The A-Team: "Of course, turning a TV series into a film can be tricky. Do you (a) pay homage to the original or (b) go in a new direction? Do you (c) tacitly acknowledge that the film is a pseudo-canonical tale based on pre-existing characters or (d) start from scratch to build a rapport with the audience? Carnahan and company have chosen (e), all of the above, plus more. The first section of the film is the most reliant on whatever level of nostalgia viewers might feel for the original show, and as such it feels the flimsiest. For instance, there's no reason given in the film as to why Bosco "B.A." Baracus (Quinton "Rampage" Johnson) has the words "PITY" and "FOOL" tattooed across his knuckles; it's just a gag meant to recall a Mr. T catchphrase from the early days of the Reagan administration. Similarly, the opening notes of the TV show's fanfare work when folded into the score, but the outright playing of the theme song when one character watches an old war movie is just a groaner. But when Carnahan can hold still and stop winking, the film gets a lot better." - Daniel Carlson
Nurse Matilda children's stories) and supernaturally gifted nanny. As expected, Thompson continues to embody her post-Mary Poppins governess with a quiet dignity, and she does more acting with a raise of her unibrow than any recent Academy Award winning actress has done in an entire career. Still, what's most charming about Nanny McPhee is that, as the central character, she's more than happy to deflect attention in the direction of all other characters, who have absolutely no problem with begging for attention anyway. It's all a bit exhausting to witness, but this film is, essentially, merely another fantastical trip to make-believe land where (just like another new release) strange things -- primarily synchronized swimming by pigs -- take place in the water while elephants steal pens, and crows can harvest an entire field of barley through extreme flatulence. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's that phenomenon known as 'CGI hell.'" - Agent Bedhead
Cyrus: "Jay and Mark Duplass have been bumbling around in the mumblecore bowels of the indie world for nearly a decade now, taking off-beat premises and exploring the relationship dynamics that arise from them; no one, in fact, is better at extracting the honesty out of a spectacularly bizarre situation. Cyrus is more of the same -- a genuine, heartfelt comedy that organically explores the relationship between a 22-year-old live-at-home layabout, Cyrus (Jonah Hill), and his mother's new boyfriend, John (John C. Reilly). The wrinkle here is that Cyrus and his mother, Molly (Marisa Tomei), have a borderline Oedipal relationship. They're best friends. They share the bathroom together. Molly still coddles Cyrus to sleep. And they wrestle together at the park. They are, indeed, like an old married couple minus the bickering and the occasional sex, though it seems, sometimes, that it's not for lack of want, on Cyrus' part." - Dustin Rowles
The Town: "It's been thirteen years since Ben Affleck became The Celebrity Known as Ben Affleck, and every day of it shows on his face. His career arc is a familiar one, marked by the struggle to rise above the roles that get nominated for MTV Movie Awards and create legitimate works of art, but the twist is that it's precisely his tabloid past and swaggering early work that's allowed him to draw on the requisite breadth of emotion to become so convincing today. Maturity isn't just age, but the knowing assimilation of youth. He was excellent as a washed-up George Reeves in Hollywoodland, and he knew how to play a figure leery of public scorn in State of Play. He brings that same energy to his role in The Town, as a criminal who's been in the game so long that it's become an unfulfilling, monotonous job. He moves with a hunched shuffle down streets he met with a bounce in Good Will Hunting, and he can convey everything from anger to worry without raising his voice. At 38, he's finally grown up, and grown into his presence." - Daniel Carlson
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole: "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is the most bitchin' piece of '70s van art that you've never seen. As adapted by Zack Snyder from Kathryn Lasky's children's books, it's very much Happy Feet crossed with 300, a continuation of his thematic fascination with mythmaking and fetishistic use of slow-motion. It looks positively gorgeous, and there's a good chance that it'll scare your kids just as much as hold them rapt." - William Goss
Exit Through the Gift Shop: (Part 1) "By the mid-2000s, Thierry became increasingly intent on capturing the most infamous and anonymous of street artists, Britain's Banksy. Banksy is an extremely popular (in certain circles) street artist, respected for the wit and biting social commentary present in many of his pieces. He also gained a bit of mainstream notoriety after repeatedly managing to plant his own pieces of art in various museums, where they often stayed for days or weeks before being detected and removed. Through a stroke of almost random luck, Thierry actually managed to meet Banksy in 2006, when Banksy was in Los Angeles to do some work. Thierry showed Banksy around LA, suggesting the best walls and locations to use, and Banksy allowed Thierry to film his process. Later, Banksy invited Thierry to England and offered Thierry the type of access into his inner-workings heretofore unafforded to anyone. Over time, Thierry not only became Banky's personal documentarian, but something akin to a friend." - Seth Freilich
(Part 2) "As The New York Times rightfully notes, "both Banksy and Mr. Guetta are pretty unreliable narrators," but Banksy insists that the film is not a hoax because he "could never have written a script this funny." Shepard Fairey similarly denies that the film and Thierry are a hoax: "I swear to god that's not the case.... Banksy may not want me to say that but no, it's not." Nevertheless, the fact remains that the film comes across, as the runner of a street art website puts it, "100 percent like a Banksy exhibition." - Seth Frielich
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