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July 29th, 2011 By Jason Gargano | Movies |

Friday Movie Roundup: Ryan Gosling x 2 Edition

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We have a odd-ball batch of opening films this week, including a pair of documentaries (one about a fascinating 1970s experiment on a chimpanzee, the other about a money- and fame-hungry woman disguised as a political and cultural leader); a pair of genre mashups (one a sci-fi western starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, the other a romantic dramedy featuring yet another beguiling turn from Ryan Gosling); and a 1980s cartoon staple that probably should have stayed untouched by studio executives.

In other film news, it was announced this week that George Clooney's Ides of March — much of which was shot in and around Cincinnati and which centers on a political press secretary played by none other than Ryan Gosling — will get its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival Aug. 31, followed by its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in early September. The film's trailer was also released this week. (Read my blog post about the release date info here, and watch the trailer here.)

Finally, a reminder about something with a slightly smaller but no less locally relevant cinematic profile: The latest 48 Hour Film Project: Cincinnati is rapidly approaching. This year's adventure in whirlwind, DIY filmmaking takes place the weekend of Aug. 5-7, with the resultant films screening the following weekend (11 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 13-14) at the Cincinnati Art Museum. More than 30 teams have already registered to participate, and while the early registration period has already passed, teams can still sign up for $175 through Aug. 5. For more information or to register, go to www.48hourfilm.com/cincinnati/.

Opening films:

COWBOYS & ALIENS — Jon Favreau and his all-star producers (Brian Glazer, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg) along with a solid cast (Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde) keep the whole shebang banging, but there’s not one ounce of heart or believability to be found. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tt stern-enzi (Rated PG-13.) Grade: C-


CRAZY STUPID LOVE — For all its seeming embrace of love and traditional relationship dynamics, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is just another bromance featuring yet another Steve Carell lead who finally crosses over into some semblance of conventionally enlightened adulthood. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tts (Rated R.) Grade: B-


PROJECT NIM — James Marsh, director of Man on Wire, examines the 25-year chronicle of Nim Chimpsky, a research chimpanzee who was put through the mill in the service of science. More than just a brilliant documentary, Project Nim is a unique cinematic experience. (Read full review here.) (Opens today at Esquire Theatre.) — Cole Smithey (Rated PG-13.) Grade: A


THE SMURFSAs directed by Raja Gosnell (the two Scooby-Doo movies, plus Beverly Hills Chihuahua), The Smurfs hits every required element for such movies: musical number, toilet gags, rib-nudging pop-culture references, sloppy sentimentality. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide Friday.) — Scott Renshaw (Rated PG.) Grade: D-


THE UNDEFEATED — Stephen K. Bannon's reportedly fawning documentary, which is based on Sarah Palin's recent book Going Rogue: An American Life, chronicles Palin's “pre-political life; her tenure as governor of Alaska and her time spent as John McCain's running mate.” (Opens today at AMC.) — Jason Gargano (Rated PG-13.) Review coming soon.


 
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