Kung Fu Panda 2
If you like kung fu, and you like pandas...
The Hangover Part II
Last summer’s advertisement for Las Vegas, the prostitution capital of America, was such a big hit the cast reunited for a new trip to Bangkok, the sex tourism capital of the world.
Tree of Life
We’ll believe Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life is really and truly coming out when we see it in theaters. Another thing we’ll believe when we see Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life in theaters: that there is a thread of the divine as old as time itself that flows through all living things, and that our responsibility to the universe that birthed us is to give homage to this divinity by acknowledging it, though we be but compromised and inadequate vessels for such bounteous profundity.
United Red Army
Kino-Lorber and the IFC Center give an entirely unexpected theatrical release to politically radical softcore legend Koji Wakamatsu’s epic, agonized self-critique of the Japanese left’s post-60s descent into madness. The house that burns down in hour three was Wakamatsu’s own.
The Battle for Brooklyn
Finally, a feature-length documentary on the Atlantic Yards story so far, from the eclectic team of Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky.
(June 3 at the Brooklyn Film Festival; June 9 at Rooftop Films, in theaters June 17)
X-Men: First Class
Because film franchises, like inbred royal families, constantly seek out infusions of fresh blood drained from willing innocents with perfect complexions, this catch-all prequel matches hot young actors (Michael Fassbender! Jennifer Lawrence!) to familiar comic-book properties to see who sticks.
In which J.J. Abrams, creator of Felicity, pays homage to another icon of downtown New York, assembling several decades of shaky, gorgeously textured amateur footage shot on the eponymous Kodak stock in tribute to the bohemian home movies of the great Jonas Mekas. Haha, no, of course not. Do you guys think this one will open on a flash-forward?
James Marsh, director of Man on Wire, finds another crossover-cute documentary subject in Nim Chimpsky, that ape we tried to teach English to that time.
Cheeky import is a Norwegian mockumentary about a) Oslo’s cutthroat restaurant scene; b) the state-supported Scandinavian indie-pop apparatus; or c) trolls. See the film to find out which! Oh, wait.
The first Congolese movie you’ve ever seen is a lively crime drama. We ran into a critic at SXSW who said he really liked it, but he seemed to have been doing a lot of coke that week, so, you know, it’s hard to say, ultimately.
of the 1970s
Anthology Film Archives hosts this inspired series, featuring pop crossovers, formal innovation and nostalgia reconsidered.
It’s a film festival, too: we’ve partnered with a handful of indie film organizations to present NYC sneaks and premieres of fest-circuit favorites at indieScreen, and give a platform to some of the city’s best unknown filmmakers in the first annual DIY Film Festival, at UnionDocs.
The Green Lantern
If this movie bombs even after all the cleavage Blake Lively showed at ComicCon, the studios are going to have to rethink a lot of assumptions.
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the New york times
Here at The L, we love seeing our profession represented onscreen, and are seriously excited to watch Bill Keller run around the newsroom with his sleeves rolled up and barking “Stet!” at various baggy-eyed underlings for 90 minutes, as all hard-boiled newspapermen do, constantly.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
If this documentary is half as good as the scene in Fast Food Nation where Avril Lavigne tries to free the cows...
In the tradition of charter school-porn gotcha-mentaries The Cartel, The Lottery and Waiting for “Superman” comes a raunch comedy Chris Christie will love: Cammy Diaz plays the perpetually hungover title character, who hasn’t yet been removed to a rubber room, probably because of that dastardly UFT.
Da-na-na-na na-na, da-na-na-na, na-na, lock all my doors, da-na, here in my na, na-na, Pixar’s sequel to Paul Newman’s last movie. Have you gotten over Paul Newman’s death, yet? Us neither.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
The newly bearded Coco is effervescent onstage and surly and embittered off it in this sympathetic fly-on-the-wall account of his post-Tonight Show comedy tour.
Cristi Puiu’s grimly prolonged follow-up to The Death of Mr. Lazarescu stars the Romanian director himself as an inscrutable man in turmoil; he made the film, he has said, to understand why people kill.
Indiewire 15th Anniversary
92YTribeca hosts a month of screenings and talks in honor of the Amerindie website of record, including a look back at another 1996 debut, Nicole Holofcener’s Walking and Talking.
