Last Year’s Superhero Movies Are Better Than This Year’s. Here’s Why.

Movies: John Carpenter movies at Mall of America

Theater: Edina The captivating Wadjda is the first feature from Haifaa Al-Mansour, and the first Saudi film directed by a woman. Most important, it is an unqualified delight, a sharp, insightful comedy that subversively explores womens place in Islamic society. Spunky tomboy Wadjda expresses her personality in the very first shots, rocking high-top sneakers with purple laces under her ankle-length school tunic. She listens to pop music in her bedroom, papers the walls with clippings from celebrity magazines, and plays with the neighbors son. When he beats her in a bike-vs.-foot race, she vows to get wheels of her own, which is considered an offense against virtue. Waad Mohammed sparkles as the cheeky troublemaker, who enters a Quran study competition in hopes of using the prize money for her bicycle. Reem Abdullah is touching as Wadjdas traditionalist mother, housebound unless a hired driver is available, and worried that her husband is about to take a second wife. Al-Mansours warmhearted humanism and progressive political agenda are a perfect fit. Even the Quran passages Wadjda recites slyly chide the forces of religious repression. The final optimistic images suggest that todays headstrong little girls may reshape and redefine Saudi society. Wadjda is an endearing, uplifting delight.C.C. When Comedy Went to School out of four stars Unrated but suitable for all. Theater: Lagoon In this nostalgic show-business documentary, Jerry Lewis recalls his days as an up-and-comer in New Yorks Catskill Mountains summer resorts. It was a laboratory, he says, a place for comedians to hone their craft in front of demanding audiences.

add a comment HORROR AT MOA John Carpenter, who launched the slasher cycle with Halloween, is the ideal filmmaker to usher in the ghoulish month of October. Hes getting a welcome retrospective with a Tuesday-night series of classics, near-classics and not-really classics at the Mall of America multiplex. Oct. 1 its Escape From New York, with Kurt Russell as tougher-than-tough Snake Plissken, a dangerous convict assigned to rescue the President from a futuristic Manhattan that has become a lawless penal colony. Its great action filmmaking goosed with deliciously cynical political commentary. On the 8th the star and general idea are needlessly recycled in Escape from L.A., which directs its satire at easy targets like crazed surfers and plastic surgeons. They Live, a prescient sci-fi comic thriller showing Oct. 15, stars pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper as a construction worker who discovers sunglasses that strip away superficial appearances to reveal that societys rulers are alien cadavers. The brilliant remake The Thing is a paranoid masterpiece about an alien entity that kills, then takes over the identities, of researchers at a remote Antarctic outpost. The capper on the 29th is Prince of Madness, a flimsy exercise in modern-day mysticism concerning a Los Angeles church whose basement contains a diabolical power. Keep an eye peeled for a walking-dead cameo by Alice Cooper.

Here’s Why. Last Year’s Superhero Movies Are Better Than This Year’s. Here’s Why. This year’s superhero movies? They kind of suckwell, in comparison to last year’s kickass superhero movies. What gives? According to Slacktory , last year’s supherhero movies practically gave us a ten step guide on how to be awesome! You’d think the success would be easily replicated. Really, this year’s movies have no excuse. Speaking seriously though: yeah, despite liking some of the movies highlighted here a ton, they can be pretty formulaic if not silly sometimes. But, hey. Popcorn flicks and all that.