Baghead: The Duplass brothers (The Puffy Chair) return with this softly satirical indie flick about a bunch of desperate actors who gather at a cabin to write their own self-starring indie flick. Things get weird when the title character — an idea of theirs — seems to show up. R. 84 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
Brideshead Revisited: Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane, Kinky Boots) directs this adaptation of the Evelyn Waugh novel about a young, middle-class Englishman caught up with the wealthy, religious, upper-class Flyte family, especially son Sebastian (Ben Whishaw) and daughter Julia (Hayley Atwell). The result is pretty love triangle, and a film that gives short shrift to the themes and tensions beneath the surface. PG13. 120 min. Movies 12. (8/14)
Ghost Town: Beautifully dry British actor Ricky Gervais (The Office) stars as a man who dies for seven minutes, and finds that, as a result, he can see and talk to ghosts — who all want things. Greg Kinnear costars as the central undead man. PG13. 102 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Igor: When Igor gets sick of being an evil scientist’s assistant, he and two companions (a previously dead bunny and a brain in a jar) try to create their own terrible monster. Things go terribly awry — and they need to help save the world! Oddly enough, this cutely macabre animated tale came to life with no help from Tim Burton. Voice of John Cusack, Steve Buscemi and Jennifer Coolidge. PG. 87 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Lakeview Terrace: Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) directs this fraught tale of a couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) whose intrusive new neighbor (Samuel L. Jackson) disapproves of their relationship. Also, he’s a cop. Which complicates things. R. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Man on Wire: James Marsh (The King) takes the inherently fantastic tale of Philippe Petit, the young Frenchman who crossed the gap between the World Trade Center’s towers on a tightrope, and makes it into an engrossing documentary that avoids what Petit calls the very American question “Why?”, opting instead to explore the who and the how of the thing. Absolutely delightful. PG13. 94 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
My Best Friend’s Girl: When Dustin (Jason Biggs)’s girlfriend (Kate Hudson) dumps him, he turns to his best friend Tank (Dane Cook), a professional ass who proves to (apparently incredibly gullible) women that the men they’ve left were actually sweet and worth keeping. Things go wrong. R. 101 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Sprout Film Festival: New York-based touring film festival features “actors, writers and directors of film living with developmental disabilities.” Actor Chris Burke (of Life Goes On) will appear at the festival, which shows short and feature-length documentary, narrative and animated films, and is a fundraiser for Full Access Brokerage, which provides advocacy and case management services for adults with developmental disabilities. 5:30 pm Friday, Sept. 19, at Wildish Community Theater, Springfield. See www.gosprout.org for more information.
Why We Fight: Director Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) makes a compelling, if not exactly groundbreaking, case for viewing the military-industrial complex as another massive corporation. PG-13. 7 pm Sunday, Sept. 21, at Cozmic Pizza. Free; donations benefit Iraq Veterans Against the War. Online archives.
Babylon A.D.: Vin Diesel stars as a mercenary hired to take a package from Eastern Europe to New York City in a post-apocalypic world. There’s more to the package than expected, though. With Michelle Yeoh. Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz (Gothika). PG13. 90 min. Cinemark.
Burn After Reading: The Coen brothers follow up the dark No Country For Old Men with this comedy about an ex-CIA spy’s memoir that falls into the hands of a couple of gym employees. With George Clooney, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt. R. 96 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Dark Knight, The: Christopher Nolan’s second take on the alter ego of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), who has a new nemesis in the Joker (Heath Ledger, earning whispers of a posthumous Oscar nod), is both an enthrallingly entertaining summer action movie and a complicated moral tangle. With Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine and Aaron Eckhart. PG13.152 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/24)
Death Race: Jason Statham (The Transporter) is a falsely convicted criminal (and racing champ) forced to take part in an evil prison warden (Joan Allen)’s brutal race, in which convicts compete … for their lives! With Ian McShane. R. Cinemark.
Encounters at the End of the World: The latest documentary from Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) explores the extreme environment of the South Pole, and the men and women of McMurdo Station, headquarters of the National Science Foundation. “Herzog is like no other filmmaker, and to return to him is to be welcomed into a world vastly larger and more peculiar than the one around us,” says Roger Ebert. G. 101 min. Bijou. (9/11)
Family That Preys, The: The latest from actor-director-writer-etc. Tyler Perry stars Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates as old friends who head off on a road trip to sort things out when their families erupt in turmoil as adult children’s foibles come to light. PG13. 111 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Fly Me to the Moon: Three flies hitch a ride on Apollo 11. First flies in space! Apparently, this movie will “introduce a whole new generation to the awe-inspiring achievements of the space program’s most momentous mission.” Are there no better ways to do that? G. 84 min. VRC Stadium 15.
