The Weekend Movie Recap: 6/24/11 (Updated)

posted by Rolocop

THE TRIP – This is a 6 episode BBC series edited down to 111 minutes for the American theatrical release.  Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon go on a week long trip to tour Northern England’s finest restaurants.  Not unlike My Dinner With Andre, the movie is basically a series of improvised conversations about a variety of things, but the majority of them have alot to do with Brydon’s celebrity impersonations.  Under the supervision of Michael Winterbottom, these two actors really let loose.  This is the funniest movie I have seen all year.  The couple of times they do the Michael Caine impersonation had me laughing so hard that I began losing my breath.   Besides being hilarious, there is also a subtle sadness and harsh reality underneath the surface that really rings true.  I liked this movie so much that I tracked down the series, which is even better.  I do think it was smart to cut it down for a theatrical release, since it might have been a chore to sit through 3 hours of it all at once.  But at home, it really works.  If you’ve seen the series already, it’s probably not worth it since it’s just a condensed version.  But if you haven’t, then this is a great introduction, and then when it comes out on DVD, just buy the complete series.  THE TRIP is showing at The Uptown. Rating:
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CARS 2 – Even though the first was easily one of the lesser Pixar films, I still thought it was a nice breezy movie.  If you enjoyed the first, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like the second.  Set at a completely different pace, Cars 2 is actually a straight up spy film in the tradition of 007.  Mater is now the main star as he follows around McQueen on the International Circuit.  I find it kind of funny that Michael Caine is featured in two good movies this week, as he is the voice of new character super spy Finn McMissile.  Mater is mistaken for agent by Finn and adventure ensues.  This is action packed!  I found it quite creative how the cars fight each other in tire-to-tire combat, and loved seeing all of the gadgets that Bond would be jealous of.  And one of my favorite actors, John Turturro, has a great role as an Italian rival racer.  It’s a fun spy romp that feels more like The Incredibles than a Cars movie.  Definitely not in the same league as Up or Wall-E, but I don’t think every movie needs to reach for the stars. Sometimes we just need pure escapism, and that’s exactly what Cars 2 is.  The animation is gorgeous, Michael Giacchino’s score is swingin’, and the film is full of energy.  Perfect summer movie for the entire family.  Cars 2 is now showing everywhere. Rating:
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BAD TEACHER – In the same vein as Bad Santa (but not quite as good), this raunchy, racy flick is a good comic vehicle for Cameron Diaz, who in my opinion has been struggling a bit to find her place recently.  She seems pretty comfortable as a 7th grade English teacher who is trying to raise money to buy fake boobs so she can meet someone rich, and then finally retire and live off his money.  Yup!  That’s the plot.  She shows up to class hung over showing movies about teachers to the kids (LEAN ON ME, DANGEROUS MINDS, STAND AND DELIVER, and out of the blue, SCREAM), constantly insults her students and fellow teachers, and smokes weed in the parking lot.  She also tries to get into the pants of a new teacher (played by Diaz’s old ex, Justin Timberlake), which is amusing.  While the structure is a little sloppy at times, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh.  In fact, I laughed several times.  Lucy Punch is amusing as Diaz’s foil, but the real scene stealer here is Phyllis Smith whose shy teacher that just wants to be liked by people, is so “fall out of your seat funny” that I wish she was in the movie more.  Her line delivery alone made me laugh.  It’s not a classic and not everything works (getting tired of John Michael Higgins), but there were enough scenes (the sexy car wash with Diaz parodying that Whitesnake music video, the dry hump sequence) that made it worth my while.  And if I wasn’t laughing, I was always smiling.  Also, there’s something absolutely hilarious about Diaz saying severely inappropriate things like “I’m gonna suck your dick like I’m mad at it”.  In a year that has been pretty weak for comedies (I’m looking at you HANGOVER 2), BAD TEACHER is consistent enough for me to recommend, and was given a wide release. Rating:
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ALSO OPENING THIS WEEKEND:

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN – Disappointing Grindhouse flick.  Showing at The Lagoon. Rating:

CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH – Lagoon

CONAN O’BRIEN CAN’T STOP – Lagoon

EARTHWORK – St. Anthony

(I’m starting this weekly column to let everyone in the Twin Cities know what flicks are opening every weekend and where.  Also to let people know which ones are worth checking out.  I’ve only seen 4 for this weekend, but I will be trying to see all of them in future weeks.  With doing Stand-Up, Men’s Roller Derby, and being a single Dad, it’s hard to hit all of the press screenings, but I will do my best!)

Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 12:00 am