It's last call for The Most Dangerous Man in America, a richly deserving Oscar nominee for Best Documentary at this year's Oscars, and opening weekend for The Greatest, Steve Carell and Tina Fey's underwhelming Date Night, and When You're Strange, Tom DiCillo's enlightening new chronicle of The Doors and their depressing, addiction-fueled demise. Here is what's playing at an indie theater near you.
With more rain on the horizon and thousands of comic-book fans descending on the city for this weekend's Wondercon at Moscone Center South, it might be an ideal time to curl up with a good book or escape to your local indie theater for a cinematic escape. Here's a sampling of the best movies currently in rotation.
It’s not easy to love Roger Greenberg, the latest misanthrope Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) has created as the star of his new comedy. Greenberg, played by a pitch-perfect Ben Stiller, is insufferable: narcissistic, cruel and calculating, and totally oblivious to his shortcomings. That he has friends, much less a doting and very forgiving lover (Greta Gerwig), is nothing short of a miracle.
One of the year's best films arrives this weekend in the form of Hot Tub Time Machine, a delightfully inane, raunchy comedy that puts the movies it will inevitably be compared to – last year's The Hangover, for instance – to shame. Elsewhere:
Sacha Baron Cohen, the spectacularly uninhibited gonzo master of put-ons, has been called “the pure, untamed id of movie comedy” and “a genuine comic guerrilla charging right to the front lines of the war against prejudice and sanctimony.” The term “genius” has been applied liberally since Baron Cohen’s Borat (2006) skillfully skewered racism, anti-Semitism and America’s over-developed sense of national pride. Yet his second feature, Brüno, leaves me cold. As social satire, it is boorish and scattershot; as farce, it is obvious and erratic.
Ben Stiller is no stranger to sequels.
Fresh off the dual successes of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Tropic Thunder, his decade-in-the-making passion project about a group of coddled actors lost in the jungles of Laos, he was already set to reprise his starring role in Night at the Museum, with a sequel due in May 2009. And though Stiller has confirmed plans for a third installment of his Meet the Parents saga – no surprise there, given its sustained success at the box office – he recently admitted that he’d like to bring back a character whose appeal proved more elusive the first time around: Derek Zoolander, the titular hero of his 2001 satire about the witless world of male models.