March 24th, 2011 – Movies to Catch This Weekend

Sucker Punch

This latest project from “300” and “Watchmen” director Zack Snyder ends up as a sort of mix between “The Matrix” and “Inception” with a bit of “Sin City” and every animé series ever made thrown in. The story is set in the 1950’s and follows a young woman (Emily Browning) who is sent to a mental institution to be lobotomized. She finds, with the help of her fellow inmates, that she has the potential to escape her captors (Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm) by using her fractured mind to blur the lines between fantasy and reality. The result is an unrestrained visual orgy of stylized action, the likes of which we have come to expect from Snyder…except that the visuals in “Sucker Punch” make even “300” look drab. Then again, maybe that’s just a result of the girls (Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and Jamie Chung) in tight leather. So what if it’s not much for story. That’s not why you go to a movie like this, is it?

Sucker Punch, 109 mins., rated PG-13.


My Perestroika

This fascinating documentary premiered at the 2010 Sundance Festival, and has since appeared at documentary festivals all over the world, winning awards along the way. The doc tells the stories of the last Soviet generation, a group of young Russians who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, only to watch as the world changed around them. The subjects are engaging and we see a Russia that we don’t often see: one that is open and frank about the state and history of the country. The film is impressively honest and human, with moments of humor, warmth, and inspiration. It’s too early to say for sure, but we could be looking at an early Oscar contender in the Feature Documentary category.

My Perestroika, 88 mins., unrated.