At The Movies

Sex and the City 2

Directed by Michael Patrick King
Review by Michelle Tyler

It is very rare, in my opinion, that a sequel of any movie lives up to the first. I waited until the first “Sex and the City” came out on video, not being familiar with the show. But “Sex and the City 2” far surpassed my expectations. Even better, you can watch it without ever seeing the first, although it would be your loss.

The movie kicks off by explaining each of the four ladies’ situations. Ladies in the crowd screamed with excitement as Carrie, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, stepped out of her home in an upscale neighborhood in New York City. Carrie is learning about marriage as her husband of two years, a man who once swept her off her feet, has found that he prefers the comfy couch at home, take-out and a “black and white movie” over their once exciting night-life. Samantha, played by Kim Cattrall, has other pressing matters as she is determined to turn the clock back to when she was 35 with every vitamin and cream imaginable and her “young” wardrobe. No need to worry ladies. She hasn’t changed a bit, peering at every man as though they were a tasty snack to satisfy her ferocious appetite. Cynthia Nixon plays Miranda, a full-time lawyer who is underappreciated by her male boss and struggles to balance time with her family. Of course we cannot forget Charlotte, played by Kristin Davis. Charlotte has found that her two children have been a bit more than she signed up for. In addition, she finds herself concerned about her husband’s interest in their nanny’s D-cup “lucky charms.”

Luckily Samantha provides the perfect getaway, with a fully-paid business retreat for her and the girls to Abu Dhabi. Although being half-way around the world has downfalls; Carrie runs into her charming ex-boyfriend and Samantha struggles with the cultural norms of not displaying your body or any sexual innuendo. But, no cultural norm or wedding band can stop these ladies, after all this is “Sex and the City,” and as their karaoke song goes, they are strong, invincible and women.

Ladies, go together to this one. Although there were a few men in the crowd, I heard a unanimous boo from them at one point in the movie. It is quite possibly the equivalent to you spending two hours in a Home Depot. Yes, they will dislike it that much. Also, I wouldn’t bring the kids, this movie is rated R for a reason.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Directed by Mike Newell
Review by Tony Sheppard

It may be a rough week for US – Middle East relations as we attack cultures right and left with “Sex and the City 2” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” Although the latter is just mild-mannered fun, where the former might actually be offensive. “Sex and the City 2” is largely set in Abu Dhabi, but the emirate had the good sense to refuse to be a filming location (the film was shot in Morocco) and there seems to be a good chance the film won’t open there, the subject matter being a little racy for local tastes.

In contrast, “Prince of Persia” has fewer obnoxious one-liners than “Sex and the City 2” (some of which I’m not sure we could print), but more tongue in cheek political content. For starters, the film is based on the invasion of a city in search of a weapons cache and possible regime change.  There’s a colorful character, played by Alfred Molina, who routinely complains about large government and the over-taxation of entrepreneurial small business owners.  

The story itself centers around a young boy (who grows up to be Jake Gyllenhaal) who is adopted into the Persian royal family; the story is based on the video game of the same name. It plays a little like “The Lion King” by way of “The Arabian Nights,” with assorted family scheming and a magic dagger that turns back the clock.  It’s all in good fun and is more of a vehicle for ridiculous action sequences than thought provocation, aside from the political humor.

It’s also the umpteenth Hollywood movie that chooses to prove how foreign the characters are by having them all sound like they went to boarding school in England, something that occasionally sounds like more of a stretch than the leaps from rooftop to rooftop. In an ideal world, I’d watch “Prince of Persia” on a plane without headphones and use the sands of time to go back to before I watched “Sex and the City 2.”

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Directed by Alex Gibney
We weren’t able to review this one. But this new documentary, opening for a one-week run at the Crest on May 27, tells the story of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and is accompanied by the tagline: “Come see where your democracy went.” It’s from the same director as “Taxi to the Dark Side” and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” the first of which won an Academy Award and second of which was nominated for one.  

From the film’s press kit: “Following the ongoing indictments of federal officials and exposing favor trading in our nation’s capital, Gibney illuminates the way our politicians’ desperate need to get elected, and the millions of dollars it costs, may be undermining the basic principles of American democracy.”

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