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Ty's weekend movie picks for Friday, January 9

Posted by Ty Burr  January 9, 2009 08:25 AM

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Looks like Jack's just seen "Bride Wars".

What to see this weekend? Well, there's "Bride Wars," but just because everyone else in America will be going doesn't mean you have to. I don't quite get the market reasoning in a commercial entertainment aimed at women that makes women look like feeble-minded idiots.

There's also Morris Chestnut in "Not Easily Broken," a soapy drama based on a best-selling novel by Pastor T.D. Jakes. If you're not already in the choir you probably won't want to sing along.

That's it for new commercial releases -- remember, it's January, the studio equivalent of the elephant's graveyard. Next week picks up with some good alt-y stuff like "Che," "Waltz for Bashir," "Defiance," and the small, warm, weird "Last Chance Harvey." For now, it's best to play catch up with the year-end movies you've missed. Must-sees: "The Wrestler," "Milk". Must-avoids: "Revolutionary Road," "The Reader," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." (Curious indeed; can anyone tell me what the movie's actually about?) Roll the dice, take your chances: "Frost/Nixon," "Valkyrie". Fascinating but, okay, pretty bad: "Gran Torino," "Seven Pounds". Good, dumb hambone fun: "Doubt."

Or you could bag all that and just head to the Brattle, which kicks off its selection of staff picks tonight with "The Shining." Belly up to the bar; Lloyd's waiting for you. Tomorrow morning (Saturday), the Brat's showing Fritz Lang's mighty "Metropolis" free of charge.

The MFA has an interesting line-up this weekend of British noir ("It Always Rains on Sundays"), feminist art documentaries ("Who Does She Think She Is?") and poetic Argentinean dramas ("La Leon").

Finally, the Harvard Film Archive re-opens its doors for 2009 with a delightful festival devoted to British director Alexander Mackendrick. Tonight, those of you who know Sir Alec Guinness only as Obi-wan Kenobi should run to catch the man in his brilliant youth, in the Ealing Studio comedies "The Man in the White Suit" and "The Ladykillers" (not the Coen brothers remake; this one's actually funny). Tomorrow is Mackendrick's deathless Times Square noir "Sweet Smell of Success," with a career performance from Tony Curtis as a creep and Burt Lancaster contemplating incest. It's one of the all-time greats, a "cookie full of arsenic" (to quote Lancaster's character).

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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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