New In Theaters
'The Brothers Solomon' strains for laughs, 'Shoot 'Em Up' stays true to its title, and 'In the Shadow of the Moon' shines a lunar light on the few men to have seen Earth's full shape.
The Brothers Solomon (R)
Director: Bob Odenkirk. With Will Arnett, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Jenna Fischer, Lee Majors. (91 min.)
Will Arnett ("Arrested Development") and writer Will Forte ("SNL") star as idiot brothers on a quest to produce an heir to honor their comatose father (Lee Majors). At best, it's a five-minute late-night sketch; at worst, a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Both leads deliver their lines in an over-rehearsed, sing-song staccato of a child telling a story (and badly, at that). This is not nearly as grating as the belabored setups to the obvious gags (which may as well have been telegraphed with semaphore flags), some of which go on longer than the drum solo in Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." Grade: D – Robert Newton
In the Shadow of the Moon (PG)
Director: David Sington. With Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Jim Lovell. (100 min.)
This magnificent documentary about the Apollo missions to the moon contains oodles of original, beautifully remastered NASA footage that has never been seen before. Many of the surviving astronauts are interviewed, including Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell, and what they have to say about their exploits is breathtaking. Director David Sington reconnects us to the eye-popping awe of those heady days when the distinction between science and science-fiction melted away. After seeing this film, try reading Norman Mailer's "Of A Fire on the Moon," its perfect companion piece. Grade: A – Peter Rainer
Shoot 'Em Up (R)
Director: Michael Davis. With Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci. (97 min.)
Likable "Children of Men" star Clive Owen plays a mysterious, rudeness-intolerant good guy who takes it upon himself to protect a baby who is the target of an army of hit men. There is not yet an expression to describe how over-the-top this hyperkinetic action comedy is, from its John Woo/Rube Goldberg inspired set pieces to its painful self-awareness of its own darned cleverness. Writer-director Michael Davis, a veteran of B movies, offers a message about America's love for guns but the theme gets caught in the crossfire of the film's own unrestrained, heavy-caliber assault on the senses. Owen helps save the movie from total disaster while Italian beauty Monica Bellucci adds much needed estrogen to the mix, even though she mauls her dialogue. Grade: C+ – R.N.