In Theaters: 'Cowboys & Aliens' & 'Smurfs,' Oh My!

by Katie Walsh
July 29, 2011 6:05 AM
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Listen, I know what you expect from me. After last week's showing, you're expecting me to wax poetic about Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling and all the man beauty at the box office. Nope. What Chris Evans and I have is special and beautiful and I will not sully it with that cad, Ryan. I will leave that salivating to the male portion of the Playlist, as Mr. Gosling is the designated man crush. I don't need to build him up anymore than the rest of these dudes have. He's a great actor with a wonderful sense of personal style. THE END. All I will say about Mr. Craig is that I hope his bum is insured by Lloyd's of London for as much as J. Lo's booty. Anyway! In theaters this week! The improbably premised "Cowboys & Aliens"! Rom-com for men, "Crazy, Stupid Love"! "The Smurfs".... You know it's not a week without a dumb movie for children! Let's do it to it.

If you had told me that a movie called "Cowboys & Aliens" would actually look slightly promising via the trailer, I would have slapped your face and called you crazy. And yet, here we are. I'm watching the 'C & A' trailer and I'm not laughing. What a crazy world we live in. Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde combat an alien invasion in the Old West in a film directed by the guy who played Gutter in "PCU" and it's all fine and normal. Oh lord. Our review says the film is "generally entertaining," but "In the end, however, the enemy of the cowboys isn’t the aliens, but the inconsistent and, at times, sloppy storytelling." Rotten Tomatoes: 42% Metacritic: 50


In yet another blow to all of our childhoods, some crass studio exec has ripped "The Smurfs" out of the '80s, CGI-ed the little blue dudes and added a random melange of famous voices. FUCK ALL OF YOU. What's next, Rebecca Black voicing Red Fraggle?! Neil Patrick Harris pays his rent in his appearance as the human companion of the Smurfs: Lost in Manhattan. Oy. Our reviewer pondered, "It’s maybe the fifth poop, vomit, or urine joke where you do start to wonder who is supposed to get the most pleasure out of this film." NOT I, GOOD SIR. RT: 18% MC: 36

Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Julianne Moore star in "Crazy, Stupid, Love.," a fully man-accessible rom-com! You know the drill: love, loss, lust, heartbreak, etc. Our review says the film is, "likely the most successful romantic comedy you’ll see this summer; a warm, congenial and messy look at the misadventures of mismatched lovers and martial fissures that break us apart and bring us back together again." RT: 74% MC: 68

Dominic Cooper plays both roles of Saddam Hussein's son Uday and his body double Latif Yahia in "The Devil's Double." Our reviewer says Cooper's transformation between the two characters is a remarkable feat of acting but that the film itself is "a smutty exploitation picture. It’s the movie Uday Hussein deserved." RT: 57% MC: 56

Charming Irish bloke Brendan Gleeson and the elegant Don Cheadle star in John Michael McDonagh's "The Guard," Ireland's version of the buddy cop movie. Our review says the film "has a shaggy dog charm in its quieter comedic scenes, but still manages to convey the thrill of the pursuit of justice." RT: 94% MC: 72

Canadian serial killer drama "Good Neighbours" hits American theaters this weekend, starring Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman and Emily Hampshire, from director Jacob Tierney. Our review says it's "Just above a made-for-TV production, quiet and underachieving." RT: 65%

Hoo boy. Miranda July's latest film "The Future" opens this weekend. You know, I get that it deals with some interesting ideas about life and what does it all mean what does the future hold, but the fact that it is narrated by a stray cat they can't even decide to keep, IN A LITTLE TWEENSY CAT VOICE, just sends me into a violent blackout rage. I think I got maybe 1 minute into the trailer. Nope nope nope. Remember what I said about grown-up movies? Anyway, our review says it "pokes and shakes at unpredictable moments and explores the cinematic space that other filmmakers would otherwise ignore. In its own way, it’s unforgettable." Whatever you say, buddy. RT: 87% MC: 67

Ooh la la, French thriller "Point Blank" opens this weekend. Starring Gilles LeLouche, Elena Anaya, Roschdy Zem and directed by Fred Cavayé, it's all burglars and hostages and pregnant wives and mobsters and running. Our review says, "By the time the movie reaches its lackluster conclusion, all the fizz has been released from this pop entertainment, and the whole thing has gone flat." RT: 89% MC: 70

Documentary "El Bulli: Cooking in Progress" gives a peek into the world of molecular gastronomy master, chef Ferran Adria, and his legendary Spanish restaurant El Bulli, which serves its last meals tomorrow. Our review says the film is, "an unpretentious and strangely absorbing cinema-verite flick that’s a whole lot better than one would presume." RT: 42% MC: 49

WOAH TALK ABOUT BURYING THE LEDE! "Attack the Block" is opening in limited release in U.S. theaters this weekend. What the AWESOME. I mean... British Estate Council teens battle an alien invasion. Not to mention anyone and everyone who has seen the film at fests has been giving it rave notices. Directed by Joe Cornish, the film stars a host of unknown teens who carry the film. Our review from SXSW says the film, "is the ideal midnight movie, in that it moves at a breathless pace, the action continuous and busy, and yet Cornish manages to clearly distinguish between each of the kids, not to mention the space onscreen during the many action scenes." RT: 88% MC: 75

Also in theaters: the latest doc from the filmmakers behind "Hoop Dreams," "The Interrupters" follows a group of anti-gang activists in Chicago (check out the moving trailer) RT: 100% MC: 84. Mark Duplass and Melissa Leo star in the feature debut of writer/director Craig Johnson, "True Adolescents." RT: 60% MC: 48. sleep furiously (lowercase intended) is a lyrical documentary about a small farming village in Wales, the home of Dylan Thomas RT: 76% MC: 59. Jean-Claude Van Damme and some dude named Scott Adkins shoot guns in "Assassination Games." "All In: The Poker Movie" is a documentary about poker... great. British horror "Spiderhole" (arachnophobes beware!); Brazilian spiritual drama "Our Home"; WTF award goes to "Without Men" starring Christian Slater and Eva Longoria; or maybe Udo Kier in gay dance club coming of age film "House of Boys"? Lighten it up with child labor doc "The Harvest"! Oof and there are just too many randoms on Rotten Tomatoes today. Check it for yourself!

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