Are there any rules on how long I can refer to this column as “all-new”? Is anyone a doctor? How long is a newborn baby “newborn” for? When does he or she lose the adjective? I’ve never had kids before, but it seems like if I had one seven weeks ago, I’d still consider it new to this Earth. Then again, at least 80% of Jerry’s relationships on Seinfeld never made it to seven weeks. His fake marriage with Courtney Cox only lasted like two or three dry cleaning trips. Alright, that’s enough evidence for me. Seinfeld is always the best authority on life decisions. CB Recommends is no longer “all-new”. Over the next seven weeks, I expect it to embed inside all of you like Europe’s Black Death or the chorus to MIA’s “Paper Planes”. You’re welcome.

We’ve got two new releases coming up this week, and I haven’t the slightest idea how they’ll fare at the box office. Contrary to what you may have heard, one of them IS a bummer, but the other is showing early promise. Hollywood has been desperately trying to launch JJ Abrams into superstar status director mode for awhile now. He was even on American Idol, but it still remains to be seen whether his name alone can launch a big-budget offering without requisite star power. Honestly, how many directors today can claim to be the biggest selling point for their films? 5? 10? That idea probably deserves its own column, but whether or not JJ Abrams is on there will depend on the size of the box office explosion Super 8 causes this weekend. If the reviews are any indication, it should do well. Unfortunately, good movies don’t always translate into lucrative business decisions.

Here’s what Cinema Blend recommends for the week of June 10th, 2011…

If you want to see the best movie, CB recommends...
…celebrating the wonders of childhood with Super 8. For whatever reason, I seem to like JJ Abrams way less than everyone else. I desperately tried to get on board with Lost, but I missed the boat early on and heard too many ludicrous things about polar bears to bring myself to catch up. I thought Mission Impossible 3 was just okay, and I hated Gone Fishin’ perhaps more than any other film released during the 1990s apart from It’s Pat. That being said, Star Trek was really damn good, and Super 8 looks wonderful. Like the more intense cousin to Stand By Me, the trailer feels like growing up, and Cinema Blend’s Eric Eisenberg loved it. Go see it this weekend and then buy your kids a movie camera. They’ll get up to some wild shit, but at least it’ll be creative, wild shit.

If you haven’t seen X-Men: First Class yet, CB recommends...
…telling Hollywood you want more well-done, thought-provoking blockbusters by paying to see X-Men: First Class. What the hell happened last weekend? X-Men: First Class is the best movie in the franchise since X2, and yet, it had one of the lowest Marvel openings in a long time. Was it the marketing? I actually thought it was average, but a lot of my co-workers around Cinema Blend were very disappointed with the effort the studio put up. What shame. X-Men 3 and Wolverine were both borderline unwatchable, and the general public supported them enough to turn profits. Quality needs to be rewarded, especially when it’s fun, summertime quality anyone could enjoy.

If you’re looking for a great indie, CB recommends...
…watching two improvisation masters at work in The Trip. It’s no secret that I love improvisation. I’ve seen every episode of Who’s Line Is It Anyway?, and I own each of the Christopher Guest movies. There’s a certain conversational hilarity that you can get from letting a couple of geniuses bounce off each other, but there is nothing worse than awkward, plotless improvisation. It’s truly painful to watch. Fortunately, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon skillfully avoid the typical pratfalls here, ultimately producing an engaging, watchable and hysterical product every bit worth a trip to the movies. The basic plot follows the pair playing fictionalized versions of themselves as they try to mask their disdain for each other during a business trip in which Coogan has been hired to review the best restaurants and hotels in England. Eric gave it four stars, and for sheer entertainment, it may even have deserved more.

If you’d rather sit on the couch, CB recommends...
…watching Jeff Bridges get his John Wayne on in True Grit. Much has been made about whether the Coen Brothers altered the original version enough with their Best Picture-nominated remake, but even if it did float a little too close to the original, it’s still a beautiful essay in how to seamlessly shoot a film. Not one single camera angle or line of dialogue is out of place in the entire movie. Their take on True Grit should be shown in filmmaking courses as a blow-by-blow analysis in how to transition between ideas. There’s just the right combination of humor, action and character development. I loved it, and besides, there’s no way in hell I was going to recommend fellow new release Just Go with It instead.

You can order it on Amazon here.

CB Recommends answers your email.
Dear CB Recommends,

What is your favorite murder scene of all-time?

Brian from Twin Lakes
That’s easy. Michael McKean shooting Tim Curry in Clue. “If you want to know who killed Mr. Boddy, it was me. In the hall, with the revolver. Take ‘em away, chief. I’m gonna go home and sleep with my wife.” Awesomeness.

You can order Clue on Amazon here. How is this not on Blu-Ray yet? For shame.

Want even more viewing advice? Check out our CB Recommends archive.

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