By Katie Walsh | The Playlist July 1, 2011 at 5:30AM
And a very merry "Transformers" weekend to you too! Celebrate America's birthday by indulging in the fireworks fest that is Michael Bay's third "Transformers" epic, wherein modern American history gets rewritten, Shia LaBoeuf gets a new PYT whose reputation he can disparage in two years, and the city of Chicago gets its turn as the 'burb that gets destroyed in the most spectacular way possible! If wanton destruction isn't your thing, take your grandparents to go see Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in "Larry Crowne." Or your little sister to go see "Monte Carlo." Or get outside, bare some arms, eat some grilled meat and drink some domestic beers. It's only appropriate. Also Happy Canada Day to our Canadian brethren. I'm not sure how they celebrate that, but I sincerely hope it's with fire and meat, like how we do. And to our friends in the U.K., do you have a holiday this weekend? If not, I suggest having an ironic 4th of July party-- cut the sleeves off a t-shirt and the legs off some jeans, put on some aviators, drink something out of a can and light something on fire. There you go! Yay!
We may be pretentious art film snobs, but we're not immune to Michael Bay's certain charms... we're breathing aren't we?! Just check out our Bay retrospective, in which we attempt to grapple with the action auteur's oeuvre in anticipation of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." This long weekend gives you extra time to escape the summer heat, don the 3D glasses and join LaBoeuf, the Autobots, Decepticons, Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (say that five times fast), Josh Duhamel, Frances McDormand (?!), John Malkovich, Tyrese, John Turturro, and blah blah who cares who else is in this movie. Our review says, "the final chunk of the movie is everything a big, dumb popcorn movie should deliver," but of course, "a forgettable, fairly ludicrous story, with thinly drawn characters." For some, that's an unforgivable offense, for others, the spectacle is all that matters. I think you know where we fall, but where do you? Rotten Tomatoes: 37% Metacritic: 42
Tom Hanks returns to the director's chair, and directs himself and the other reigning royal of '90s rom coms, Julia Roberts, in "Community: The Movie," excuse me, "Larry Crowne," a winsome tale about a man who goes back to college after being let go from his big box store job. Roberts plays his community college professor, and the duo are backed up by Cedric the Entertainer, George Takei, Bryan Cranston and Pam Grier, among other young faces. Our review says, "not even his sweetly honed sincerity can save the film from a series of catastrophic miscalculations." RT: 36% MC: 41
Another film for children and the young women who wish they were children! "Monte Carlo" stars Bieber-humper Selena Gomez as a young girl abroad who happens to bear a striking resemblance to a random European princess. Wacky mistaken identity hijinks ensue. Gossip Girl Leighton Meester and Partridge Family spawn Katie Cassidy co-star as the BFFs. RT: 45% MC: 42
John C. Reilly as the best high school guidance counselor ever in Sundance flick "Terri," costarring Jacob Wysocki as the socially awkward teen who forms an unlikely friendship with Reilly. We've got double the reviews for you on this! Our Sundance correspondent says that while it "doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, it does have its charms." Our IFF Boston review says that, "it’s got all the necessary quirk without being over the top." RT: 81% MC: 75
David Hyde Pierce stars in thriller 'The Perfect Host," as a bank robber shows up unexpectedly at his dinner party! Theory: do all movies with "perfect" in the title have to be thrillers? I think so. RT: 43% MC: 47
Bollywood action comedy "Dehli Belly" (yes, the title refers to what you think it refers to) RT: 88% MC: 64, L-U-V in NYC (yeah, right) documentary "Love Etc." RT: 50% MC: 48; Cristi Puiu's latest, the murder mystery "Aurora" RT: 71% MC: 66; "Crime After Crime," a documentary about the imprisonment of Debbie Peagler RT: 91% MC: 70; the President loses his dog in "First Dog," starring Eric Roberts; this would be a throwaway entry but "White: Melody of Death" is a Korean horror flick about a K-Pop girl group with a cursed song that causes horrible accidental deaths!!! 1. This will be remade in the U.S. in 5..4..3..2.. and 2. K-Pop is THE. BEST. Here's the best K-Pop girl group jam I have been blasting for the past two days. Put it on your Independence Day, Canada Day or Ironic U.K. 4th of July Party Mix and enjoy.