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New movies for Friday, Aug. 1

New movies

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The gist: More exploits of the O'Connell family, this time in China with a new mom (so long, Rachel Weisz ... sigh) and a new director (hello, Rob Cohen). PG-13

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Wong, Luke Ford and Isabella Leong.

The buzz: Some don't like it, but the series has always been about goofy adventure, and this one goes even further. "The result is enjoyable junk, practically another Indiana Jones sequel that doesn't take itself nearly as seriously," the St. Pete Times says. We can accept that.

The Wackness

The gist: A hippie psychiatrist befriends a weed dealer who needs counseling in 1994. What a coincidence! R

Starring: Josh Peck, Sir Ben Kingsley, Method Man, Mary-Kate Olsen, Olivia Thirlby, Famke Janssen and Aaron Yoo.

The buzz: Critics are split on this one, with the New York Daily News saying it "occasionally stumbles into charm but more often is just wayward and hazy," while the Philadelphia Inquirer says it succeeds as "both bittersweet coming-of-age tale and '90s nostalgia piece."


The gist: An examination of the life of a doctor who quit his practice and lived the surfer lifestyle with his wife and their nine children back in the '60s. R

Starring: Dorian Paskowitz and his family.

The buzz: Sure, he still works out in the nude and eats organic food. That's what made him fun. "While the archival footage is fun, it's ultimately those bittersweet recollections of his equally energetic wife and adult children that give Surfwise its compelling edge," the Hollywood Reporter says.

Swing Vote

The gist: One of those Disney/Touchstone projects that involves a lovable kid doing something mischievous, in this case making her drunk dad the deciding vote in a presidential election, as if Americans still matter in the voting process. PG-13

Starring: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez, Madeline Carroll, Paula Patton, Judge Reinhold, Willie Nelson, Mare Winningham and Richard Petty.

The buzz: Your box office dollars do matter, though, and this one's not that bad. "This one may be soft and derivative," Entertainment Weekly says. "But the actors establish a groove and stay on-message."

Brideshead Revisited

The gist: If you're not into The Dark Knight or Kung Fu Panda, try this two-hour adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel about British aristocrats and their aristocratic doings. PG-13

Starring: Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon.

The buzz: Hey, it took PBS 11 hours to do this. "Purists may blanch at the screenplay's changes to the source material's narrative fine points, but its spirit survives intact," Variety says.

— Joshua Gillin

Upcoming releases

Aug. 6: Pineapple Express; The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

Aug. 8: Hell Ride; Fly Me to the Moon

New movies for Friday, Aug. 1 07/31/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:31am]
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