Weekend Movie Forecast: <em>Toy Story 3 </em>Vs. <em>Jonah Hex</em>

<p>Pixar needs to stop. They're making the rest of humanity look like the lazy, uncreative filth that we actually are. Even <em>Cars</em> was redeemable, and it's high time they gave us one flat out bomb to show us that they're human. Today they hurl out their next masterpiece <em>Toy Story 3</em>, and they might have finally broken the curse that <em>Godfather 3</em> started a couple decades ago, a legitimately good third movie. Judging from <a href="">the 90 score on Metacritic</a> these manchildren have done it again and put all of us to shame. </p><p></p>One of the worst reviews comes from Roger Ebert at <a href="">The Chicago Sun Times</a>, who gave the film a lousy three stars, and declared: "What with one thing and another, the other toys find themselves at the day-care center, which they think they'll like, because there will be plenty of kids to play with them all day long. There seems to be relatively little grieving about the loss of Andy's affections; he did, after all, sentence them to a toy box for years, and toys by nature are self-centered and want to be played with.<p></p>"This is a jolly, slapstick comedy, lacking the almost eerie humanity that infused the earlier <em>Toy Story</em> sagas, and happier with action and jokes than with characters and emotions. But hey, what can you expect from a movie named <em>Toy Story 3</em>, especially with the humans mostly offstage? I expect its target audience will love it, and at the box office, it may take right up where "How to Train Your Dragon" left off. Just don't get me started about the 3-D."

<p>Opening today is the tall tale about a recovering alcoholic who has taken it upon himself to save people he considers "innocent" from the evil forces of terrorism. No, not Glenn Beck, it's <em>Jonah Hex</em>, starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox(y). Go see the film that the <a href="">Edgar Winters Group</a> doesn't want you to see! </p><p></p>Keith Phipps from the <a href=",42236/">A.V. Club</a> says: "Bad movies aren’t what they used to be. More specifically, bad movies that make it into theaters these days usually have a base level of competence that sets them apart from the bad movies of yesteryear. Dullness dwells where incompetence used to call home. The Raja Gosnells far outnumber the Ed Woods. But every once in a while, a film limps into theaters so stitched together, it’s a wonder it doesn’t rip apart in the projector. <em>Jonah Hex</em> is such a film.<p></p>"Trouble happens, of course, but the 81 minutes (including credits) of Jonah Hex footage that made it to the screen look like something assembled under a tight deadline, and possibly under the influence. One flashback makes three appearances. A fight scene with no dreamlike elements, apart from a sky tinted red in post-production, repeatedly appears as a dream sequence. A chunk of Hex’s origin is told by way of animation for no apparent reason. Narration comes and goes. Whole elements, like Hex’s supernatural powers and Megan Fox’s prostitute-in-distress, could disappear without anyone noticing. And that’s without even mentioning the Native American village that shows up at random."

<p>Also opening today is the controversial film <em>The Killer Inside Me</em> which is based on the book of the same name (Stanley Kubrick called it "probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered"). The film has gotten a lot of write up because of a couple of very harsh scenes of domestic violence. The film stars the always underrated Casey Affleck (by far the best Affleck) who is a southern small town sheriff's deputy who has the proclivity to kill people.</p><p></p>Keith Uhlich from <a href="">Time Out New York</a> says: "A Texas flatfoot with suppressed murderous instincts, Ford visits a honey of a prostitute (Alba) to run her out of town. But instead, he ends up in bed with her, smacking the dame’s bouncy cheeks until they’re alluringly black and blue. It’s a conceptually great start to a down-and-dirty thriller, but there’s no heat in the scene, no real sense of either tension or transgression.<p></p>"A few terrific supporting performances help to maintain interest, most notably from Elias Koteas as a nosy union leader and a late-appearing Bill Pullman, doing the slimy, snake-tongued lawyer act to perfection. They give a welcome satirical jolt to the Southern Gothic dourness, which is more than can be said for the bum’s rush of a combustive finale, with its awful digital effects and a sneering pop-music cue. Someone needs a spanking, all right."

