Friday, July 22, 2011

TRAILER FRIDAY: First Avenger First Grader edition

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM

A BETTER LIFE
A gardener in East LA tries to give his son … well, check the title. What gets in the way? Gangs, la migra, and beachfront homeowners who think of their gardeners as utensils. Reviews generally suggest that director Chris Weitz avoids predictability and sentiment by keeping the story simple — and they give much credit to Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy, The Golden Compass) for trying the kind of movie that, for him at least, is something entirely new. (MB) Rated PG-13 | SHOWTIMES

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
Good thing he has a patriotic costume and a shield that he can fling like a lethal Frisbee, because otherwise, we would have lost to the Nazi menace despite our development of stealth-bomber technology a half-century ahead of time. Got all that? Critics didn’t: Paramount hid this movie. Will Steve Rogers have enough muscle to fight off bad reviews? (MB) Rated PG-13 | SHOWTIMES

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CERTIFIED COPY
A quiet film that carries the impact of any number of Armageddon-bent robots. Two people walk and they talk. They philosophize and coo and plead and scream. They behave affectionately and monstrously toward each other. We spend most of the film trying to figure out what their connection to one another is. We realize, at the end, that they've been asking themselves that same question for some time. This is a powerfully small film, and one that carries more power to devastate than a certain evil reptilian-looking wizard. (LB) Unrated; at Magic Lantern | SHOWTIMES

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THE FIRST GRADER
An aging, illiterate Kenyan farmer who was tortured as a Mau Mau freedom fighter in the 1950s now takes up his government’s offer of a free education — an offer that’s really meant for kids. But a tireless teacher champions his cause, even though it produces a publicity nightmare. The film is well-meaning but weakly written, and it suffers from feeling too precious. There is no way you won’t know how this ends, at least an hour before it actually does end. (ES) Rated PG-13; at Magic Lantern | SHOWTIMES

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
Remember January’s No Strings Attached (Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher try to keep their relationship purely physical)? Its working title was “Friends With Benefits.” You know what movie Rooney Mara (The Social Network, the upcoming Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) made just two years ago? Friends (With Benefits). Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis populate this retread. (MB) Rated R | SHOWTIMES

TRUE LEGEND
A Qing-dynasty general is done very wrong by his own brother. This being a Chinese martial-arts movie, the remedy involves mastering the ancient art of “drunken boxing.” Not to mention some vicious uppercuts. (MB) Rated R; at Magic Lantern | SHOWTIMES

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