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This Week's Movie Buzz: See It, Rent It, Or Skip It?

Evan Crean Evan Crean
May 11th, 2009 9:00am EDT
Angels & DemonsWelcome to week three of our summer movie season. Fans of author Dan Brown will finally get to see the long awaited prequel to "The Da Vinci Code." After the original came out in 2006 an immediate follow up was planned, but it was delayed in development due to the Hollywood writers' strike. This week the movies coming out are "Angels & Demons," "The Brothers Bloom," "Management," and "O'Horten."


Harvard Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) returns to the big screen in this prequel to the "Da Vinci Code." Langdon uncovers evidence of the rebirth of a secret society known as the Illuminati, a group of scientists with a vow to destroy their archenemy: the Catholic Church.

After the death of the Pope, and the discovery of an Illuminati bomb, Robert Langdon flies to Rome where he joins forces with the beautiful Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer). The two spend the night racing through crypts, catacombs, and cathedrals following a 400-year-old trail of symbols that could be the Vatican's only chance for survival.

Ron Howard, the man behind the "Da Vinci Code," returns to direct "Angels & Demons." Akiva Goldsman, the writer of the previous movie, pens this one with David Koepp ("Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"). Tom Hanks also reprises his role as Robert Langdon.

SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? See it. As a novel, I always thought "Angels & Demons" was much more riveting than "The Da Vinci Code," which is one aspect that excited me about this movie from the start. The trailers also make "Angels & Demons" seem like it is faster paced and more action-packed than its predecessor. It appears Ron Howard responded to criticism from fans about "The Da Vinci Code," getting rid of Robert Langdon's mullet and making the character closer to the one people love from the novels.

Watch "London's British Library hosts UK's biggest comics exhibition"





Brothers and seasoned conmen Bloom (Adrien Brody) and Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) decide to pull off one last job before they retire. They come up with a plot to rob a mysterious wealthy woman, totally oblivious to the unexpected bumps in the road ahead of them.

Rian Johnson was first introduced to filmgoers with his 2005 film "Brick," a modern day film noir set against the backdrop of high school. Johnson follows up that effort, writing and directing "The Brothers Bloom" as well.

SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? Since this film is limited release, you probably won't have an easy time finding it, but if you can, see it. As a huge fan of "Brick," I'm very interested to see Rian Johnson's next movie. "The Brothers Bloom" appears to be a more light-hearted caper than "Brick," with plenty of its own surprises. In the clips I've seen, the chemistry between Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody is spot on; very much the banter of brothers. Rachel Weisz looks intriguing, as the eccentric millionaire shut-in, who never quite seems to be showing all of her cards.

Watch "London's British Library hosts UK's biggest comics exhibition"





In this romantic comedy, Sue, a traveling saleswoman, has a reckless fling with a motel manager named Mike, who lives in his parents' motel. Like a love sick puppy, Mike foolishly follows Sue back to her office in Maryland only to find there is no room for him in her life.

Soon after, Sue goes back to her ex-boyfriend Jango, a yogurt mogul who promises her the opportunity to run his charity operations. Through a series of comic misadventures, Mike tries to compete with Jango for her affection, and eventually Sue realizes that she belongs with Mike.

With some experience writing for television, Stephen Belber makes his directorial debut, writing and directing "Management." The film stars Steve Zahn ("The Great Buck Howard") as Mike the motel manager, Jennifer Aniston ("He's Just Not That Into You") as Sue the saleswoman, and Woody Harrelson ("No Country For Old Men") as Jango the yogurt mogul.

SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? Rent it. Although critics have largely positive things to say about the chemistry between Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston, I wasn't really seeing that chemistry in the film's trailer. This one seems to be leaning more heavily towards romantic rather than romantic comedy; there weren't really any parts in the trailer that I found very funny. I think this movie might be worth renting however, because I do like Steve Zahn and Woody Harrelson.





This drama centers on a life changing moment for a 67-year-old man: retirement. Odd Horten devotes 40 years of his life to working as a railroad conductor, but he is forced to retire. Without a career, Horten's solitary existence presents him with a series of adventures and baffling problems.

The next movie after his 2005 film "Factotum" starring Matt Dillon, "O'Horten" is written and directed by Bent Hamer. Hamer's directing skills, demonstrated in "O'Horten," have earned him the Flanders International Film Festival's award for Best Director.

SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? Skip it. This one is also a limited release, and unless you're a huge fan of foreign films, I don't think it's worth watching. The film is entirely in Norwegian, so if you're turned off by having to read subtitles, I would stay away. The trailer for the film makes it seem like a quirky story, but there isn't anything there that entices me to care about Odd Horten or his journey.





Evan Crean
Story by Starpulse contributing writer Evan Crean, a movie trivia guru and trailer addict with a practically photographic memory of actors and directors. Get a first look at the movies premiering each week, which which ones will be worth your $10, which ones you should wait to rent and which ones aren't worth your time.

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