Film Clips: Friends with Benefits, Captain America: The First Avenger, Viva Riva! and more

This weekend's openings


  • Glen Wilson © 2010 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • Mila Kunis as "Jamie" and Justin Timberlake as "Dylan" in Screen Gems' FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

BEATS, RHYMES AND LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST (R ) Actor Michael Rapaport directs this documentary about the acclaimed hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, which broke up in 1998 but still influences fans and musicians.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (PG-13) During World War II, an experimental serum turns 90-lb asthmatic Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) into super-soldier Captain America, who devotes himself to stopping the high-tech arsenal of The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving). Captain America flags in its attempt to evoke the same kind of matinee-era thrills as the Indiana Jones flicks or Johnston’s own 1991 comic book adventure, The Rocketeer. Evans makes an appealingly earnest hero, but the more ripped he gets, the less interesting the role becomes. — Holman

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (R ) Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis play platonic friends who decide to bring their relationship into the bedroom. It sounds just like No Strings Attached, down to having a Black Swan actor as the female lead.

VIVA RIVA! (NR) In the war-torn, petrol-starved Democratic Republic of Congo, charismatic thief Riva (Patsha Bay Mukana) steals a huge cache of fuel and becomes a target for mobsters, the military, foreign power brokers and a seductive night club singer (Manie Malone). Viva Riva won the Director’s Award for best feature narrative at the 2011 Pan-African Film Festival and has invited comparisons to the gritty Brazilian crime thriller City of God.

BEACH PARTY (1963) Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello star in the first of the “beach” genre of sun-drenched, rockin’-and-rollin’ comedies of the 1960s. Featuring a live performance from Blast-Off Burlesque. Taboo Lala. Sat., July 23, 10 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

THE ROOM (2003) 1 star (R ) This hilariously incompetent, sub-Skinemax-level romantic triangle has become a wildly entertaining monthly viewing party, a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau strikes a freaky presence as a long-haired, heavy-lidded, thick-accented bank employee cuckolded by his vicious fiancée (Juliette Danielle). The film’s bizarre touches, like framed photographs of spoons, inspire audiences to throw plastic spoons at the screen, and more. Not to be missed. Tue., July 26, 9:30 p.m. $8. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.

VIDAL SASSOON: THE MOVIE (NR) This documentary profiles how the pioneering hairstylist changed fashion and culture. On a double bill with the drama The Imperialists Are Still Alive, about a French artist making her way in Manhattan. Through July 31. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.