Opens Fri Sept 22
According to every woman I've ever known, Orlando Bloom is handsomer than 99.99 percent of the planet's hirsute, Neanderthalic males. So when Haven opens with a shot of Bloom taking off his shirt and diving into an idyllic harbor in the Cayman Islands, it seems pretty obvious what type of movie it's going to be: pulpy, light, and sexy.
Which is probably what it should be, but it's not. Actually, I'm not sure what Haven is, mostly because Haven doesn't even seem to know what it is. There's a bunch of stuff going on here: scared of the Feds, Carl (Bill Paxton) grabs a zillion dollars in cash and flees to the Caymans; he takes along his bewilderingly named daughter, Pippa (Agnes Bruckner); among a slew of other half-assed, sordid characters, Shy (Bloom) spends his time lusting after his girlfriend, Andrea (Zoe Saldana), only to have Andrea's dickhead brother splash acid in his face—which, tragically, makes Bloom handsomer than only 99.98 percent of men on the planet. It all intertwines, sort of but not quite, and for two hours Haven stutters on, shot like a music video and soundtracked by thudding bass, with characters saying and doing increasingly stupid things. It's boring and exhausting and pretty all at once—and by the end, you'll wish you could cut back to the film's first shot, when, however briefly, Haven had some idea what it was trying to do. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers
Opens Fri Sept 22
Clinton St. Theater
It's difficult to know whether or not we can call agitdoc director Robert Greenwald a "documentary filmmaker." Over the past two years, he's emerged as a more slender, more handsome Michael Moore. Like his counterpart, Greenwald's indignant about a whole bunch of legitimately troubling left-wing issues—but, also like Moore, Greenwald is far more of a melodramatic rabble-rouser than a fair-minded journalist.
In 2004, Greenwald slammed Rupert Murdoch in Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, and last year he went after Wal-Mart with Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. In Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers, Greenwald picks up the woefully under-reported story about the US military's outsourcing of, well, everything in Iraq—from security to provisions to torture. It's a story that needs to be told: Billions of dollars are being funneled to corporations like Halliburton, with taxpayers supporting companies that care more about profit margins than lives.
But Greenwald fails to complete the story. Sure, he assembles a damning argument against outsourcing—complete with plenty of weeping moms and grieving widows—but he doesn't try to interview the CEOs and politicians who are driving the trend. Greenwald points out the problem, but he doesn't offer the slightest notion about what we can do to fix it. PHIL BUSSE
Opens Fri Sept 22
Confetti is a mockumentary in the humorous, lovable Christopher (est in Show) Guest-style of mockumentaries. The premise: A British magazine is holding a contest to determine who has the "Most Original Wedding" of the year. The mag chooses three couples with different talents and interests—a musical couple, a tennis pro couple, and a naturist/nudist couple—and provides them with a team of wedding planners and a budget.
In some ways, Confetti's pretty lame—you'll easily guess who's going to win the contest, and the end of the film devolves into a cheesy musical. But in a lot of ways, it succeeds: There's plenty of great improv from the film's tight team of British actors and there's an utterly sweet and hilarious wedding planner couple, played by Jason Watkins and Vincent Franklin. If nothing else, Confetti's definitely a film that will cure the Sunday afternoon hangover you may find yourself with this weekend. KATIE SHIMER