NPR logo Friday Movies: 'X-Men,' 'An Inconvenient Truth'

Friday Movies: 'X-Men,' 'An Inconvenient Truth'

Al Gore in 'An Inconvenient Truth.' Paramount Classics hide caption

toggle caption Paramount Classics

Guy Pearce in Nick Cave's The Proposition. First Look Pictures hide caption

toggle caption First Look Pictures

Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman in X-Men: The Last Stand. 20th Century Fox hide caption

toggle caption 20th Century Fox

NPR's Bob Mondello shares his picks for the weekend. I'll still go see X-Men though.

An Inconvenient Truth: Yeah, yeah, I know. You think it'll be like watching paint dry to hear Al Gore talking about global warming. Well, the film turns out to be pretty amazing, and very smartly done, with computer graphics that make the story he's telling far scarier and more immediate than the Hollywoodized one in The Day After Tomorrow. The film's Al Gore is a bit of a revelation. He's so funny, human and engaging that you may find yourself wondering where this Al Gore was during the 2000 campaign. And he's persuasively passionate on the issue — so much so, the film made me want to rush out and buy a hybrid and then shoot my old car, so no one else could drive it. The audience I saw it with seemed to feel the same way. In fact, it's the only film I've seen in ages where not a soul got up during the credits because they were riveted, believe it or not, by an environmental "to do" list. Don't let this one get by you in theaters. You'll want to talk about it on the way out.

The Proposition: In the desolation of 19th-century rural Australia, a sheriff catches two Burns Gang brothers — middle boy Charlie (Guy Pearce) and baby-faced Mike, but he wants their murderous elder brother Arthur (Danny Huston). So he offers Charlie a proposition. He'll not hang young Mike, if Charlie brings him Arthur. With a spare revenge-based script by Nick Cave (of Bad Seeds fame), combined with director John Hillcoat's austere, high-plains, John Ford-ish images, the film easily qualifies as the most haunting Western (well, really "far-Western") to come along in years.

X-Men: The Last Stand: Let's hope it's the last stand. This series has soooo jumped the shark. The first scenes are kind of intriguing as the understated gay subtext from the first two movies (mutants, branded deviants because they're different from "normal" folks, are made to feel shame even by their families) is made more explicit. An adolescent character named Angel is caught in the bathroom by his father as he's trying to cut off the wings sprouting from his shoulder blades. He tearfully apologizes, not for the self-mutilation, but for who he is. Years later, Dad's been instrumental in finding a "cure" and wants to try it out on his son, much to the horror of Storm, Wolverine, Magneto and the gang. Alas, when Angel flies out the window to avoid the cure, the plot flies out with him. The rest is nonsensical plotting and the special effects are at once spectacular and exhausting.

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