Friday, March 07, 2008

Movies opening this week

10,000 BC (Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, dir. Roland Emmerich)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I've actually sort of liked some of Emmerich bombastic cheese-fests, including Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, despite their being totally dumb. At least Will Smith punching an alien in the face is exciting. There's not much in 10,000 BC that's exciting, despite the loads of CGI on display. And none of the performers is one-tenth as appealing as Will Smith. Really, the whole time I just kept rooting for someone to get eaten by a saber-toothed tiger, and it never happened. I had one expectation for the movie, and it let me down. Wide release

The Bank Job (Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Daniel Mays, dir. Roger Donaldson)
The first 20 or so minutes of this movie are a bit confusing, and it features so many different factions with different agendas that sometimes it's a little hard to follow who's plotting against whom, and who's being double-crossed. But mostly it all falls into place, and the movie ends up an exciting, well-paced heist thriller, with some dark turns in the second half that give the story a little weight. Statham proves a charismatic presence even when he isn't kicking someone's ass every other minute, and this solid genre picture hums along exactly as it should. Wide release

Teeth (Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Hale Appleman, dir. Mitchell Lichtenstein)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I was looking forward to this movie probably a little more than is healthy, but twisted, kinky horror movies are definitely one of my weak spots. There's pretty much no way the movie could live up to the anticipation generated by the concept, and Lichtenstein smartly takes the whole thing seriously, so that he makes a movie worth spending time with rather than just a series of gross-out gags. Not the greatest horror movie ever, but at least one that tries something new, and then remembers to rely on something more than sheer novelty. Opened limited Jan. 18; in Las Vegas this week

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