Now Playing at the movies

By |2007-06-21T09:00:00-04:00June 21st, 2007|Uncategorized|

June 25, 2007


Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

The Fantastic Four – Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd), the Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba), the Human Torch (Chris Evans) and the Thing (Michael Chiklis) – return to battle a new enemy, a planet-devouring force known as Galactus, and Galactus’ ambassador, the Silver Surfer (voice of Laurence Fishburne). Fighting against the U.S. military, the band of outsiders must join together as one to stop Galactus from destroying Earth. It’s a fairly unimaginative adventure, a semi-slog that would benefit from much more action than it delivers, especially since real suspense about the fate of the Earth is beside the point when the Fantastic Four are in the mix. But children – the target audience of this PG-rated live-action cartoon – will enjoy themselves quite a bit, and parents won’t be too put out by the experience. Here’s hoping the inevitable third film delivers the goods. C+

Kinsey Scale: 1 (Co-star Julian McMahon stars on the gay-created “Nip/Tuck.” Co-star Kerry Washington has played a lesbian in “The Dead Girl” and “She Hate Me.”)

Nancy Drew

Teen detective Nancy Drew (Emma Roberts) promises her father (Tate Donovan) that she will stop sleuthing when they temporarily relocate to Los Angeles. But the house they rent turns out to have belonged to a movie star who died under murky circumstances, and Nancy cannot resist trying to solve the puzzle. Director Andrew Fleming and co-writer Tiffany Paulsen offer a fresh take on Carolyn Keene’s beloved franchise, updating it to the 21st century, but leaving Nancy as the same curious, smart, and courteous young lady she has always been. She is a walking anachronism, but also a breath of retro fresh air in jaded Hollywood. Roberts is adorable, and while the action slows in spots, this is a witty and often suspenseful family-friendly mystery. A-

Kinsey Scale: 2 (A subtle reference suggests that the two thugs Nancy captures burglarizing a church might be a couple, when one starts reminiscing about a trip to Fire Island before the other one cuts him off. Fleming is openly gay and previously wrote and directed “Threesome.” Among co-stars with queer credits, Barry Bostwick played the straight arrow seduced by Frank-N-Furter in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”; Laura Harring was Naomi Watts’ lover in “Mulholland Drive”; Marshall Bell was the warden in “Capote”; Adam Goldberg guest-starred on “Will & Grace”; and Caroline Aaron made her screen debut in “Welcome to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” and also appeared in “When Billie Beat Bobby” and on “Six Feet Under.”)


28 Weeks Later

It’s a blood-soaked adventure, full of jolts and whiplash camera moves. And though it lacks the shock of its predecessor, this is slick, tense, frightening entertainment and a welcome second chapter. B+


What follows is aggressively violent (if the words “self-dentistry” give you the shivers, then you might find yourself a touch freaked-out), drug-addled, and insane to the point of comic parody. But it’s also like nothing else at the movies in this feel-good, ogres-and-pirates summer – a bizarrely entertaining trip into madness. B+


It’s a somewhat dumb-yet-efficient teen suspense jolt-fest, and the presence of the handsomely creepy David Morse is such a standard-issue example of typecasting that it’s like modern movie code for “this is the bad guy, in case you hadn’t already guessed.” But it works on its own terms, even if the spirit of Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart is nowhere to be found. B


Elisabeth Shue’s husband, director David Guggenheim, has created a handsome, well-intentioned film that meticulously recreates the era, but as one sports cliche piles atop another, it never comes fully alive. A drama that should be moving and compelling simply isn’t. B-

Hostel: Part II

If you can accept a gore-filled horror film with aspirations to something more than simple-minded brutality, then this bloody fantasy is an artistic success, more than just the sum of its chopped-up parts. B

Knocked Up

It’s a no-holds-barred adult comedy that maintains a sense of genuine sweetness amidst the R-rated humor, making it the best American comedy of the year so far. A

La Vie en Rose

Director Olivier Dahan meticulously recreates the time periods he does deign to cover, made more evocative by the real-life Piaf’s passionate vocals on the soundtrack. But mostly the drama succeeds because of the virtually unrecognizable Cotillard’s sensational, moving, and completely committed performance. B+

Mr. Brooks

Demi Moore is terrible, and the cop is a far more unbelievable (and unlikable) character than the killer. The movie is a missed opportunity – what could have been brilliant surrenders to mediocrity. B-

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Clearly meant to wrap up threads left by the first two chapters, it crams in too much story – often indecipherable – at the expense of action and suspense. Supporting actors still charm, but Johnny Depp’s mannerisms have become so grating that one longs to see Sparrow walk the plank once and for all. C-

Shrek the Third

This is a movie where all the rooting interest is in the bad guy, thanks to Rupert Everett’s witty vocal performance. He is one of the few highlights as the franchise that was once fun for the whole family is now strictly for undemanding kids. B-

Spider-Man 3

This third chapter also represents an evolution of both character and actor, as Tobey Maguire delivers a deeply rendered and much more human superhero, uncovering both the dark aspects lurking beneath Parker’s sunny exterior and his aching vulnerability. A


The enormously engaging Keri Russell is this Southern-fried romantic comedy’s chief asset, her charming performance making it easy to forgive the movie’s defects: the sitcom-level humor and the fact that the relationship between tough Jenna and whiny Earl never rings true. The visually scrumptious, evocatively named pies add another appeal – mouthwatering creations that will send you from the theater in search of dessert. B

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.