Film Clips: Zookeeper, Ironclad, Horrible Bosses and more

This weekend's openings


  • © 2010 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • Kevin James, right, and Jackie Sandler star in Columbia Pictures' comedy "Zookeeper"

CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH (NR) Chinese director Lu Chuan helms this epic account of the Japanese siege of the Chinese city of Nanking in Dec. 1937. International film critics have acclaimed City of Life and Death’s black and white cinematography.

HORRIBLE BOSSES 3 stars (R ) Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day play three long-time pals who consider killing their horrendous employers — respectively, a corporate back-stabber (Kevin Spacey), a sleazy cokehead (Colin Farrell) and an attractive dentist (Jennifer Aniston) bent on sexual harassment. Horrible Bosses’ performance evaluation includes such knocks as lame car chases, flat characterization and poor follow-through on its wicked premise. Aniston and Farrell (in a hilariously lousy comb-over) give hilarious, comeback-worthy performances but go AWOL for long stretches. Nevertheless, the jokes achieve the baseline amount of laughs and Charlie Day of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” holds his own, like a hyper equivalent to Zach Galifianakis. — Holman

IRONCLAD (R ) Shortly after the signing of the Magna Carta, the forces of the evil King John (Paul Giamatti) lay siege to a band of rebels in Rochester Castle, lead by a Templar knight (“Rome’s” James Purefoy). From the director of a movie called Minotaur this medieval action film overlaps historically with that Russell Crowe Robin Hood movie.

THE LAST MOUNTAIN (NR) Bill Haney’s documentary depicts the efforts of environmental activists to prevent major coal corporations from continuing a criticized practice called “Mountain Top Removal.”

TRIGUN: BADLANDS RUMBLE 3 stars (NR) A flamboyant bankrobber, a vengeful beauty and a goofball pacifist gunslinger, among other bizarre characters, clash in a desert town. This Japanese anime based on a manga series draws on Hollywood Westerns, interplanetary science fiction and a little steampunk for a schizophrenic adventure that flirts with incoherence but delivers highly imaginative animated action scenes. — Holman

ZOOKEEPER 1 star Typically in a film featuring intelligent or talking animals there's some balance between the overall story and the amount of interaction held with humans. This is not the case in Zookeeper. In the film, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James) a senior zookeeper at the Franklin Park Zoo strikes out with his girlfriend, Stephanie (Leslie Bibb). He bumbles so miserably in trying to rekindle his relationship with her the animals of the zoo break their code of silence to help him win her affections. One of the many problems with Zookeeper is the animals simply run amuck. Director Frank Coraci depends too heavily on the adorable creatures and less on a convincing story. If kids are young - or you are stoned enough, you'll get a couple of chuckles from James' awkward tumbles and Sandler's, thumb and poop jokes. Overall, no matter how many adorable animals you add into Zookeeper's crazy mix, you're in for one very bad experience. — Edward Adams

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON 3 stars (R ) Two young American tourists (James Naughton and Griffin Dunne) run afoul of a wild beast on the English countryside, and the survivor wonders if he’s actually a werewolf. John Landis’ off-beat horror film features charming performers (including Jenny Agutter as a nurse), funny set pieces and Rick Baker’s unforgettable werewolf make-up, but boy, does it fall apart at the end. Splatter Cinema. Tue., July 12, 9:30 p.m. $8. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF(1958) (PG-13) The birthday of a dying Southern patriarch (Burl Ives) turns into a family struggle while testing the marriage of a former athlete (Paul Newman) and his aggressive wife (Elizabeth Taylor). Richard Brooks directs an excellent adaptation of Tennessee Williams classic play, which provides a rare chance to see the late Liz Taylor in her prime and on the big screen. Tue., July 12, 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. www.foxtheatre.org

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE 4 stars (NR) Clint Eastwood’s gunslinging “Man With No Name” teams up with a bounty hunter (Lee Van Cleef) to pursue a ruthless fugitive gang (which includes Klaus Kinski in a small role). The second of Eastwood’s iconic spaghetti western collaborations with Sergio Leone. Sat., July 9, 3 and 7:30 p.m. $8. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

HEARTBEATS (NR) In this Canadian film, two friends (Monia Chokri and Niels Schneider) develop feelings for the same man (writer/director Xavier Dolan). July 5-17. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.