What should I be doing instead of this?
August 10th, 2011 By Jason Gargano | Movies |

Wednesday Movie Roundup: Where'd the Summer Go?

Another summer is rapidly winding down, which means it's almost time to assess the relative quality of the movies that have graced our screens over the past three months.

I said almost because there are still a few weeks left (the season traditionally runs Memorial Day to Labor Day) and, more importantly, there are still a handful of movies I've yet to catch — from high-profile studio stuff (like Cars 2, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the latest Harry Potter) to smaller indie offerings (like Buck and Project Nim, not to mention a host of titles that have yet to open here — most notably Miranda July's The Future, Michael Winterbottom's The Trip, Azazel Jacobs' Terri and Raúl Ruiz's Mysteries of Lisbon). Plus I need to view Beginners, which I haven't seen since last year's Toronto Film Festival, and The Tree of Life again.

This week's quartet of new releases, one of which for some reason opens today, gives us a little bit of everything — a musical, a horror flick, a historical drama and an action comedy from the team that dropped Zombieland, including Jesse Eisenberg, who has somehow become one of our most intriguing actors, which is at least one reassuring sign in an era that has given us very few.

Oh, and don't forget the always entertaining 48 Hour Film Project. The various area-based filmmaking teams completed their shorts last weekend, with the results to be shown 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Tickets are $10; $8 for students, CAM or SOFA Premiere members. For more information, www.48hourfilm.com/cincinnati.

Opening films:

FINAL DESTINATION 5 — Wasn't the previous Final Destination supposed to be the final destination? And who believes this fifth destination will be the last if it somehow makes money again? First-time feature director Steven Quale guides a cast that includes mostly unknowns. Oh, and in case you missed its ubiquitous tagline, spoken by the creepy dude from Candyman, “You can't cheat death.” (Opens wide Friday.) — Jason Gargano (Rated R.) Not screened for review

GLEE: THE 3D CONCERT MOVIE — The popular TV show gets the big-screen 3-D concert treatment, no doubt complete with its joyous version of Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'” and plenty of backstage footage featuring cast members who drop lines like, “Glee totally celebrates the underdog. It empowers the underdog in everybody.” And don't forget: It's in theaters for two weeks only. (Opens wide Friday.) — JG (Rated PG.) Not screened for review

THE HELP — The movie adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 book stands the narrative’s stock characters in front of postcard-perfect sets that recall the halcyon days of America before the reality of racial inequality and social justice intruded on our national consciousness, back when we could ignore mundane mistreatment because that was just the way of the world. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tt stern-enzi (Rated PG-13.) Grade: D

30 MINUTES OR LESS — When a couple of numbskulls (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) kidnap a slacker pizza delivery guy (Jesse Eisenberg), strap a bomb to his chest and order him to rob a bank in less than 10 hours, the pizza guy grabs his best friend (Aziz Ansari) and gets stone cold gangsta in this comic heist that steals as much attention thanks to its efficient thrills as for its raunchy humor. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide Friday.) — tts (Rated R.) Grade: A

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