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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Be Kind Rewind,’ ‘Vantage Point,’ ‘Jumper,’ ‘The Bank Job,’ ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles,’ ‘Charlie Bartlett,’ ‘Chop Shop’

Oh please please please let Be Kind Rewind [opens limited February 22] totally rock. How could it not? It’s Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) off on what sounds like another wacky, geeky, self-referential, pop-culture-snarking lark. Jack Black — who’s been growing on me of late — and Mos Def — who never fails to be amazing — are two guys remaking their favorite movies, like Ghostbusters and Back to the Future, on the ultra cheap. How can that not be funny? No, wait, don’t tell me — don’t spoil my hopes…

Someone is out to kill the president. Isn’t someone always? Vantage Point [opens wide February 22] gives us a plot to off the Commander in Chief from multiple viewpoints. Just like Law and Order: Criminal Intent! But without Vincent D’Onofrio. Or that partner chick of his who always scowls at him. That would have been cool, though.

I’m afraid I’m going to continue to be frustrated in my ongoing project to convince the world that Hayden Christensen can actually act, because the lad keeps insisting on proving me wrong. You’d think he, at least, would be interested in cooperating with me. Maybe he will in Jumper [opens wide February 14]. But we’re sure to be on solid ground — metaphorically speaking, of course, when it comes to a movie about people who can self-teleport — with Doug Liman, right? His Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith were among the best action movies of recent years, so I’m not wrong in being optimistic, am I?

The Bank Job [opens wide March 7] is what it sounds like: a true story of a huge London heist in the 1970s for which no one was ever arrested. I’m told that the story behind the heist features “a conspiracy involving murder, corruption and a sex scandal with links to the Royal Family.” All that an British accents too? I’m so there.

So I hear The Spiderwick Chronicles [opens wide February 14] is about this English kid who discovers he can do magic, and gets invited to attend a secret magic academy? No?

I saw Charlie Bartlett [opens wide February 22] last summer, when it was originally set to open, and then it got pushed up till now. So I’m gonna go see it again before I write my review — I recall that I liked it a lot, that it’s a Millennial Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and I always love Anton Yelchin, the new Ferris. But I need a refresher.

And I was supposed to see Chop Shop [opens limited February 27] a while back, and it ended up being a casualty of too much to do, not enough hours in the week. So I’m trying again this week. I really, really hope I don’t end up feeling overwhelmed by Thursday, when I’m set to see this, because I loved Ramin Bahrani’s first film, Man Push Cart — that one was about a side of New York City most of us don’t see, and this one promises to be the same. But I’m getting ready to head up to the science fiction convention Boskone very early Friday morning, which takes way more time than you’d think, with a four-hour drive to look forward to after that…

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  • MaryAnn

    Doh! The *Vantage Point* screening has been cancelled, and now I won’t be able to see it till next week…

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