I live in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham. There is a movie theatre down the street from me called The Edge 12. I can walk there from my home, if I so desire. This theatre has twelve screens. They frequently show films of great merit. They also show films for everyone else. We all get to choose.
Four new films have opened at The Edge 12 this week:
Larry Crowne (2011)
Directed by Tom Hanks.
Written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).
Starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
[The official Universal Pictures blurb for Larry Crowne:]
Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he’s worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his suddenly free days, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colorful community of outcasts, also-rans and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves…often moving around town in a herd of scooters. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot (Roberts), who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband. The simple guy who has every reason to think his life has stalled will come to learn an unexpected lesson: when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you just might discover your reason to live.
[Their first draft:]
Everyone’s favorite everyman, Tom Hanks, makes a triumphant return to the big screen as the titular Larry Crowne. Saddled, after serving time in the U.S. Navy, with a dead-end job at a corporate megalo-mart, Larry has begun to settle into a life of comfortable mediocrity. Turning away from the harsh reality of a low hourly-wage and no chance for advancement, he drones away at his job, waiting for the occasional pat-on-the-back from management. Then, one day, as it eventually comes to all big-box slaves, a pink slip comes to Larry. Lost, he decides to explore that refuge of the unemployed: school. There, he develops a crush on his Etiquette & Elocution teacher (a fetching Julia Roberts) who is looking to temporarily bed one of her students as a remedy for her lagging marital relationship. Between this bedroom rondel and his new membership in a scooter club, our simple hero, Larry, who has every reason to think his life has stalled, will come to learn an unexpected lesson: when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you just might discover you’re right.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Written and directed by Woody Allen.
Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, the ghosts of Cole Porter, Zelda Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, and the city of Paris.
Gil and Inez (Wilson and McAdams) travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents’ business trip. Gil is a struggling writer and falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s were the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil’s nighttime forays in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city, but farther from the woman he’s about to marry.
Monte Carlo (2011)
Directed by Thomas Bezucha.
Starring Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy.
Here’s another film set partly in Paris: three young women vacationing in Paris find themselves whisked away to Monte Carlo after one of the girls is mistaken for a British heiress. I have seen the target demographic for this film, and it is not me.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Directed by Michael Bay.
Starring Shia LeBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and the parts from a 1944 Willys Jeep.
Rated PG-13. (This film opened at The Edge 12 on June 29th.)
In this third film in the movie franchise based on a popular children’s toy, the Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. When they get there, they find out that they’re all just imaginary characters stuck inside of a snow globe belonging to an autistic child.
Transformers 3 (as this film is also being called) is being screened in both 3D and 2D at The Edge 12. The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott says that “Transformers: Dark of the Moon is one of the few recent 3D movies that justify the upcharge.” He should know: he watches movies for a living.
The following seven films have been extended for another week:
• Bad Teacher
• Cars 2
• The Green Lantern
• Jumping the Broom
• Kung Fu Panda 2
• Mr. Popper’s Penguins
• Super 8
The following four films ended their current run this week:
• The Hangover, Part II
• X-Men: First Class
The Edge 12 has some ongoing promotions. Tuesdays are no longer just a recurring day of the week there, but have been dubbed “$5.00 Tuesdays”: most films can be seen for just a $5.00 admission ticket. And, on Fridays, The Edge 12 offers free popcorn at all shows.
The Edge 12 Theatre is located at 7001 Crestwood Boulevard. A recording detailing all movie times can be accessed by telephoning (205) 795-3500; a real live human answers the phone at (205) 795-3595. Showtimes can also be found on the MovieTickets website. The theatre has a Facebook page under the name The Edge 12 Birmingham and tweets under the handle @Edge12Bhm.
Information in the capsule summaries above might have been provided, in varying degrees, by IMDb, Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes and Wikipedia.