This Week’s Movies in L.A., 7/14/07

Courtesy of Focus Features / Stéphane Fontaine

(For those who may have missed last week’s intro, this is a weekly one-stop resource for movies screening in L.A., with Rotten Tomatoes/Metacritic averages, showtimes, and more. Almost all of these movies are also either currently screening outside of L.A., or are going to be in the near future).

Talk to Me, starring Don Cheadle as iconic ’60s radio personality Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene Jr., opens this week to mostly friendly (though hardly ecstatic) reviews. Standing out is the film’s music: Robert Koehler at Variety raves about the “dazzling use of Sam Cooke’s classic ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ and both Les McCann’s original and Meshell Ndegeocello’s fresh cover of Gene McDaniel’s immortal ‘Compared to What,’ which the movie turns into an anthem for Petey.” Elsewhere, crazy-guy-doc Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox opens with a deceptively high RT score (only five reviews).

Sam Cooke – “A Change Is Gonna Come”: mp3

The new Harry Potter movie is awful, even with a nice final act that vaults it above every other installment in the series save for Prisoner of Azkaban. I feel it’s time we just acknowledge Azkaban as the anomaly it was, and not even consider it a part of this mostly insulting movie franchise. But on to this week’s screenings…

Note: RT and MC scores frequently change. Click on the movie titles for showtimes.

HIGHEST RATED FILMS SCREENING IN L.A. (7/14-7/19) (Ed. note: Most of these movies are obviously playing outside of L.A., too.)

Avg. – RT – MC
95.5 – 9695Ratatouille
92.5 – 9788Once
92.0 – 9589The Lives of Others
88.5 – 9185Knocked Up
83.5 – 8978Rescue Dawn
82.5 – 8481Paprika
82.5 – 9174Sicko
81.5 – 8974Waitress
80.0 – 7882Lady Chatterley
80.0 – 10060Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox

This week’s openings, music-related films, and special screening picks after the jump.[Continue reading…]


Avg – RT – MC
80.0 – 7882Lady Chatterley LAT ‘enraptured’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘unremarkable’
80.0 – 10060Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox LAT ‘well-rounded’LAW ‘ Go’
74.0 – 7771Harry Potter and the Order… LAT ‘muddier’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘complex’
73.5 – 8364Ghosts of Cite SoleilLAT ‘forceful’LAW ‘inexplicable’CB ‘meditative’
73.5 – 8067Talk to MeLAT ‘revelatory’LAW ‘predictable’CB ‘insightful’

73.0 – 7967My Best Friend LAT ‘doesn’t shy’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘tour-de-force’
72.0 – 7965Tekkonkinkreet LAT ‘hypnotic’LAW ‘rambling’
65.5 – 6467Interview LAT ‘less believable’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘absorbing’
63.0 – 7056Lights in the Dusk LAT ‘beautiful’LAW ‘oppressive’CB ‘admirable’
22.5 – 0936Captivity LAT ‘spirit-sapping’
(LAT = L.A. Times; LAW = L.A. Weekly; CB = L.A. CityBeat)


Avg – RT – MC

83.5 – 8978Rescue Dawn LAT ‘riveting’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘engrossing’
77.0 – 8074I Have Never Forgotten You LAT ‘harrowing’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘dull’
64.5 – 6069Joshua LAT ‘creepy’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘unsatisfying’
61.5 – 6162Vitus LAT ‘charming’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘delightful’
58.0 – 5660Transformers LAT ‘tedious’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘muddled’
55.5 – 5952Introducing the Dwights LAT ‘refreshing’LAW ’embarassment’
17.0 – 0826License to Wed LAT ‘uninspired’LAW ‘dreadful’


Francophiles are in luck this week: Abel Gance’s canonical silent epic Napoleon at LACMA on Saturday, July 14; the even more canonical Grand Illusion, by French godfather of cinema Jean Renoir, on Wednesday, July 18 (Bastille Day) at the Aero; on Wednesday-Thursday, July 18-19, all the French interracial/political/religious dynamics you can handle with the New Beverly double of Days of Glory and The Battle of Algiers. For adventurous filmgoers, the can’t miss of the week is the four-day run of three-hour mindfuck Inland Empire, by far the best film of 2006, at the Aero, Thursday, July 19, through July 22.


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