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May at a glance

Submitted by admin on April 30, 2010 – 7:28 pmNo Comment
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The heat is on. Every weekend for the next four months is front loaded with another brick in the wall, another tent pole production filled with the usual amount of suspect effects. After the rush job 3D in Clash of the Tightwads the word on the street leans towards skepticism at anything bearing an extra dimensional logo. The same plots with the same stars only in different garb (think Robert Downey Jr., once the coolest actor on the planet and now the most overexposed superhero in the house).

As with all things, the upcoming docket for the summer o’ 2010 represents a double-edged sword. Who else but RDJr. to mug his way through Marvel PG-13 fodder like Iron Man 2 (May 7), which marks the first of many such branded films that will include Thor, Captain America and hopefully a cameo from Stan Lee before he keels over in consternation. I guess the filmmakers think that nobody will notice that the part of Rhodney has gone from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle without a sigh, and they’re probably right. As for the dynamic duo of Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, a collaboration that’s resulted in everything from Glad He Ate Her to Body of Lies, with American Gangster and A Good year in between, comes Robin Hood (May 14).

The first Friday in May pits Iron Man 2 against, well nothing much save for Focus Features Babies, a doc that will sit well over Mother’s Day. The second Friday plays the previously mentioned Robin of Locksley with Just Wright, a basketball romance triangle with Common, Queen Latifah and Paula Patton. Also a derivative of love letters called Letters to Juliet opens.

By the third Friday in May we’ve come close to signs of the apocalypse with Shrek Forever After (get it, it’s the fourth of the franchise) and the Saturday Night Live spin-off MacGruber. Great scott man, the last time a SNL derived movie was good your Dad was still in college.

The month closes with a blast of humidity in the form of Sex and the City 2 and Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. That’s a lot of tanned skin to have to process.

Some smaller titles playing exclusively include the lyrical sheep herding docu Sweetgrass, the Van Cliburn piano competition docu Surprise in Texas (one surprise is a contestant who’s blind), the Italian comedy Mid-August Lunch, and the Iranian underground rockers flick No One Knows About Persian Cats. the latter film unwinds with conviction due in part to its semi-documentary lensing of underground rehearsal spaces in Iran. You can go to jail for just even playing rock music; and if that’s jaw dropping consider that driving with your dog in your car will get the canine impounded. No dogs in public in a Muslim society. Although there are some pretty strange laws in America too.

FPH picks for May: The Houston Palestinian Film Festival (www.hpff.org) unwinds at various venues including the Rice Media Center and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston after kicking off with a rooftop sunset party on May 13 (2808 Milam). The MFAH continues rolling out cool retrospectives with a series of films starring Jeff Bridges. Launch a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science where Hubble 3D unreels in IMAX 3D.

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