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Ty's movie picks for Friday, July 27

Posted by Ty Burr  July 27, 2007 09:22 AM

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The big monkey this weekend is "The Simpsons Movie," which is about eight years late and a few dollars short of inspiration. I dunno; I'm with Wesley and A.O. Scott at the Times in thinking that it's pleasant enough (and there are some solid laughs in the first half hour -- Spiderpig, Spiderpig, heh-heh) but that it's really just a decent episode of the show, and that's not quite enough. But you already know whether you're going to see this or not.

"No Reservations" (photo above), on the other hand, is lightly likeable if you go in with no expectations (especially none concerning "Mostly Martha," the 2001 German film on which it's based). Catherine Z-J and Aaron Eckhardt are purty to watch and so are the Greenwich Village locations; you'll almost forget you're eating leftovers. Pity they didn't give Abigail Breslin much to do, though.

More demanding moviegoers will enjoy "12:08 East of Bucharest," a mordant but very funny tale of Romanian entropy 16 years after the revolution, or Patrice Leconte's "My Best Friend," a polished comedy starring Daniel Auteuil. Both are at the Kendall Square. Anyone who cares about punk rock past, present, and future needs to see "Punk's Not Dead" at the Brattle: It's one of the better entries in the punkology genre.

Otherwise, you'll have to wait until next Friday, when a bazillion new movies are opening up. The most notable is "The Bourne Ultimatum," which I saw yesterday and which may be the most well-made threequel of the summer. Man, can Paul Greengrass direct.

The MFA sees the last three days of the French Film Festival, so you may be able to snap up some last-minute goodies.

At the Harvard Film Archive on Saturday, two excellent early works from leading lights of the Mexican renaissance, Guillermo del Toro's eerie "Cronos" and Alfonso Cuaron's farcical "Solo Con Tu Pareja." (Want to see the pair cross swords with Charlie Rose? Here you go.)

One other thing: The Roxbury Film Festival starts on Wednesday, August 1. Look for Leslie Brokaw's article in the Globe on Sunday for further details.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

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