Get Smart: Steve Carell is newly promoted former CONTROL analyst Maxwell Smart, sent on a mission to save the world from agents of KAOS; Anne Hathaway is his sidekick (who one suspects may be slightly more competent), Agent 99. This adaptation of the 1960s TV show also gives us Terence Stamp as a baddie and The Rock as a superspy. PG13. 110 min. Movies 12.
Hancock: Grumpy, drunken, superpowered Hancock (Will Smith, aka Mr. July) has a habit of wreaking considerable destuction when saving lives. But a PR guy (Jason Bateman) somehow shows Hancock that he does have a softer side. He can be better! At least I think that’s what he says in the ads. PG13. 92 min. Movies 12.
House Bunny, The: Playboy bunny Shelley Darlington (Anna Faris) gets booted from the mansion and finds herself helping the members of a sorority that’s in danger of losing its house. She teaches them about makeup! They teach her about individuality! Please, Hollywood. Stop that. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: It’s the only mainstream movie opening this weekend! It’s got Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett and Shia LeBoeuf and sassy Raiders of the Lost Ark dame Karen Allen! Also, it takes place 19 years after the underrated third film in a world facing the possibility of nuclear annihilation. That’s about all I’ve got. That and a big plastic Indy whip. PG13. 124 min. Movies 12. (5/29)
Iron Man: The first major summer flick stars Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist who devises a suit that gives him the superheroic ability to take down baddies who misuse his destructive technology. Awesome. With Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow. PG13. Movies 12. (5/8)
Journey to the Center of the Earth: Brendan Fraser stars as a less-than-traditional scientist who finds himself leading his nephew and a friend into the center of the earth, where there’s … another world! In 3D, which makes all those falling rocks and underground dinosaurs even more exciting. PG. 89 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadiium 15.
Kit Kittredge: American Girl: The insanely popular book series comes to life in the form of perky young Abigail Breslin, who stars as aspiring reporter Kit Kittredge, who needs to save her family’s home and prove that the baddies behind a string of robberies aren’t who the cops think they are. G. 101 min. Movies 12.
Kung Fu Panda: Jack Black — or at least his voice — stars as Po the Panda, a waiter whose love for kung fu serves him well when it turns out there’s a prophecy about him saving the world from some powerful enemies. With the voices of Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. PG. 88 min. Movies 12.
Mamma Mia!: Get the song outta my head! Oh, too late. Anyway, the giant hit Broadway musical becomes a giant film starring Meryl Streep as the mother whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried of Veronica Mars) wants to find out who her father is: Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan or Stellan Skarsgard. Oh, and there’s some Abba. PG13. 108 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Mirrors: You know that mirror gag in horror films? When someone swings their medicine cabinet into place and — gasp! — there’s someone in the room? This pretty much looks like an entire movie of the mirror gag. With a lot of screaming. And Kiefer Sutherland. R. 110 min. Movies 12.
Mummy, The: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Brendan Fraser goes on his second summer adventure and his third as “explorer” Rick O’Connell. Rick’s got to take down a long-dead emperor (Jet Li) who, one assumes, wants to take over the world (isn’t that what evil emperors do?). PG13. 112 min. Cinemark.
Righteous Kill: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino costar as detectives hunting a serial killer who takes out criminals. A connection to a previous case the men solved together complicates things further. R. 100 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Animated film sits between Attack of the Clones and, um… oh yeah: Revenge of the Sith. (I really had to think about that.) Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda and other familiar faces — and a young Padawan named Ahsoka — face off against the Sith while the Separatists and Galactic Empire battle for the fate of the galaxy. Or something. It’s got lightsabers; what else do you need to know? PG. 90 min. Cinemark.
Tell No One: Incredibly well-reviewed French thriller about Alex (Francois Cluzet), a man who’s believed his wife dead for eight years — until he receives an email that appears to be from her. Bodies are found near where she died, and Alex is a suspect; he takes off in search of the truth. “Here is how a thriller should be made,” said Roger Ebert. NR. 125 min. Bijou. (8/21)
Traitor: This dude-heavy flick stars Guy Pearce (where’s he been lately?) as an FBI agent investigating a former officer (the always impressive Don Cheadle) who has a habit of turning up just when something big is going down. PG13. VRC Stadium 15.
Tropic Thunder: Ben Stiller directs this wildly funny if somewhat meandery send-up of actors and war movies; he also stars (with Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr.) as one of the primadonna actors whose director (Steve Coogan) decides to impart a bit of realism to his Vietnam film — by dropping his stars into the jungle and filming their reactions. R. 107 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/21)
Women, The: Remake of the 1939 classic stars Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing and Jada Pinkett Smith as, in the summary’s words, “group of close friends [who] meet to talk about their relationships.” As you’d expect with such a trite summary, reviews aren’t good. Sigh. PG13. 114 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall