to review movies like this, because I'm generally not interested in dealing with politics, which are unavoidable when addressing this kind of film. I also just found the movie really unremarkable - it's successful at what it sets out to do, I suppose, and people who want to see it will probably get what they hope for out of it. But it's very timid and safe and Hollywood-ized, unlike Paul Greengrass' United 93, which at least retained some grit and made an effort to be as real as possible. A lot of people are talking about this movie now, which makes sense given its status as the first big Hollywood film to address 9/11, but being first doesn't necessarily grant longevity. I guarantee that five or ten years from now, when other people have made more complex, interesting movies about 9/11 that have something to say other than "Hooray for rescue workers!" this movie will be all but forgotten. Wide release

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