by J.R. Jones
Philip K. Dick's early short story "Adjustment Team" gets a big-screen gut rehab in the new thriller The Adjustment Bureau, the subject of this week's long review. We also have Critic's Choice boxes for Of Gods and Men, a heavy-duty drama about French monks trying to do God's work amid the bloody Algerian civil war, and Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story, a sparkling comedy about an Egyptian TV host who launches a crusade against the country's institutionalized sexism.
Other new releases reviewed this week include Battle: Los Angeles, in which marines duke it out with space aliens in Santa Monica; Cold Weather, a detective movie of sorts from Portland mumblecore director Aaron Katz; HappyThankYouMorePlease, an ensemble comedy about unhappy 20-somethings, and Red Riding Hood, a horror movie based on that story your mother told you.
Today begins week two of the European Union Film Festival, and our sidebar includes new reviews of Aurora, the latest from Romanian director Christi Puiu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu); Change Nothing, a music doc by Pedro Costa; Illegal, a drama about a Russian mother busted as an illegal alien in Belgium; Kawasaki's Rose, in which a Czech man discovers that his father-in-law, an esteemed former dissident, actually ratted people out to the Soviet police state; The Red Chapel, a documentary about two Danish-Korean comedians on a cultural exchange tour of North Korea; To Die Like a Man, a Portuguese drama about a middle-aged transvestite in crisis; and Two in the Wave, which revisits the creative friendship between Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.
Best bets for repertory: Elia Kazan's Baby Doll (1956), Sunday morning at Music Box; D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms (1919), Saturday afternoon at Music Box with live organ accompaniment by Dennis Scott; Sam Fuller's I Shot Jesse James (1949), Wednesday night at the Portage, presented by Northwest Chicago Film Society; Alex Cox's Repo Man (1984), Saturday and Sunday at Doc Films; and Todd Haynes's Safe (1995), tonight and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center.