Arts Desk

This Week in Film

Zombies, roller derby, schmaltz, and Michael Moore. Another avalanche of openings this weekend, and—shockingly—most of them are worth your while. Summer's officially over!

Zombieland: Think there are no more zombie-related stories or jokes to tell? So did I. Which is why this very entertaining film is such a surprise. Fun fact: Remember Woody Harrelson's tussle with that photographer? This is the movie he blamed it on, claiming he was still in character as a warrior against the undead.

Whip It: Drew Barrymore's wobbly but sweet directorial debut about roller derby. Bonus: Ellen Page finally shakes off the Juno bug.

Capitalism: A Love Story: Michael Moore is still angry, this time about our country's financial crisis in general and government bailouts in particular.

The Invention of Lying: Ricky Gervais co-directs and stars in this quite funny—if uneven—film about a world in which everyone not only tells the truth, but expresses every thought that pops into his or her head. It stumbles when it leans too heavily on its romantic-comedy bent; a subplot about Gervais' character making up the concept of heaven, hell, and God is a subversive rescue. Considering the relative lack of press the film's received, Christians apparently have not gotten the memo.

Toy Story & Toy Story 2 Double Feature 3D
: A double bill of Pixar's debut and its sequel, both of which scored 100 percent on the Rotten Tomato-meter. Only this time, there's (literally) more depth. Everybody wins.

Walt & El Grupo
: A doc about Walt Disney taking a group of artists and filmmakers to South America in 1941.

Betty Blue: Director’s Cut: Did you like watching the titular crazy lady and her erotic escapades back in 1986? Well, it's your lucky week, because now there's three hours of fun in this expanded director's cut.

The Boys Are Back: Kramer vs. Kramer, only this time with Clive Owen as a widower instead of a divorced dad. One of those "inspired by a true story" deals that demands tears.

Paranormal Activity: This staggered-release Blair Witch-wannabe is actually getting some good reviews. Because Paramount sprung plans for its D.C. release only this past Tuesday, showtimes are limited to midnights at AMC Georgetown. But surely that will change next weekend, so don't knock yourself out fighting the G'town hordes.

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