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Weekend Preview: Avoid The Hangover Part II For Something Unforgettable: The Tree of Life

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood May 27, 2011 at 5:30AM

This Memorial Day weekend brings the best and worst of moviegoing experiences. For family fun, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a sure thing, while The Hangover Part II serves up "An embarrassing descent into racial stereotypes and tired homophobia," says Spout, and to add injury to insult, it's not even funny. Our recommendation for a worthwhile experience is Terrence Malick's long-awaited Palme d'Or-winner, The Tree of Life.
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Thompson on Hollywood


This Memorial Day weekend brings the best and worst of moviegoing experiences. For family fun, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a sure thing, while The Hangover Part II serves up "An embarrassing descent into racial stereotypes and tired homophobia," says Spout, and to add injury to insult, it's not even funny. Our recommendation for a worthwhile experience is Terrence Malick's long-awaited Palme d'Or-winner, The Tree of Life.

More details, reviews and trailers below:

More reviews: MovieReviewIntelligence, RottenTomatoes, Metacritic.

The Hangover Part II, Warner Bros. | Dir: Todd Phillips, Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti | What Comparing The Hangover to Bridesmaids Says About Hollywood's Gender Problem | Todd Phillips Interview | Comparing The Hangover Part II to The Godfather | ThePlaylist: "A Lazy, Unpleasant and Unfunny Mess" | Will It Break Records Anyway?

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The Tree of Life, Fox Searchlight | Dir: Terrence Malick, Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, The Sheridan, Laramie Eppler | B+ criticWIRE | TOH! Review | Review Round-Up | Stunning Images | ThePlaylist: "Bursting with ideas, images, sounds and a deep well of spirituality rarely ever tackled in either independent or mainstream cinema." | Leonard Maltin: "the parts are greater than the whole." | Eric Kohn: "More meditation than movie,..bound to mystify, awe and exasperate in equal measures." | Palme d'Or Winner.

Kung Fu Panda 2, Paramount | Dir: Jennifer Yuh, Cast (Voices): Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, Jean-Claude Van Damme | Joe Morgenstern: "Hardly a scene goes by that isn't visually striking or kinetically thrilling, and all of it enhanced by 3-D."

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Tuesday, After Christmas, Lorber Films (Romania) | Dir: Radu Muntean, Cast: Dragos Bucur, Maria Popistasu, Victor Rebengiuc, Mimi Branescu, Mirela Oprisor | B+ criticWIRE.

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Small Town Murder Songs, Monterey Media (Canada) | Dir: Ed Gass-Donnelly, Cast: Peter Stormare, Aaron Poole, Martha Plimpton, Jill Hennessy | C criticWIRE.

United Red Army, Lorber Films | Dir: Kôji Wakamatsu, Cast: Maki Sakai, Arata, Akie Namaki, Gô Jibiki | Official Site.

This article is related to: Box Office, Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Studios, Video, Brad Pitt, Warner Bros./New Line, Fox Searchlight, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.