AMERICAN WEDDING (Jesse Dylan) finds The American Pie crew reuniting for the next great sexual adventure in their lives - a bachelor party and a wedding. See review online at www.nowtoronto.com.
Opens Aug 1 at 401 & Morningside, 5 Drive-In Oakville, Beach Cinemas, Coliseum Mississauga, Coliseum Scarborough, Courtney Park 16, Docks Drive-in, Eglinton Town Centre, Elgin Mills, First Markham Place, Grande - Steeles, Grande - Yonge, Interchange 30, Paramount, Queensway, Rainbow Fairview, Rainbow Market Square, Rainbow Promenade, Rainbow Woodbine, SilverCity Mississauga, SilverCity Newmarket, SilverCity Richmond Hill, SilverCity Yorkdale, Silvercity Yonge, Varsity. THE CUCKOO (Aleksandr Rogozhkin) is amazingly dull. At the end of the second world war in Lapland, a Finnish and a Russian soldier, enemies who share no common language, take shelter on a Sami woman's reindeer ranch. It's a situation rife with dramatic potential, all of which goes swiftly to waste when, rather than trying to gesture or observe each others' behaviour, they stand around declaiming the obvious in their own language: "I'm picking mushrooms now! Do you understand?" 100 min. NN (Wendy Banks)
Opens Aug 1 at Canada Square, Carlton.
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS (Stephen Frears) takes a long time to get where it's going, but, man, what a journey. Master director Frears has made a compelling thriller, a moving love story and a bold political commentary all in one, with a script by first-time screenwriter Stephen Knight that crackles with originality, wit and pathos. The setting is London, filmed through the eyes of its unseen immigrants, where a seedy hotel becomes a microcosm of a seedy society. As unscrupulous realist Sneaky (Sergi López) says, people do dirty things in the night that must be covered up and made pretty. López makes for a charming villain, and talented leads Audrey Tautou (Amélie) and newcomer Chiwetel Ejiofor are equally riveting, but it's the supporting roles of mortuary assistant and whore that ring truest. No, they're not pretty, and that's why the real dirty thing would be covering them up. 107 min. NNNN (Lori Fireman)
Opens Aug 1 at Bayview, Canada Square, Cumberland.
FREAKY FRIDAY (Mark S Waters) is the third version of this story about a quarrelling mom and daughter who wake up in switched bodies. 97 min.
Opens Aug 6 at 401 & Morningside, Beach Cinemas, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Elgin Mills, First Markham Place, Grande - Steeles, Kennedy Commons, Paramount, Queensway, SilverCity Mississauga, SilverCity Newmarket, SilverCity North York, SilverCity Richmond Hill, SilverCity Yorkdale, Silvercity Yonge, Varsity.
GIGLI GIGLI (Martin Brest) is ambitiously, inventively appalling, as if Brest's decided to take a crack at making the worst movie ever. Ben Affleck plays a dumb thug who's ordered to kidnap a developmentally delayed guy, and Jennifer Lopez is the hottie who's hired to help him out. They flirt, but it turns out she's a lesbian! Or is she? The stars seem bent on contorting themselves into ever more elaborate carictures of themselves. Christopher Walken blows the whole thing out of the water briefly with one of his most demented cameos ever, but when he leaves it all sinks rapidly back into the muck, leaving you to wonder what the hell this film is supposed to be. A tax shelter, maybe? 100 min. N (Wendy Banks)
Opens Aug 1 at 401 & Morningside, Canada Square, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Elgin Mills, First Markham Place, Grande - Steeles, Kennedy Commons, Paramount, Queensway, Rainbow Woodbine, SilverCity Newmarket, SilverCity North York, SilverCity Richmond Hill, SilverCity Yorkdale, Varsity, Winston Churchill.
LUCIA, LUCIA (Antonio Serrano) is a perfectly serviceable mid-life wish-fulfillment chick flick, cleverly adapted from a best-selling Mexican beach novel. Lucía (Almodóvar staple Cecilia Roth) sets off on an underworld adventure after her husband vanishes from an airport washroom. On the way, she enlists the help of a wise, experienced veteran of the Spanish Civil War and a hunky young violinist. A few twists and turns aside, you can pretty much guess the rest. It's funny and visually inventive, especially the first half, which features tricky, surreal montage sequences by cinematographer Xavier Pérez Grobet. It's also lightly, pleasantly numbing, like a pina colada sipped in a beachside chaise longue at a three-star resort. 113 min. NNN (Wendy Banks)
Opens Aug 1 at the Varsity.
The Magdalene Sisters (Peter Mullan) - 119 min. NNNN (CB)
Opens Aug 1 at Grande - Yonge, Varsity.