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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Inglourious Basterds,’ ‘District 9’ (again), ‘9,’ ‘Shorts,’ ‘Bandslam,’ ‘Fifty Dead Men Walking,’ ‘The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard,’ ‘Ponyo,’ ‘Paper Heart’ (maybe)

Oh my, that’s a nasty poster, ain’t it? Inglourious Basterds (opens in the U.K. on August 19, and in the U.S. on August 21) is gonna be even more brutal than the trailer makes it look, I think. The question is whether Quentin Tarantino gets the balance of gore and humor right…

I’m gonna attend another press screening of District 9 (opens in the U.S. on August 14, and the U.K. on September 4) tonight, even though my review is already written. I do need to write up my interview with director Neill Blomkamp and the press event with him and star Sharlto Copley, so, um, yeah, that’s why I need to see the movie again. And between now and Saturday, I’ll come up with a reason why I need to see the film for a third time then. Except, of course, I’ve got more than one geek friend, and I can only take one person with me, max, to each screening. (And the first one I attended was “no guests” at all!)

They’re calling it “stitchpunk,” this animated movie about little dolls and their posthuman, postapocalypse Mad Max world. I like that, although it means it’s sure to have imitators already glomming onto that label, even before we see 9 (opens in the U.S. on September 9 and in the U.K. on October 30). The trailer does make it look like something that will inspire imitation…

Shorts (opens in the U.S. and the U.K. on August 21) is Robert Rodriguez’s latest fantasy action comedy for the kiddies. Yup, looks pretty grade school to me.

I don’t know anything about Bandslam (opens in the U.K. on August 12, and in the U.S. on August 14) except that I’m guessing some studio exec saw the success of the High School Musical movies and said, Hey, why not High School Battle of the Bands? And here it is. It’s even got HSM’s Gabriella, Vanessa Hudgens.

Fifty Dead Men Walking (played theatrically in the U.K. this past spring and will be available on DVD in Region 2 on September 7; opens in the U.S. on August 21) stars Across the Universe’s Jim Sturgess as an Irish man recruited by British intelligence in 1980 to infiltrate the IRA. I’m guessing it doesn’t go well for anyone.

Far as I can tell, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (opens in the U.S. on August 14, and in the U.K. on October 9) isn’t screening for critics. But I’m taking the bullet for one of the newspapers that runs my reviews — I’d skip it otherwise. A “comedy” about used-car salesmen from the guys who wrote the direct-to-DVD Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach? My expectations could not be any lower.

Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (opens in the U.S on August 14 and expands August 21; opens in the U.K. on February 5, 2010) is being handled in the U.S. by Disney, so no screenings for me. If I do a double feature with this and The Goods on Friday, though, and I do this one second, it should wash any lingering badness of the first one away.

If I can squeeze in Charlyne Yi’s Paper Heart (opens in the U.S. on August 7; no U.K. release date has been announced) this week, I might do that. I’ve already got a lot on my slate for the week, but if I’m already downtown for other films, sometimes it just makes sense just to stay for one more (and to stay in a mulitplex’s air-conditioning on a sticky mid-August day).

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