<a href="">Dr. Steve Brule</a> stars in a new non-Apatow dramedy (they do indeed exist) <em>Cyrus</em>, which opens today. The film follows John (how appropriate), who is a recent divorcee who meets a lovely woman (George Costanza's dream girl, Marissa Tomei) with a deep dark secret...Jonah Hill is her son (Noooooooooooo!!!).<p></p>The film has actually been getting almost universally good reviews, with only a couple sour ones courtesy of people like Noel Murray from <a href=",42234/">The A.V. Club</a> who are too cool for school, and say things like: "So Reilly and Hill engage in a battle for Tomei’s heart, through a series of passive-aggressive moves and counter-moves that play a lot like a Hollywood version of this story, only with less snap—sort of like <em>Step Brothers</em> without the jokes.<p></p>"But once again with the Duplasses, there just isn’t enough of anything: not enough funny lines, not enough variation of mood, not enough plot. If these guys were students, Cyrus might merit a 'promising.' But this is their third movie. It’s time for them to stop turning in first drafts."

<p>There are a few things you should know about <em>I Am Love</em> which opens today: it is rated R for sex and nudity and it stars Tilda Swinton. If that doesn't do it for you, it's a trilingual epic that follows a rich Italian family in its various ups, (opening restaurants, hot sex with mothers and their step-sons' best friend) and downs (opening restaurants, hot sex with mothers and their step-sons' best friend).</p><p></p>The film has been getting very good reviews though, with Lisa Schwarzbaum from <a href=",,20394421,00.html">Entertainment Weekly</a> saying: "Ravishing to the eye and empty in the head, Luca Guadagnino's voluptuous Italian saga takes time to admire all the stuff belonging to a rich Milanese industrialist and his crumbling-from-within family. Thank heavens the clan can nurse their unhappiness in high swankiness.<p></p>"The film is almost deliriously stylish, which helps mask the silliness. But the bellowing music, by John Adams, is infuriatingly intrusive — which undoes the visual good."

<p>Opening today is the film <em>Let it Rain</em> which follows an self-centered, feminist, workaholic politician who agrees to be filmed for a documentary when calamity ensues (oh my!). </p><p></p>Melissa Anderson from <a href="">The Village Voice</a> says: "A specialist in choreographing talky scenes, Agnès Jaoui may also be the most aggressively middlebrow filmmaker working today. Her latest, which, like <em>The Taste of Others</em> (2000) and <em>Look at Me</em> (2004), she co-wrote with co-star (and former spouse) Jean-Pierre Bacri, dabbles in potentially provocative topics like racism and sexism—what one character keenly refers to as 'ordinary humiliation'—only to quickly drop them for a Nina Simone–scored scene of gazing at old family photos.<p></p>"Aiming to be a seriocomic movie of ideas but desperate not to offend or challenge, <em>Let It Rain</em> soon settles for being another smug comedy of bourgeois manners, with buzzing cell phones frequently deployed as exemplars of Our Modern Folly. Look at Me, with its consistent throughline of how hard it is for fat girls, seems like the work of a Redstocking in comparison."

<p>Reed Cowan grew up gay and Mormon in Utah (ouchamagouch) and then became a documentarian (oof!). Today Cowan unleashes <em>8: The Mormon Proposition</em> which follows the Mormon Church as they fight to pass prop. 8. Not necessarily the feel-good movie of the year but it's been getting pretty decent reviews.</p><p></p>J.R. Jones from <a href="">The Chicago Reader</a> says: "With its ominous synth score, endlessly tearful interviews, and Big Brother presentation of church elders (muffled audio of an LDS conference dubbed over blurry cathode-tube images), the movie is shrill even by advocacy-doc standards.<p></p>"A chaotic sequence midway through shows Mormon and gay-rights protesters shouting abuse at each other in San Francisco, and that's pretty much what the whole movie feels like."

<em>Hey, I'm not square, you're the one that's square. Your full of shit, man. What are you talking about?</em><p></p>Tonight and tomorrow at <a href='"'>Landmark Theater</a> Sunshine at Midnight presents Martin Scorsese's classic <em>Taxi Driver</em>. Go take in all of Bobby DeNiro's degenerate glory in one of the best performances in cinematic history.

<em>Biology and the prejudices of others conspired to keep us childless. </em><p></p>Tonight at the <a href="">IFC Center</a> is the Coen brothers class <em>Raising Arizona</em>. Come see why Nic Cage still gets work after all these years and why the Coen brothers reign supreme.