Friday movie roundup – Aug. 24

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Since next Friday is the start of Labor Day Weekend — traditionally a slow time at the box office — the studios know that today is really their last chance to dump a summertime film into theaters with any hope of anyone actually seeing it. Consequently, there is a metric shload of new releases today.

The rundown:

“Mr Bean’s Holiday” is a return to the style of the hilarious TV sketches from the early 1990s, starring Rowan Atkinson as the odd, mostly silent little man. The movie is far from perfect, but it is very pleasant and amusing.

“Resurrecting the Champ” premiered at Sundance but has a mainstream, crowd-pleasing sensibility to it. It’s about a sports journalist who finds a one-time champion boxer now living on the streets. He writes a story about the guy — and then there is fallout. Aftermath, even. Good, solid, honest movie. Me likey.

There was a screening for “The Nanny Diaries,” but I had a scheduling conflict. Review to come.

There were no Portland screenings for “War,” “Illegal Tender,” or “September Dawn,” though apparently they were screened in some cities. “War” has Jason Statham and Jet Li beating each other up as an FBI agent and an assassin; “Illegal Tender” is about a Latino man dealing with the thugs who killed his father; “September Dawn” is about some rogue Mormons who massacred a bunch of travelers in 1857 — although the movie posits they were not rogue at all but following Brigham Young’s orders. Which makes the film suspect from a historical standpoint already.

This week’s edition of “In the Dark” (the free weekly newsletter I send out with the latest movie reviews, DVD releases, and other news) also has capsule reviews of “Goya’s Ghosts,” “Arctic Tale,” and “Death at a Funeral.”

You can subscribe to “In the Dark” here, or listen to this week’s podcast version here.

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