Friday movie roundup – Oct. 2

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Have you had that annoying Devo song “Whip It” stuck in your head all week due to the fact that a movie by that title is coming out today? ME TOO!! The movie’s pretty good, though, a cheerful and funny coming-of-age story about a teenage girl who discovers roller derby. Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, Marcia Gay Harden, and Drew Barrymore (who also directed) are among the stars. My review is at Film.com.

Consider also “Zombieland,” a terrific gore-comedy starring Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg as a random pair of survivors trying to get along after the zombie apocalypse has wiped out most of America. The film is short (85 minutes), hilarious, gory, and full of energy. It also has a great celebrity cameo that I think you’ll enjoy more if you don’t know much about it beforehand.

At the free promotional screening last night, some locals had dressed up in zombie costumes and makeup for added effect. Of course, it was hard to tell them apart from the people who usually go to those screenings anyway. A lot of them shuffle awkwardly, look disheveled, and smell like they could have just sprung from a grave. I wonder if they thought the zombie people were making fun of them.

Michael Moore’s latest documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” opens in wide release today after a four-theater opening last week. It’s his sloppiest work yet, with little focus on persuasion and lots of focus on telling us what he assumes we already agree with. I do agree with some of it — but the style makes for a pee-poor documentary. Pee-poor!

In limited release (and available through some cable On Demand services) is “World’s Greatest Dad,” a dark, dark comedy written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. I saw it at Sundance and loved it but didn’t get around to writing a review, so when it played at CineVegas I decided to see it again to refresh my memory. And then I STILL didn’t write a review of it, what with one thing and another, until now. But I had taken lots of notes (both times!), so it turned out OK. (By the way, the CineVegas screening was the topic of this “Snide Remarks” column.)

“The Invention of Lying” is the other wide release today, but it screened at the same time as “Whip It,” and I was assigned to “Whip It.” I’ll have a review of “Invention of Lying” posted this weekend.

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