Iron Man 2, Ajami, and more: A weekend movie guide
A contemporary crime drama edged with Greek tragedy, Ajami is set in a volatile, rundown quarter of Jaffa in Israel. The action--which involves multiple plots and unwieldy, mostly non-pro Arabs and Jewish actors--opens with a mistaken drive-by shooting and switches dizzyingly between time, place, and point of view. (Lagoon Cinema)
City Pages: "An untidy, despairing, oddly exhilarating joint venture by writer-directors Scandar Copti, an Israeli Arab, and Yaron Shani, an Israeli Jew. It teems with life, energized by fierce formal ambitions."
Star Tribune: 3 stars Pioneer Press: 2.5 stars RottenTomatoes.com: 96% positive
MAYBE: Iron Man 2
Robert Downey Jr. returns as billionaire Tony Stark, now out of the closet as the superhero Iron Man. His nemesis this time is Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), a rogue Russian physicist whose lifelong grudge against the Stark family inspires him to weld together his own knockoff suit. (area theaters)
City Pages: "There's techie lifestyle porn, hot cars, hot guns, and three dozen comic books' worth of exposition girdled into two straining hours. The elements that made the first Iron Man a rather likable blockbuster have not entirely evaporated. Director Jon Favreau brings together interesting American movie stars and lets them actually play through scenes."
Star Tribune: 3 stars Pioneer Press: 2.5 stars RottenTomatoes.com: 68% positive
Babies follows four international infants from birth to toddling. Cutting from rural Mongolia to Tokyo and from the Namibian desert to San Francisco, director Thomas Balmes shows them as they nurse, sleep, poop, eat, crawl, and play. (area theaters)
City Pages: "Babies gets the job done, but other than the passage of time, there's not much of an organizing principle to Babies. It's pretty much just straight-up babies, all the way through."
Star Tribune: 2.5 stars Pioneer Press: 3.5 stars RottenTomatoes.com: 68% positive
MAYBE: Mid-August Lunch
An aging Italian slacker cares for his demanding mother in their decrepit Rome apartment. Forced to take in several other matriarchs to win a reprieve on his overdue rent, he finds himself caring for four spunky old dames. (Edina Cinema)
City Pages: "A lauded but fatally slight comedy of manners."
Star Tribune: 3 stars Pioneer Press: 2.5 stars RottenTomatoes.com: 87% positive
FLEE: The Good Heart
A rancorous NYC saloon owner meets a new trainee in a hospital, where the older man is recovering from his fifth coronary and the younger from a suicide attempt. (Lagoon Cinema)
City Pages: " With no concern for character, plot, tone, or purpose, Icelandic writer-director Dagur Kari is content merely to play Jacques's old-coot misanthropy against his protege's forbearance, resulting in a sloppy, desultory, depressive buddy comedy."
Star Tribune: 3 stars Pioneer Press: 1 stars RottenTomatoes.com: 30% positive
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