This Week’s Movies in L.A., 7/28/07

Aberration Films

(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.)

Despite arriving in the shadow of several other recent punk documentaries, Susan Dynner’s Punk’s Not Dead opens this week to fairly widespread praise. The movie is said to trace the genre’s three decades of history, with rare performance clips and interviews along the way, before ultimately settling on the topic of commercialization in the form of Good Charlotte, Hot Topic, et alia (and hopefully answering the inevitable question to such an angle: “um… and?”).

Speaking of punk docs, I’m particularly looking forward to Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, which got great buzz at Sundance and is due out in November, last I heard. I’ll readily admit I don’t know the first thing about punk, but any idiot can tell you London Calling = pop masterpiece.

The Clash – “Clampdown”: mp3

Also opening to glowing reviews are The Simpsons Movie and The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which by most accounts is easily among the best documentaries so far this year.


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
88.5 – 9185Knocked Up
87.0 – 9381Hairspray
84.5 – 8881The Simpsons Movie
84.0 – 9078Rescue Dawn
83.5 – 8978The Real Dirt on Farmer John
83.0 – 9274Sicko
81.5 – 8974Waitress
79.5 – 8277Grindhouse
78.0 – 7581Lady Chatterley
78.0 – 8274I Have Never Forgotten You

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


Avg – RT – MC
xx.x – 92 – xx – Punk’s Not Dead LAT ‘in-your-face’LAW ‘comes up short’CB ‘funny’
84.5 – 8881The Simpsons Movie LAT ‘safer’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘hilarious’
83.5 – 8978The Real Dirt on Farmer John LAT ‘inspirational’LAW ‘Pick’
xx.x – 80 – xx – Girl 27 LAT ‘narcissism’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘valuable’
71.5 – 7964Moliere LAT ‘pushy’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘trifle’
60.0 – 5565Arctic Tale LAT ‘schmaltzy’LAW ‘Go’
xx.x – 50 – xx – Macbeth LAT ‘over-stylized’LAW ‘wrong’CB ‘crackles’
46.0 – 4250No Reservations LAT ‘one-dimensional’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘unsteady’
42.5 – 4441One to Another LAT ‘unsettling’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘titillating’
xx.x – 18 – xx – Who’s Your Caddy? LAW ‘terrible’
17.0 – 0826I Know Who Killed Me LAW ‘Go’
(LAT = L.A. Times; LAW = L.A. Weekly; CB = L.A. CityBeat)


Avg – RT – MC
87.0 – 9381Hairspray LAT ‘buoyant’LAW ‘flat’CB ‘joyous’
68.0 – 7165Sunshine LAT ‘tense’LAW ‘conventional’CB ‘straightforward’
xx.x – 50 – xx – David and Layla LAT ‘broad’LAW ‘cartoonish’CB ‘appealing’
38.5 – 2651Goya’s Ghosts LAT ‘rambling’LAW ‘Go’
25.5 – 1437I Now Pronounce You Chuck… LAT ‘pathetic’LAW ‘beguiling’CB ‘heavy-handed’


92.5 – 9788Once ChiTrib ‘my favorite music film since Stop Making Sense’
xx.x – 92 – xx – Punk’s Not Dead TimeOutNY ‘Play this movie loud. Really loud’
87.0 – 9381Hairspray ChiReader ‘period-perfect pop score’
73.0 – 7868Talk to Me Var ‘A blow-out soundtrack of great tunes from the era’
70.5 – 7566La Vie en Rose NYDN ‘killer finale with Cotillard perfectly lip-synching’


After shutting down for a few days due to the unexpected death of owner Sherman Torgan, The New Beverly Cinema, L.A.’s last full-time revival house, has re-opened – although it remains to be seen for how long. (The Weekly and CityBeat both followed up with respectful pieces on Torgan; his passing was also picked up by Reuters). The New Bev screens a double feature of The Goonies and Back to the Future July 29-31, and two of Ingmar Bergman’s early classics in The Virgin Spring and Wild Strawberries Aug 1-2 (I prefer Persona, which would make for one whopper of a what-the-hell-is-going-on-with-these-two-women double bill with Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. Have they done that before?).

The other big film happening this week – well, other than a Nuart midnight screening of Wet Hot American Summer, basically Dave’s favorite movie ever – is the L.A. premiere of Jacque Rivette’s 1967 13-hour, 8-episode film-buff-holy-grail, Out 1. French New Wave filmmaker Rivette is best known and most widely hailed for 1974’s Celine and Julie Go Boating, which I’m dying to see but isn’t available on DVD and out of print on VHS. Out 1 screens over two days, with dinner breaks, Saturday-Sunday, July 28-29, at the UCLA Film & TV Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer.


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