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This weekend’s film openings promise something for everyone—action movie buffs, the kiddies, and lovers of French and independent film.
– Terminator Salvation: “I’ll be back… again and again and again…” And again. Yep, Warner Bros. thought a fourth film about post-apocalyptic crusading cyborgs would be perfect for summer 2009. This time around, it’s 2018 and Edward Furlong’s John Connor has matured into resistance-leader Christian Bale. Helena Bonham Carter makes an appearance and Common joins the quest to rally nuclear holocaust survivors and save the world.
– Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: Lovable night guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is back, this time a successful inventor who returns to his old post at New York’s Museum of Natural History where the curator, played to perfection by Ricky Gervais, tells him that many of the old exhibits are being shipped to the Smithsonian, for storage or destruction. Daley races to D.C. where he’s joined by Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams)—and eventually everyone in the Air and Space Museum—on a heartwarming journey to save old friends and defeat the evil Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria).
– Every Little Step: Wanna know what it takes to dance on Broadway? Filmmakers James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo were allowed unprecedented access to the auditions for 2006’s revival of A Chorus Line. The resulting documentary weaves archival audio and footage into video of the ’06 the audition process in an inspiring revelation of the love, sweat, and tears poured into casting and producing one of the most beloved American musicals.
– Dance Flick: Yet another send-up of pop cultural detritus, courtesy of the Wayans brothers. The plot in a nutshell: Aspiring stars Megan (Shoshana Bush) and Thomas (Damon Wayans, Jr.) overcome their differences (she’s privileged, he’s from the “wrong side of the tracks”) to realize their dreams. Dance flicks spoofed include Save the Last Dance, Flashdance, and Step Up.
– The Brothers Bloom: Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, and Mark Ruffalo power this “indie” film with a Juno-sized budget. Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Brody) are skilled conmen about to pull off their last job. The target: quirky heiress Penelope Stamp (Weisz). Together they travel the world in an elaborate effort to swipe millions from Stamp, with whom Bloom falls in love and complicates the con.
– The Girlfriend Experience: Adult film star Sasha Grey stars as a high-end call girl with the clothes, class, and capitalist savvy to back her $2,000 per hour price tag in Steven Soderbergh‘s film. But staying on top of her game becomes an endless struggle, juggling responsibilities to her “continuing education” classes, personal trainer boyfriend (Chris Santos), and clients.
– Summer Hours: Olivier Assayas’ brilliant meditation on French nationalism and globalization chronicles the death of one generation and the rise of the next. When the Marly family’s matriarch dies, she leaves the estate—brimming with coveted works of art—in the care of eldest son Frédéric (Charles Berling). It’s up to him to keep his mother’s collection intact for generations to come, but he meets more than a little resistance from expat siblings (Juliette Binoche, Jeremie Renier) and disaffected children.