New Reviews

Heading South, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Time to Leave

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HEADING SOUTH (VERS LE SUD)
Laurent Cantet's evocation of pre-AIDS, old-school sex tourism begins with a poignant evocation of ordinary terror. A middle-class woman, desperate to protect her nubile daughter, approaches a dignified professional with hopes of selling the girl to him: Haiti, 1979. Albert (Lys Ambroise) declines; as upper class as he appears, he's also a servant, waiting at the Port au Prince airport to pick up Brenda (Karen Young), a newly single white American in her late 40s. The resort where Albert is employed is an erotic utopia for such women. Ellen (Charlotte Rampling), a Wellesley professor and queen of the beach, welcomes Brenda to "paradise" with the assurance that "you're going to have a ball." Albert's disapproval notwithstanding, the resort is a safe zone allowing its female guests to openly pair off with youthful locals; the main drama is the war Brenda wages against Ellen for the favors of the beautiful Legba. Outside their bubble . . . it's a tropical terror state. An intelligent movie, Heading South makes most of its points in the first 20 minutes. (J. Hoberman) (Regency Lido, Newport Beach)

LEONARD COHEN: I'M YOUR MAN
See Film feature. (Edwards South Coast Village, Santa Ana)

MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND
Hell hath no fury like a woman superhero scorned in director Ivan Reitman and screenwriter Don Payne's loopy cross-pollination of comic-book mythos and crazed-ex-lover melodrama. Luke Wilson is the on-the-rebound architect who falls for a bookish gallery curator (Uma Thurman), only to discover she's really the alter-ego of G-Girl, an indestructible, meteorite-enhanced crime fighter. G-Girl's a whiz-bang in the bedroom too; when she and Wilson make love—a hilarious scene—the earth literally moves under their feet. But romantic bliss is short-lived for these two lonely hearts, and when Wilson tries to break things off, G-Girl goes nutzoid. My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a one-joke movie, but the joke happens to be a good one—a Tracy-and-Hepburn-style battle of the sexes in which Kate can fly and blast through walls—and Reitman (who made Ghostbusters) feels at home with the mix of screwball and supernatural. A talented supporting cast (Anna Faris, Wanda Sykes, Eddie Izzard) flounder in underwritten roles, while Thurman gets her best comic opportunities since The Truth About Cats & Dogs: She's an inspired goofball, switching personalities and wardrobes with the quick-change precision of Christopher Reeve in his prime. (Scott Foundas) (Countywide)


TIME TO LEAVE (LE TEMPS QUI RESTE)
The second (after the very good Under the Sand) in a projected trilogy by Fran├žois Ozon examining death from different angles, Time to Leave blows a fresh, skeptical wind through fairly corny melodramatic territory while keeping faith with the operatic emotions of the genre. Told that he has only a short while to live, Romain (the sensuously androgynous Melvil Poupaud), a successful gay fashion photographer and coke-snorting narcissist with a cruel streak, struggles for a way to prepare himself for the end. No consumptive hero, he stumbles into coping strategies—an acceleration of his customary risky behavior and ambivalent mind games with his family and boyfriend—that signal an extension of his selfish life and hint at self-transformation. As always with Ozon, there's something undercooked and overblown about the emotional life of this movie, and as Romain's boho grandmother, Jeanne Moreau seems shoehorned in for a diva cameo. Yet the same quiet ecstasy that made the final moments of Under the Sand so moving works here too, inspiring joy and naked grief in equal measure. (Ella Taylor) (Edwards University, Irvine)

 

we recommend/don't recommend:
 

CLERKS II
This Film feature is sort of a recommendation. But this Film feature? Not so much. (Countywide)

 

 

also showing:


THE CELESTINE PROPHECY
See Film feature. (AMC at the Block, Orange; Century Stadium, Orange)


LADY IN THE WATER
See Film feature. (Countywide)

MONSTER HOUSE
See Film feature. (Countywide)


preview

THE DESCENT
Wed., 8 p.m. (Countywide)

 
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