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Universal Pictures is probably the worst of the six major studios in terms of providing the press with timely access to its movies; its standard operating procedure is to schedule only one press screening, the week of release on Tuesday night (which is past the Reader's deadline). Mind you, this isn't because Universal's movies are usually shit; it's only protecting itself from the scourge of video piracy. But when the studio knows it's got a winner, suddenly piracy isn't such a big problem, which is why Bridesmaids screened for the press over a month ago. It's the latest from producer Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, Funny People), the best comic filmmaker to come along since Albert Brooks.
Along with a long review of that film, this week's issue also has recommended boxes for The Double Hour, an Italian thriller about a woman whose speed-dating romance goes bad, and Meek's Cutoff, a pioneer tale from director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy). Other new capsule reviews this week: Coming Back for More, a documentary about funk legend Sly Stone; The Devil's Trap, a surreal religious drama from the highly regarded Czech director Frantisek Vlacil; Everything Must Go, an adaptation of a Raymond Carver story with Will Ferrell in the lead role; Forks Over Knives, a documentary about healthy eating; Hesher, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a head-banger who mysteriously appears in the home of a troubled kid; Make Believe, a documentary about six kids competing in the World Magic Seminar; Mia and the Migoo, a feature animation from France; and Twelve Thirty, about a shy young man who loses his virginity and then his soul.
Plenty of great repertory this week: Josef von Sternberg's Dishonored (1931), Wednesday at the Portage; Clara Bow in It (1927), Saturday afternoon at the Music Box; Charlie Chaplin's The Kid (1921), Sunday and Thursday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Wim Wenders's King of the Road (1976), next Thursday at Block Museum of Art; Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964), Wednesday at University of Chicago Doc Films; the recent restoration of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927), screening by DVD projection at Doc next Thursday; the director's cut of Charles Burnett's My Brother's Wedding (1983), Sunday at Doc; the silent version of Peter Pan (1924), Friday and Sunday afternoon at the Wilmette; Bela Tarr's seven-hour Satantango (1994), Saturday afternoon at University of Chicago Film Studies Center; Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1998), Sunday morning at Music Box; and Oscar Micheaux's Within Our Gates (1920), Tuesday at Doc.