The Green Lantern arrives

Plus: The Art of Getting By and more what's playing at a theater near you.

new this week

THE ART OF GETTING BY (PG-13) Check out Daniel Feingold's review by clicking here.

THE GREEN LANTERN (PG-13) Based on the comic book series about an ordinary guy who finds a magical ring that grants him the power to conjure anything his mind can conceive,The Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role and hopes to do for D.C. Comics what Iron Man did for Marvel. Check out Sal's full review of Green Lantern here.

recent releases

BEGINNERS (R) Ewan McGregor stars as a man grappling with the double whammy of finding out his aging father (Christopher Plummer) is both gay and gravely ill. If the parade of summer blockbusters isn't blowing up your skirt, Beginners may just be the counterprogramming you've been looking for. (Not reviewed)

BRIDESMAIDS (R) Kristen Wiig reveals her uber-talent in Bridesmaids, the new Judd Apatow-produced comedy that's being compared with The Hangover — and rightfully so. With no boyfriend, no apartment and a bakery business that recently went bust, Annie (Wiig) is hitting rock bottom just as her lifelong friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married. As maid of honor, Annie is given the task of helping plan Lillian's wedding, which bumps up awkwardly with her efforts to pull her life back together. In Bridesmaids, Wiig finally gets the chance to own the spotlight, and she pulls it off brilliantly. Aside from Wiig, the movie counts on strong performances from the supporting cast, including Maya Rudolph and Rose Byrne, and as with The Hangover, it's the over-the-top character acting in Bridesmaids that stays with you after the movie. There are comedies that come along every once in a while that leave a lasting mark on the audience and become cultural touchstones. Recent examples include Anchorman, The 40-Year Old Virgin and of course The Hangover. Add Bridesmaids to the list. —Daniel Feingold

EVERYTHING MUST GO (R) Will Ferrell stars as a salesman whose glory days have long since evaporated in a haze of women and drink. Returning home after being fired for yet another relapse, he finds the locks changed and all his stuff sitting on the front lawn. Staring at his worldly possessions and wondering what to do next, he reluctantly organizes his stuff into an everything-must-go sale that becomes a lingering metaphor for his desire (buried in his subconscious, to be sure) to start over. Ferrell delivers a solid performance, the supporting cast is spot-on (young Christopher Jordan Wallace should have a long career ahead of him), and first-time filmmaker Dan Rush is competent in the director's chair — yet I was still less than thrilled with Everything Must Go. This is a movie that seems to be shouting, "Look, I'm meant to be taken seriously!" but ultimately lacks the depth to pull it off. —Joe Bardi

FAST FIVE (PG-13) As the opening sequence to Fast Five reaches its astonishingly stupid payoff, The Onion's satiric conceit that the film was scripted by a 5-year-old doesn't seem too far off. A movie as nonsensical, aimlessly energetic and full of testosterone as Fast Five is borne of the kind of adolescent enthusiasm whose creative process is propagated by questions that start with "Wouldn't it be cool if …" Ridiculous from start to finish in nearly every respect, Fast Five is fueled by copious amounts of hammy acting, macho posing and the kind of trash-talking banter that passes for comic relief in big, dumb action pictures like this. But even big, dumb action flicks need at least a trace amount of wit to be entertaining. Instead, Fast Five functions as a kind of black hole from which no intelligence can escape. —Anthony Salveggi

THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD (PG-13) From Morgan Spurlock, the inquisitive director of the 2004 documentary Super Size Me, comes a film about, and made possible by, product placement. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold exposes and illuminates the extensive advertising and branding industry, even as Spurlock makes use of said industry in the making of the film. We watch as Spurlock goes from company to company, brand to brand, selling not only his film to these potential partners, but also himself — possibly trading his artistic freedom in the process. Spurlock interviews people with a variety of viewpoints, including regular citizens, lawyers, advertisers and filmmakers, and although it's clear that Spurlock sees danger in pervasive advertising, the viewer is left to decide for themselves what they think about the whole process. Overall, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is both entertaining and informational. Give Spurlock credit for yet again exposing a major issue in a smart, fun way. —Katy Williamson

THE HANGOVER PART II (R) As you probably expected, The Hangover Part II is, structurally, a near-copy of its predecessor. This time out, the boys are off to Thailand, where Stu is set to marry his new girlfriend. Despite their best efforts to avoid a repeat of their Vegas misadventure, a night on the beach leads to the trio awakening in a seedy Bangkok hotel, where they find a scene-stealing monkey and a severed finger. From that point, their mission is to navigate an unfamiliar city and find Stu's bride-to-be's younger brother, a teenager who has gone missing. To the credit of the three leads, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are presented as flesh-and-blood characters, not one-dimensional stand-ins whose only purpose is to utter rote dialogue that telegraphs every punch line. Amidst the noisy and tiresome spectacle of would-be summer blockbusters, The Hangover Part II is like much-needed downtime in your favorite dive bar. It's pretty grungy, but for a couple of hours, you'll feel right at home. —AS

Check out Anthony Salveggi's full review here.

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