While the rest of us waited in vain for the Rapture, Karina Longworth was busy writing about her own encounter with the end of days. She offers her thoughts on Lars Von Trier's "depression-as-apocalypse epic" Melancholia in her Cannes Film Festival Wrap-Up. Von Trier's movie hasn't made it to Los Angeles yet but you've still got a handful of quirky docs, Terrence Malick's latest and Kung Fu Panda 2 to look forward to -- and, if none of those are your thing, there's always that movie about drunk bros broing out in Thailand.
5. Nick Pinkerton witnesses a miracle in suburbia, calling Terrence Malick's Tree of Life "Better than a masterpiece....an eruption of a movie, something to live with, to think and talk about afterward."
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4. But Eric Hynes could have used a drink or five while watching the creatively titled Hangover Part II which -- to everyone's surprise, we're sure -- has a plot driven more by box-office numbers than imagination. "Trade out Las Vegas for Bangkok, a tiger for a monkey, a lactating hooker for a trannie stripper, a missing tooth for a face tattoo, and you've got Todd Phillips' rote, dispiriting replica of his own surprise comedy smash," Hynes explains wearily.
3. Nick Schager enjoyed a film about a panda. "The complicated emotional ramifications of adoption are the prime focus of this follow-up, which concerns Po's quest for identity and inner peace," he writes of Kung Fu Panda 2.
2. Michelle Orange takes on Make Believe, a documentary about young magicians prestidigitating their way to the top. "If they are not the last six teenagers on Earth interested in such an honor, theirs is a rare breed, at any rate." Make your dorky little cousin's weekend by dragging her to the Laemmle Sunset 5. Who knows? Maybe she'll become the seventh.
1. Meanwhile, Pinkerton was unimpressed by Blank City, a flawed primer on underground DIY New York Cinema of the '70s and '80s. Director Celine Dahnier starts with Amos Poe's Unmade Beds and then looks at "Cinema of Transgression" filmmakers like Nick Zedd and David Wojnarowicz. "Nothing in this assemblage of clips will convince anyone not already sold on the enduring artistic importance of these movements," Pinkerton writes. Perfect for cinephile transplants feeling homesick for New York, and probably not perfect for anyone else.