This Week’s Movies in L.A., 7/21/07

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

(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.)

Can anybody explain the use of ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” in the opening scene of Knocked Up? I love the song, and mostly liked the movie, but it was a surreal kind of moment to start things off on. (For those who haven’t seen the movie, the music plays, and then you have a montage of some bros hanging out by the pool. I’m really not spoiling anything with that). Here you have a film that tries to address many of the issues surrounding sex/relationships/parenthood in 2007, and has in fact been hailed by some as speaking specifically to “this” generation, but “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” hearkens back to an entirely different age, the pre-Lewinsky and (for most) pre-Internet early/mid ’90s. ODB isn’t even alive anymore. It’s also distinctly a New York song, while the movie takes place in sunny L.A., which during that time period was incidentally booming with all kinds of rap music dedicated specifically to smoking out and hanging with your bros and whatnot.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”: mp3

The week’s big opening is Hairspray, doing phenomenally with critics. But the polar opposite responses to Travolta’s performance recall the similarly split response to Nicholson in The Departed last year. In the long run, I think time thankfully vindicated the Nicholson-haters as right all along; I get the gut feeling I’ll be siding with the Travolta-haters as well.

And before we get to this week’s screenings, any adventurous filmgoers out there should consider catching Australian Aboriginal film Ten Canoes, which is getting raved up and down. I also blurbed it this week for CityBeat.

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


Avg. – RT – MC
96.0 – 9696Ratatouille
92.5 – 9788Once
92.0 – 9589The Lives of Others
89.5 – 9683Ten Canoes
88.5 – 9185Knocked Up
87.5 – 9481Hairspray
84.0 – 9078Rescue Dawn
82.5 – 9174Sicko
82.0 – 8381Paprika
81.5 – 8974Waitress
79.0 – 7682Lady Chatterley

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


Avg – RT – MC
89.5 – 9683Ten Canoes LAT ‘beautiful’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘eye-opening’

87.5 – 9481Hairspray LAT ‘buoyant’LAW ‘flat’CB ‘joyous’
69.5 – 7465Sunshine LAT ‘tense’LAW ‘conventional’CB ‘straightforward’
51.5 – 4657Cashback LAT ‘charming’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘pointless’
50.0 – 50 – xx – David and Layla LAT ‘broad’LAW ‘cartoonish’CB ‘appealing’
37.0 – 2450Goya’s Ghosts LAT ‘rambling’LAW ‘Go’
26.0 – 1438I Now Pronounce You Chuck… LAT ‘pathetic’LAW ‘beguiling’CB ‘heavy-handed’
(LAT = L.A. Times; LAW = L.A. Weekly; CB = L.A. CityBeat)


Avg – RT – MC
79.0 – 7682Lady Chatterley LAT ‘enraptured’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘unremarkable’
75.5 – 8368My Best Friend LAT ‘doesn’t shy’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘tour-de-force’
74.0 – 7771Harry Potter and the Order… LAT ‘muddier’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘complex’
73.5 – 7968Talk to MeLAT ‘revelatory’LAW ‘predictable’CB ‘insightful’

70.0 – 7070Interview LAT ‘less believable’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘absorbing’
16.0 – 0824Captivity LAT ‘spirit-sapping’ LAW ‘Go’ CB ‘bizarre’


92.5 – 9788Once ChiTrib ‘my favorite music film since Stop Making Sense’
87.5 – 9481Hairspray ChiReader ‘period-perfect pop score’
73.5 – 8067Talk to Me Var ‘A blow-out soundtrack of great tunes from the era’
70.0 – 7466La Vie en Rose NYDN ‘killer finale with Cotillard perfectly lip-synching’


The passing away of New Beverly Cinema owner Sherman Torgan last Wednesday is a huge loss to Los Angeles and its film community. That he managed to keep that darn revival house going as long as he did is so much appreciated by this cinephile. Its fate is still up in the air, although for now the next few screenings there are “cancelled until further notice.”

The New Beverly had on tap for Friday and Saturday the much-anticipated David Lynch double feature of Mullholland Drive (the best film of this decade?) and 1997’s Lost Highway. It’ll be a Lynch weekend nonetheless, as screenings of Inland Empire, which might be just as good as Mullholland but in a completely different and thoroughly more screwed-up way, continue through Sunday at the Aero.


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