Film Clips: Hobo with a Shotgun, Midnight in Paris, The Robber and more

This weekend's openings


  • Photo by Karim Hussain Courtesy of Magnet Releasing
  • Gregory Smith and Rutger Hauer in HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (R ) Rutger Hauer stars as a homeless badass who turns urban vigilante when he drifts into a lawless city. The film originated as a fan-made, fake exploitation movie trailer that won a contest sponsored by the film Grindhouse.

Just when it looks like Judy Moody's summer is doomed to boredom, a dose of fun comes into play. With the help of Aunt Opal (Heather Graham), who is anything but boring, Judy Moody invents her own adventures.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS 4 stars (PG-13) A frustrated screenwriter (Owen Wilson) with an unsupportive fiancée (Rachel McAdams) vacations in Paris and discovers that, at the stroke of midnight, he can travel in time to hobnob with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. Woody Allen’s most joyous and satisfying film since the early 1990s finds big laughs in its whimsical premise, gently satirizing the Lost Generation as much as it venerates them. Plus, Allen carries the film’s ideas into wiser areas than you might expect. Hey, this guy’s pretty smart. — Holman

THE ROBBER 3 stars (NR) The lusciously-named Andreas Lust plays a champion Austrian marathon-runner who also happens to be a bank robber in this slow-burning, character-based crime drama.

SUPER 8 3 stars (PG-13) In the summer of ’79, a group of middle-schoolers making a horror movie on Super 8 film accidentally record a train crash that unleashes something very, very dangerous on a small Ohio town. Director J.J. Abrams makes Super 8 as a slavish homage to the early blockbusters of Stephen Spielberg (who executive-produced), and clearly loves his scruffy young heroes and spectacular, overblown set pieces. The more grown-up plots involving military cover-ups, grief and forgiveness feel far more perfunctory, although it’s an entertaining movie overall. Super 8? More like Perfectly Good 8. — Holman

THE DARK CRYSTAL (1982) (G) “The Muppet Show” creators Jim Henson and Frank Oz directed this superbly-designed, occasionally down beat fantasy story in which the evil, vulture-like Skeksis try capture the last of the elfin Gelflings as part of their world-conquering scheme. Tuesday’s performance features an art opening with the work of Brian Colin. Art Opening and a Movie. Fri., June 10, Midnight; Sun., June 12, 3 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964) 4 stars (NR) Italian director Sergio Leone made film history with his “spaghetti Western” remake of the samurai film Yojimbo, starring Clint Eastwood as his now-iconic gunslinger, “The Man With No Name.” Sat., June 11, 3 and 7 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

RANGO 4 stars (PG) Through dumb luck and tall tales, a chameleon known as Rango (Johnny Depp) convinces the desperate denizens of Dirt that he’s a hero capable of solving their water shortage, even though he’s just a former house pet with delusions of being an actor. It’s slow to start and kids probably won’t get the jokes about Western clichés, vision quests and pretentious actor behavior. Where Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean films let Johnny Depp improvise on rock stars and pirate lore, Rango riffs on master thespians and spaghetti westerns with brilliant animation and thoroughly entertaining set pieces. June 11. 2:00 p.m. The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street NE, 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org

SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984) Will young Samantha (Molly Ringwald) survives the embarrassment when her family forgets her 16th birthday, a young geek (Anthony Michael Hall) makes the moves on her and the class dreamboat (Michael Schoeffling) discovers she likes him? The late director John Hughes crafted the first of his funny, well-observed 1980s comedies about teen life. Screen on the Green. Thu., June 16. Free. Piedmont Park.

ROLLING THUNDER (1977) (R ) William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones star in this highly-regarded revenge thriller about Vietnam war veterans who return to clean-up stateside corruption. Shown on a double bill with American Grindhouse, a retrospective of the gloriously sleazy era of U.S. exploitation films. Through June 19. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK 4 stars (R ) A handful of computer savvy Harvard students (notably Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield) launch a social networking website that annoys the schools privileged snobs — and eventually becomes a global sensation. Fight Club and Zodiac director David Fincher and “The West Wing” scripter/creator Aaron Sorkin combine their flair for conveying dense amounts of information with this highly entertaining study of how Facebook’s founders fell out after the site took off. The ending feels arbitrary and inconclusive, but The Social Network captures the seedy underbelly of past decade’s on-line bubble, while providing an amusing riff on the Revenge of the Nerds genre. June 9. 7:30 p.m. The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street NE, 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2(1986) Director Tobe Hooper revisits the subject matter of his terrifying original 1974 film with this sequel that has a greater budget but lesser scares. On the plus side: Dennis Hopper. Splatter Cinema. Tue., June 14. 9:30 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) 5 stars (NR) A young girl comes of age in small-town Alabama as her father (Gregory Peck) defends an African-American unjustly accused of sexual assault. Screenwriter Horton Foote wrote this superb adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel, which features the screen debut of Robert Duval as Boo Radley. The character of Dill is based on Lee’s longtime friend Truman Capote. June 11. 7:30 p.m. The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street NE, 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org

TRUE GRIT 3 stars (PG-13) In this remake of John Wayne’s Oscar-winning Western, Haillee Steinfeld plays Mattie Ross, a 14 year-old girl out for revenge when a ranch hand (James Brolin) guns down her father. Ross enlists a boozy, one-eyed U.S. marshall (Jeff Bridges) to track the no-good varmint, and tolerates a preening Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) on the trail, leading to snappy repartee and suspenseful shoot-outs. The Coen Brothers’ remake improves on the original, particularly in its portrait of the harshness and cruelty of the frontier, but “new Grit” doesn’t achieve the greatness of the Coen’s modern classics. June 10. 7:30 p.m. The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street NE, 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org