by J.R. Jones
A loyal reader has just informed me that Beautiful Boy, the subject of this week's long review, closed last night at River East 21. I apologize for the mix-up, because I should have known better—movies about mass shootings tend to disappear quickly. Or rather, movies about mass shootings that don't star Sylvester Stallone tend to disappear quickly.
You want reviews of movies you can actually see? Well, aren't we picky. In this week's issue we consider The Art of Getting By, about the friendship between two teens with a passion for fine art; A Beginner's Guide to Endings, an indie comedy starring Harvey Keitel, J.K. Simmons, Scott Caan, and Jason Jones of The Daily Show With John Stewart; Dying to Do Letterman, a documentary about a terminally ill comedian who wants his 15 minutes of fame; The First Beautiful Thing, an Italian drama about a grown man coming to terms with his flaky mother; Green Lantern, the latest DC Comics adaptation; How to Live Forever, a documentary by Mark Wexler (Tell Them Who You Are) about the phenomenon of increased life expectancy; Just Like Us, a concert documentary about Western comedians touring the Middle East; Mr. Popper's Penguins, an adaptation of the beloved children's book with Jim Carrey as the title character (Popper, not the penguins); My Perestroika, a documentary profiling five people who grew up on the cusp of history in Russia; Phunny Business: A Black Comedy, which relates the history of the south-Loop comedy club All Jokes Aside; Le Quattro Volte, Michelangelo Frammartino's Italian art film about the cycle of life, death, and regeneration; Sentiment, a documentary about the Czech director Frantisek Vlacil, subject of an ongoing retrospective at Gene Siskel Film Center; and The Trip, a comic road movie by Michael Winterbottom starring British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
Best bets for repertory, all at Film Center: Charles Chaplin's The Gold Rush (1925), Sunday afternoon and Tuesday night, and Limelight (1952), Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night, and Todd Haynes's Poison (1991), Saturday and Wednesday, screening in a new print.