Movie Diary 5/26/2010

Okay, catching up on a few days’ worth.

Sex and the City 2 (Michael Patrick King, 2010). Mind-boggling on many levels. The gals go to Abu Dhabi and liberate the oppressed females there, whilst hunting for shoe bargains. The one-liners are seamier than a 1967 episode of “The Dean Martin Show.” (full review 5/27)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Mike Newell, 2010). Buff star Jake Gyllenhaal is fortunate not to cross sand dunes with SATC 2‘s Samantha, lest this Disney would-be franchise lose its PG-13 rating. Based on a video game, but without the soul (full review 5/28)

Imani (Caroline Kamya, 2010). Not visually distinguished, but this filmed-in-Uganda story deftly sketches the bargains that must be made in a compromised society – a series of decisions that lead to a fairly devastating ending. (screens at Seattle International Film Festival 6/4, 6/6, 6/11)

Cyrus (Duplass brothers, 2010). John C. Reilly man-childing it into a scruffy relationship with Marisa Tomei, whose grown son (Jonah Hill, never more lethally glazed) is a problem. (full review 7/2)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010). An exceptionally sure-footed film set in the Missouri Ozarks, where the rules of behavior seem to be a few hundred years old, and not beholden to official law. I haven’t seen Granik’s Down to the Bone, but will have to now. (screens at SIFF 5/28, 5/30)

The Oath (Laura Poitras, 2010). Much to be scared about in this doc profiling an Afghanistan cab driver with Osama bin Laden connections, and his brother-in-law, whose stay in Guantanamo Bay was lengthy. (full review 6/18)

Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz, 2009). The sequel to Happiness is as sour as expected, which is maybe a problem; Solondz’ ear is still sharp and so is his control with actors. (screens at SIFF 5/29, 5/31)

Get Him to the Greek (Nicholas Stoller, 2010). Given the talent overlap with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a little more tidiness was indicated. (full review 6/4)

The Sentimental Engine Slayer (Omar Rodriguez Lopez, 2010). It is not always clear what is going on in this film directed by/starring the musician behind Mars Volta, but at least something is going on – the attempt is worth noting. (screens at SIFF 6/10, 6/11)