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Singin' in the Rain

Posted 6/30/2010

THE LAST AIRBENDER M. Night Shyamalan writes/directs this family-friendly fantasy flick in which a young boy (Noah Ringer) finds himself getting involved in a war between "benders," people who can influence/control the elements. Opens July 1.

MOONSTRUCK If there's a better recent(ish) American flick for kicking off a free outdoor film series in Little Italy than Norman Jewison's 1987 Moonstruck, programmers haven't found it yet. You've got Cher in her Oscar-winning turn as a widowed thirtysomething woman surprised by her capacity to fall in love again. You've got Nicolas Cage before he went into Sailor Ripley overdrive and decided he had to ham-up every scene he's in. And you got Olympia Dukakis practically walking away with the movie as Cher's entirely too observant mother. At the corner of High and Stiles streets July 2 at 9 p.m.

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's 1952 mash note to early movies follows a production making the clumsy transition from silent to talkie, and it continues to charm thanks to Kelly's ebullient presence, Donald O'Connor's slapstick master class during "Make 'Em Laugh," and the ingenious setup of the entire enterprise. And then there's Cyd Charisse, whose stunning appearance in a shockingly green dress--that exposes about 20 miles of leg--remains one of the best ways to get your boyfriend to watch musicals. (Bret McCabe) At AVAM July 1 at 9 p.m.

SHUTTER ISLAND Director Martin Scorsese takes noir and infuses it with the psychological thriller in Shutter Island, which opens in 1954 with deputy Marshall Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) joining his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) on a ferry bound for the titular fortress housing a hospital for the criminally insane. They're investigating an escape from a room guarded 24 hours a day and locked from the outside. Throughout, Scorsese alludes to other movies, and the movie is just as much an experience for the senses as it is for the mind, though Scorsese's allusions eventually start to feel derivative. (Emma Brodie) At the Broadway Pier July 7 at 8:45 p.m .

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE The third installment in this big-screen, pop adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's supernatural romance series. Opens June 30.

VERTIGO Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 psychological drama met with a lukewarm reception when new, but today it stands as perhaps his greatest achievement. Combining his familiar themes--identity, obsession, unjust persecution, the seductive qualities of masquerade and evil--Vertigo exposes the director's complex fixations and psychoses, and a 1996 restoration helps make the case for Vertigo's greatness. The story, focusing on acrophobic police detective John "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart) and his obsession with first a friend's wife (Kim Novak) and then a woman who resembles her (Novak again), is haunting and erotically charged, highlighted by one of Stewart's darkest performances and Novak's earthy aura. (Luisa F. Ribeiro) At the Charles Theatre at noon July 3, at 7 p.m. , July 5, and 9 p.m. July 8.

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