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Weekend Box Office: August 17-19, 2007
Superbad tops the box office with $33.1 million

Daily Box Office: Thursday, August 23, 2007
Superbad tops Thursday's box office with $3.5 million

Resurrecting the Champ / *** (PG-13)
"Resurrecting the Champ" (PG-13, 111 minutes). Samuel L. Jackson stars as a former boxer, now a Skid Row drunk nicknamed Champ, who tells his story to a sports writer (Josh Hartnett). He was a contender once, he says, and the writer scents a great story. Jackson is good so is Alan Alda is the writer's editor, although the movie bogs down in details of the writer's domestic life. Rating: Three stars.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters / *** ()
"The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" (PG-13, 90 minutes). A documentary that is beyond strange, about two arch-enemies and their grim long-term rivalry to set the world record score in the 1980s arcade game Donkey Kong. One is a hot sauce tycoon, the other just got laid off at Boeing, and they both spend way more time playing Donkey Kong than any human life should have to endure. Somewhat limited fame and immortality go to the man who can best protect the damsel from the gorilla. Rating: Three stars.

The 11th Hour / ** (PG)
"The 11th Hour" (PG, 91 minutes). A dire warning about the demise of planet Earth, presented in a deadening format of taking heads and what often looks like stock nature footage. The doc has a lot of valuable information, but fails to convey it in an effective, involving way. Rent Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" instead. Rating: Four stars

2 Days in Paris / *** (R)
"2 Days in Paris" (R, 96 minutes). Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg play a New York couple, she French, who wrap up a miserable European holiday by spending two days in Paris, living above her parents. Not your usual lovers-in-Paris movie, but about two original, quirky characters so obsessed with their differences that Paris is almost a distraction. Written, directed, co-produced, edited, and scored by Delpy; when a women takes that many jobs, we slap her down for vanity. When a man does, we call him the new Orson Welles. Rating: Three stars.

September Dawn / (R)
By Roger Ebert On Sept. 11, 1857, at the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a group of fanatic Mormons attacked and slaughtered a wagon train of about 120 settlers passing through Utah on their way to California. Can we all agree that the date has no significance? No, we cannot, because "September Dawn" is at pains to point out that on another Sept. 11, another massacre took place, again spawned by religion.

The Nanny Diaries / **1/2 (PG-13)
“The Nanny Diaries” (PG-13, 107 minutes). Told from the point of view of a bright college graduate (Scarlett Johansson) who is accidentally hired as a nanny by a rich Manhattan family. Satire on the lifestyles of the rich and famous, with Laura Linney effective as the complex Mrs. X, and Paul Giamatti as her cheating zillionaire husband. Sort of bland, obvious and comfortable; nobody is really despicable enough. Rating: Two and a half stars.

Private Property / ***1/2 (No rating)
"Private Property" (Unrated, 95 minutes). Isabelle Huppert plays the divorced mother of twin sons, who treat her badly. Her ex- husband has remarried and has a child. She's started to date a man, and they talk about running a B&B. It is time for her to live her own life. Her sons don't think so. Also starring real life brothers Yannick and Jeremie Renier, the movie builds suspense in the way so many feelings are cloaked, especially the mother's. Rating: Three and a half stars

Illegal Tender / **1/2 (R)
"Illegal Tender" (R, 105 minutes.) Wanda DeJesus stars in a strong performance as a smart South Bronx girl whose boyfriend is shot dead the day she gives birth. She wisely invested his profits, 20 years later is wealthy, and tries to hide herself and family in the suburbs, but the past comes calling. Rick Gonzalez co-stars as her son, who grows from Joe College in a man who vows to “end all this,”

Zodiac / **** (R)
“Zodiac” (R, 156 minutes). The “All the President’s Men” of serial killer movies, with Woodward and Bernstein played by a cop and a cartoonist. It’s not merely “based” on California’s infamous Zodiac killings, but seems to exude the very stench and provocation of the case. Key characters trying to end the California madman’s murders:

Superbad / ***1/2 (R)
“Superbad” (R, 112 minutes). Four-letter raunch-a-rama with a heart, and a fascination for other key organs. Best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), have been inseparable in high school, mainly because they were equally unpopular. Now it is the last night of the high school year, bringing to mind the ancient truism that if you haven’t had sex yet and you don’t have it tonight, you will never have had sex in high school. Rating: Three stars.

Rocket Science / ***1/2 (R)
“Rocket Science” (R, 101 minutes) Light-hearted, smart high school comedy beginning when a debate champ freezes on stage, and his pretty partner (Anna Kendrick) chooses a stuttering nerd (Reece Daniel Thompson) as his replacement. The director, Jeffrey Blitz, obviously learned a lot about teenage insecurity from his first film, the Oscar-nominated “Spellbound” (2002), about the National Spelling Bee. A lot better than your average high school comedy. Rating: Three and a half stars.

Death at a Funeral / *** (R)
“Death at a Funeral” (R, 90 minutes). British comedy involving unplanned entrances and exits, misbehavior of corpses, and just plain wacky eccentricity. Directed by Frank Oz, it finds its laughs in the peculiar human trait of being most tempted to laugh when we’re absolutely not supposed to. With Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, Ewen Bremner, Jane Asher, Rupert Graves and last but not least Peter Dinklage.

Flanders / *** (No rating)
“Flanders” (R, 91 minutes). The 2006 Jury Prize winner at Cannes. Stolid, passive, depressed farm workers have sex, the men go to war, one returns, in a film that wants to depict lives that are without curiosity, introspection, and hope. I watched with mournful restlessness. Directed by Bruno Dumont, who also won Cannes in 1999 with "L'Humanite." Rating: Three stars.

The Invasion / ** (PG-13)
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (PG-13, 95 minutes). The fourth, and the least, of the movies made from Jack Finney's classic science fiction novel "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Here is a great story born to be creepy, and the movie churns through it like a road company production. If the first three movies served as parables for their times, this one keeps shooting off parable rockets that fizzle out. Nicole Kidman stars as a mom fighting off alien spores for herself and her son, Daniel Craig is her current squeeze, Jeremy Northam her ominous ex-husband, Jeffrey Wright the brilliant scientist who solves everything in two concise speeches, and Jackson Bond is Kidman's young son. The actors do what they can with a plot that we concede must be implausible but does not necessarily have to upstage the Mad magazine version. Rating: Two stars.

Pierrot Le Fou / **1/2 (No rating)
“Pierrot le Fou” (Unrated, 110 minutes). Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina as young lovers on the lam, in Jean-Luc Godard’s pastiche is Hollywood genres and self-conscious visual effects. Has not aged well. In a new 35mm print at the Music Box. 1968 rating: 3.5 stars. 2007 rating: Two and a half stars.

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