PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Larry Crowne” (PG-13) — This movie strives for sweetness. It pursues it the way reality TV people strive to be actual celebrities, the way that overprivileged trophy wives strive to be 20 years younger. This movie tries so hard to be sweet that it becomes a delusional crusade for feel-good moments.
Tom Hanks is let go from his beloved job at a department store because he doesn’t have a college degree. Stay with me, now. Hanks has no choice but to enroll in community college, bond with other misfits, buy a second-hand scooter, woo his professor (Julia Roberts) and keep smiling with those apple cheeks. It’s hard to despise a movie that wants so badly to make people feel good, so “Larry Crowne” manages to charm its way out of a failing grade.
“Beginners” (R) — Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is a introspective young man whose notions about life and love are seasoned by his experience with his late father (Christopher Plummer.) Oliver’s father, you see, came out as a gay man at the age of 75 and proceeded to live his new life to the fullest. When Oliver meets and falls in love with a beautiful, eccentric foreigner (Melanie Laurent), the memories of his father rush back to form new insights.
Yep, it’s melancholy and cutesy and the same time, but there is something to be found. There are some truly funny moments and a few interesting turns of event, but it’s all interspersed with quite a bit of navel-gazing.
“Superheroes” (NR) — This HBO documentary looks into the world of the “real-life superheroes.” Ordinary people wearing homemade costumes have started patrolling the streets in cities across America with the mission to do good. It’s hard not to watch. Because of the director’s approach, these people can’t be simply dismissed as loonies — they are trying to do something good, after all — but the reality of a security guard who, by night, calls himself Mr. Extreme isn’t so illustrious.
“Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition” (R) [Blu-ray] — This is possibly the funniest and absolutely the most insane horror movie ever seen by man. It’s not a sequel, but a remake, done by the same director (Sam Raimi) with the same leading star, just with a bigger budget and wilder ideas. The film has a unique sensibility, i.e. when demons possess your hand, replace that hand with a chainsaw. By the time you finish the movie, you’ll be wondering why all films can’t be this ludicrous and exciting.
“It Takes a Thief: The Complete Series”
“Being Human: The Complete First Season” [Blu-ray]
“American Restoration: Volume 1”
“Gene Autry — Collection 1”
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.