BAM brings back 14 favorites, from 1950-1961, demonstrating all the different things—doe-eyed innocent, temptress, postwar fertility godess, do-gooder, tragic waif, comedienne—the great directors of the era saw when they looked at the platinum blonde.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
You remember what Pauline Kael supposedly said when Richard Nixon was reelected? “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anybody who voted for him”? Yeah. We think about that a lot.
The L’s very own outdoor film series presents a half-dozen well-worn VHS favorites in McCarren Park, suggestively close to the Turkey’s Nest margarita machine.
(Wednesdays starting July 6)
Revenge-of-the-workingman comedy will probably play like the part in Nine to Five where Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton kidnap Dabney Coleman, but without the progressive gender politics.
The Sleeping Beauty
Catherine Breillat’s second reimagined fairytale, after Bluebeard, is a further consideration of adolescent sexuality and the female imagination.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Just speculation, but we wouldn’t be surprised if late August sees the release of an extended cut. Warner Bros. is not going to give up their biggest-ever moneymaker without a fight.
Mysteries of Lisbon
An accessible four-hour adaptation of a 19th century novel by the prolific, ever-stimulating Portuguese director Raoul Ruiz.
Errol Morris’s latest consideration of human imperfection and the limits of certainty concerns the former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney, who (may or may not have) kidnapped and raped a Mormon missionary in England in the late 70s, as you do.
Breakout Sundance hit concerns the discovery of a world behind the sun, and the guilt-stricken astrophysicist who wants to go there.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Perfectly cast, and at last toplining a studio tentpole, is Chris Evans, the greatest American actor now working. We are not kidding.
Friends with Benefits
Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis play young urban professionals whose easy fuckbuddy rapport is complicated by deeper emotions. Can sex friends stay best friends?!
Cowboys and Aliens
If we’re talking to you, like talking about this movie, and we say “versus” instead of “and,” and you insist upon correcting us, like “It’s actually called ‘Cowboys and Aliens,’” it’s just, you know. Don’t do that. We will absolutely punch you in the clavicle if you do that.
Miranda July’s second feature concerns a young couple confronting their own mortality, and is narrated by a cat. You already love this movie, unless you already hate it.
SoCal bros played by first-time writer-director Evan Glodell and friends have relationship troubles, and a post-apocalyptic ride complete with functional flamethrowers (actually built by the filmmakers). Dude. Dude!
The Smurfs 3D
For this, Roosevelt sent so many of our most promising young men to be cut down like grass at Guadalcanal?
30 Minutes Or Less
Bank-robbery comedy doubles as long-awaited pairing of the surely compatible performance styles of doughy, gregarious Danny McBride and Jesse Eisenberg, the human seratonin reuptake inhibitor.
Film Forum, at long last, mounts a dedicated retrospective of the greatest actor in the history of cinema: Ryan’s soft-spoken, menacing, anguished deconstructions of American manhood added an extra layer of depth to nuanced genre classics by filmmakers from Nick Ray and Anthony Mann to Fritz Lang and Max Ophuls. The series ends with a weeklong run of Sam Fuller’s House of Bamboo, costarring Ryan as a gay American crime lord in postwar Tokyo.
We’re trying hard not to be cynical about this apparently quite well-made Sundance hit, but it’s about two very pretty young ladies who fall in love with each other clandestinely in Tehran, a logline which suggests a fascinatingly diverse number of reasons for people to overrate it.
Conan the Barbarian
This version stars a native English speaker, and was not written by John Milius and Oliver Stone, and we fail to see the point.
We don’t really know anything about this movie other than that Anne Hathaway cut her hair for it. Also: Romola Garai!
Our Idiot Brother
Paul Rudd plays a screw-up who moves in with his sister, Zooey Deschanel and her lover, Rashida Jones, in a Williamsburg loft, and you’re not even still reading, are you, you’re already checking if tickets are on sale yet, but they’re not, it doesn’t come out until (August 26), which you’d know if you had read this far.
Almost certain to be the most guilt-stricken-yet-tensely orchestrated Mossad thriller since Munich, albeit with infinity percent fewer wife’s-eye-view shots of Eric Bana humping.