What should I be doing instead of this?
November 24th, 2010 By Jason Gargano | Movies |

Wednesday Movie Roundup: Severed Arm Edition

Listen up, moviegoers: Five of this week's six new releases open today, highlighted by Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, the tension-laced, surprisingly brisk-moving true story of hiker Aron Ralston (played by an inspired James Franco), whose arm was lodged between a boulder and a canyon wall for five days. (Look for my interview with Boyle in next week's CityBeat.)

The rest is a grab-bag of offerings that cover a number of genres, including animation (Tangled), musical (Burlesque), action/crime revenge flick (Faster), romantic comedy (Love & Other Drugs) and the third installment in an exponentially less successful foreign film trilogy (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which is the lone film to open Friday).

And don't forget Friday's one-time free screening of Harmony Korine's latest, typically polarizing film, Trash Humpers, which I wrote about a few days ago.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Opening films:

127 HOURS127 Hours is based on mountain climber Aron Ralston's memoir about his misadventure in Utah's Canyonlands National Park where he became trapped by a boulder and was forced to cut off his own arm in order to save his life. (Read full review here.) — (Opens today at Esquire Theatre.) — Cole Smithey (Rated R.) Grade: A

BURLESQUE — Christina Aguilera is front and center as a small-town woman making the jump from cocktail waitress to featured dancer at a Los Angeles club run by a former dancer played by Cher. Actor Steve Antin makes his feature directorial debut with this glossy musical. Co-stars Eric Dane, Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming and Stanley Tucci. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tts (Rated PG-13.) Grade: C-

FASTER — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson throws his robust frame around in this action thriller about an ex-con out to avenge his brother's death amid a heist gone bad. Billy Bob Thornton is the cop on his trail. George Tillman Jr. directs a cast that also includes Carla Gugino and Tom Berenger. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tts (Rated R.)  Grade: D

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST — The same exponential decline in story complexity that occurred between the first and second cinematic installments of Stieg Larsson's posthumously published Millennium Trilogy continues here, and not well. (Read full review here.) (Opens Friday at Kenwood Theatre.) — CS (Rated R.) Grade: C-

LOVE & OTHER DRUGS — Drawn from the same murky well of Hollywood ethical ambiguity that gave us Thank You for Smoking and last year's Up In the Air, Love & Other Drugs audaciously defines its slick anti-hero protagonist as beyond reproach. (Read full-length review here.) (Opens wide today.) — CS (Rated R.) Grade: C

TANGLED — Disney's 50th animated feature is a comedic take on Rapunzel featuring the voice of Mandy Moore as the long-haired lady wooed by a bandit who wants to free her from a high tower where she's been locked. Byron Howard and Nathan Greno directed a cast of voices that also includes Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman and Jeffrey Tambor. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tts (Rated PG.) Grade: B-plus

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