Friday movie roundup – Aug. 17

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We’ve had some excellent comedies this summer, and now, as the season draws to a close, we’re favored with “Superbad.” It comes from the people behind “Knocked Up” and is every bit as funny as that film was. What a delightful pair of bookends for the summer!

Significantly less delightful is “The Invasion,” starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. This latest incarnation of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is mediocre at best.

Something called “The Last Legion” is also opening, but it’s one of Hollywood’s Shameful Secrets (i.e., they wouldn’t screen it for critics, which almost always means it’s bad). It’s about the last emperor of ancient Rome, and something about a special sword and a young boy and a wizard played by Ben Kingsley. It’s a prequel to the King Arthur/sword in the stone story, I think. It stars Colin Firth. I know: Colin Firth? Doesn’t seem right to me, either. Review to come this weekend.

Also in this week’s edition of “In the Dark”:

“Becoming Jane,” a sumptuous-looking quasi-biopic of Jane Austen in which it’s revealed that Jane Austen’s life resembled a Jane Austen novel. Some of you gals were just goin’ nuts for this movie a couple weeks ago when it opened in limited release! A couple people even e-mailed me to ask when would I review it, when when when?!?!? Well, I finally got around to it this week. (For future reference, see the second question at my FAQ.)

“No End in Sight,” a fantastic documentary summarizing our mistakes during the crucial first few months after the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

And a French twofer: “La Vie en Rose,” about legendary French singer Edith Piaf; and “Paris, Je T’aime,” an impressive collection of 18 short films, each by a different director, all set in the City of Light.

You can sign up for the free weekly “In the Dark” mailing here; listen to this week’s podcast edition of it here; subscribe to the podcast here; and see an important and educational pie chart here.

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