Golden Boys (2009) *½ It seems particularly perverse to take actors who helped develop the ‘60's acting style of hang-loose, semi-improvisational immediacy and stick them in a creaky period piece glazed with arch gentility and ersatz quaintness.
Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) **½ Cornpone caricatures abound (witness Hoedown Throwdown, in which Miley Cyrus sunnily urges us to "pop it, lock it, polka dot it"), but so do worthy messages about responsibility – to family, community, even Mother Earth.
Julia (2009) *** Tilda Swinton doesn’t merely act the title role in French director Erick Zonca’s Julia—she devours it, spits it back up, dances giddily upon it, twirls it in the air.
The Last House on the Left (2009) ** If the original could be accused of having a real point (even a subtext), the uninspired remake has none whatsoever.
Surveillance (2009) *½ At the end, all is horrifically explained, the body count inflates, yet hardly anything makes sense. In filmmaker Jennifer Chamber Lynch’s father’s films, little is explained, yet because he’s so gifted at mining our deepest fears and scariest desires, logic is excused.
Tyson (2009) **** What’s so affecting about boxer Mike Tyson in the film is that he doesn’t seem monstrous at all. To the contrary, Iron Mike, having meted out epic suffering in the ring and other venues, seems to be a man who has suffered genuinely, even terribly, in the course of a life that he never believed would last 40 years.