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Ty's movie picks for Friday, July 11

Posted by Ty Burr  July 11, 2008 08:51 AM

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The Boston French Film Festival begins at the MFA -- your chance to see all the fine, frisky, provocative French films our few remaining arthouses don't have room or inclination to show. Wesley breaks down the offerings; do yourself a favor and go to a few.

Otherwise, what to see this weekend? The hordes will be watching Eddie Murphy employ his sizable physical-comedy talents to no discernible purpose in "Meet Dave" or they'll be donning the 3D specs for "Journey to the Center of the Earth,"a formulaic Saturday matinee adventure with or without the T. Rex drool in your face.

You, engaged and informed pop moviegoer that you are, will spend your ducats on "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" (photo above), knowing that director Guillermo del Toro is a visionary who's not afraid to be a geeky comics fanboy. The movie's funnier than "Meet Dave," more 3D than "Journey," and it whips "Hancock"'s butt.

A delicate art-house movie it ain't, though. Come to think of it, neither is "My Winnipeg," Guy Maddin's tour through the subterranean Freudian underchambers of his Manitoba home town. It's another black-and-white camp horror-comedy fantasia from the director of "The Saddest Music in the World." but more personal than before. Film noir fanatics need to check out Ann Savage (photos from then and now, below) as the hero's mother: 63 years ago, the lady played one of the great anti-heroines in the movies in the pulpy B-flick classic "Detour." Welcome back, Ann -- you haven't mellowed a bit.

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If you're up for a good if familiar coming-of-age-in-the-city story, or you miss 1994 in a big way, or you want to see Josh from Nickelodeon's "Drake and Josh" have sex with the best friend from "Juno," or you just want to revel in another grand, off-kilter Ben Kingsley performance, I'm here to tell you The Wackness" is your film.

Speaking of surprisingly twisted old movies, "Leave Her to Heaven" (1946) is at the Harvard Film Archive tonight at 7 pm. Gorgeous Technicolor, beautiful homes, and spooky Gene Tierney (in photo below) letting her crippled brother-in-law drown so she won't have to share him with husband Cornel Wilde. And that's just the half of it. Did Glenn Close study this movie before making "Fatal Attraction"? Like the dialogue says, there's only one thing wrong with Ellen -- she just loves too much. The Archive's Joseph Losey series starts on Saturday.

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And speaking of demented classic noirs, "Gun Crazy" plays the Brattle Saturday morning as part of the "Elements of Cinema" series, and I do believe my Pulitzer-winning colleague Mark Feeney will be on hand to dissect the film in his usual calm but freakishly lucid manner.

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About Movie Nation

Movie news, reviews, and more.

Contributors

Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

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