Film Clips: This weekend's movie openings and more August 20 2010

Relationsips, relationships, relationships. Whether it's between a dreamer and his eccentric mentee, a mother and her best friend/secret sperm-donor, a conductor and a performer, or a poor boy-turned-multi-millionaire and his town, this week tests where loyalties lie.


  • BOW WOW as Kevin Carson and LORETTA DEVINE as Grandma in Alcon Entertainment's comedy "LOTTERY TICKET," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.


THE CONCERT 3 stars (PG-13) In this post-Soviet comedy, a disgraced Russian conductor (Aleksei Guskov) hatches a crazy scheme to replace the Bolshoi orchestra with his blackballed fellow musicians for a redemptive concert in Paris. Romanian-born director Radu Mihăileanu nimbly conveys the con-man comedy as the conductor “gets the band back together,” but the film pivots to more serious subject matter when the characters arrive in Paris. The focused performances from Guskov and Inglourious Basterds’ Mélanie Laurent helps sell The Concert’s idea that professionalism doesn’t matter next to passion. — Holman

THE EXTRA MAN Louis Ives (Paul Dano) is a lonely dreamer who takes interest in Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline), a penniless, but brilliant playwright moonlighting as an "extra man" or escort to wealthy widows. Ives takes Harrison under his wing and so begins their volatile relationship that leads to a series of adventures and an unbreakable bond. The movie also stars Katie Holms.

GET LOW 3 stars (PG-13) In the Depression-era mountains of Tennessee, hostile hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) hires a small-town funeral parlor (run by Bill Murray and Lucas Black) to throw him a “funeral party” so everyone in the region can pay their respects while Felix is still alive. Apart from the build-up to Felix’s big revelation, there’s not a lot of dramatic interest, but Duvall, Murray and Sissy Spacek give moving, soft-spoken performances. Director Aaron Schneider conveys the tall-tale qualities of the Southern story without succumbing to regional stereotypes. — Holman

LIFE DURING WARTIME (R ) Director Todd Solondz presents an off-beat sequel to his disturbing 1998 family dramedy Happiness by recasting all the characters with different actors. In the follow-up, happiness seems even more elusive to the three sisters at story’s center, played by Allison Janney, Shirley Henderson and Ally Sheedy, with Paul Reubens in a supporting role.

LOTTERY TICKET When Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) wins $370 million in the lottery, he tries to keep a lid on it until he can collect three days later. But as he becomes the talk of the town, the boy from the projects discovers another side to the life and people he's known. The comedy has an all-star cast including Ice Cube, Loretta Devine, Charlie Murphy, Mike Epps, Bill Belamy, T-Pain, etc.

NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS 2 stars (PG) Emma Thompson disappears once more behind the moles, putty nose and producing teeth as Nanny McPhee, the tough-love Mary Poppins who helps some squabbling young cousins learn to cooperate and save the family farm from a conniving brother-in-law (Rafe Spall). Apart from a surprisingly dark vignette about the English military bureaucracy (featuring a meaty Ralph Fiennes cameo), Nanny McPhee returns adds few ideas to previous film, but ramps up the outhouse humor enormously, terrible looking effects. Keep an eye on young actor xx, hilarious as scene-stealing young snob. — Holman

PIRANHA 3D (R ) Director Alexandre Aja joins the impressive list of filmmakers who’ve dabbled in the Piranha franchise, including James Cameron, Joe Dante and John Sayles. In this version of the story, rapacious prehistoric fish feast on the unsuspecting bathers at a lakeside spring break destination.

THE SWITCH (PG-13) Some of the filmmakers behind this Blades of Glory present this 21st century parenting rom-com in which a single mom (Jennifer Aniston) discovers that the turkey baster-sample doesn’t come from the source she’d been led to believe. Jason Bateman plays her neurotic best friend.