That's a Wrap 

Oh, man. Remember Nick Nolte? Wow. Seems like the last, best Nolte-centric image I’ve got in my head is that of embattled coach Pete Bell drop-punting a basketball into the stands, and thus offending Bobby Knight, in Blue Chips (an underrated film, and your one-stop ticket to Anfernee Hardaway in “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”). Anyway, he’s back now, as is ever-controversial director Victor Salva (the message boards for any Salva flick `Powder, Jeepers Creepers` will be happy to fill you in — and then some — if you’re curious) with Peaceful Warrior, wherein Nolte plays grizzled mentor Socrates (say it with me … “Soh-craytes!”) to college gymnast Dan Millman (Plano’s own Scott Mechlowicz, who’s recognizable from EuroTrip, but should be known for 2004’s Mean Creek). Apparently, the film sorta sucks, and Nolte’s a nutbag (review/interview, page 23). I still love the guy, though.

Brazilian bit Cidade Baixa (Lower City) concerns two close friends and business partners who meet a stripper (City of God’s Alice Braga, niece of “The Brazilian Bombshell,” Sonia Braga); both fall for her, and suffer the disintegration of their friendship shortly thereafter. Plus, they probably all have crazy sex-in-Portuguese with each other, and I’ll bet one of ’em dies or something. Lesson? You can pick your friends, and you can pick your strippers …

Speakin’ of people bedding their friends while speaking different languages, Les Poupées russes (Russian Dolls) is clever and imaginative in parts, but this multilingual sequel to the equally multilingual and sex-centered L’Auberge Espagnole eventually devolves into a draggy, ultimately inessential offering (review, page 24).

So, Super Troopers became a cult hit, Club Dread can claim a laugh or three but essentially represents the predictable “sophomore” slump (if you exclude Puddle Cruiser), and The Dukes of Hazzard didn’t count. So … Beerfest, anyone? I’ve gotta say, I’ve got some measure of faith. Not sure why, but hey — everyone deserves a thir … uh, four … uh … three-and-a-halfth chance, right?

In How to Eat Fried Worms, a 5th-grader accepts a dare that could unseat a class bully. Might well be the best flick opening this week. (But where’s my The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo?)

When a film advertises itself as being “From the studio `Disney` that brought you Remember the Titans and The Rookie,” I don’t really have to determine its merit for you, do I? You know if you’ll like it. Invincible = Marky-Mark-as-inspirational-football-underdog. Done. Oh, except for one “wild card” (oy): the always-entertaining Elizabeth Banks. Hmm …

Idlewild has got me both interested and terrified. On the one hand, sweet! A genre-bending hip-hop musical, à la Outkast. On the other hand, did you see André in Be Cool? For that matter, did you see Be Cool at all? (Anger.)

Happy Wednesday.

Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.



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