Movies in brief: 'The Trip to Italy,' 'A Letter to Momo,' 'May in the Summer'

  • Updated: August 28, 2014 - 3:47 PM
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Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan on “The Trip to Italy.”

THE TRIP TO ITALY

⋆⋆⋆ out of four stars

Unrated.

Theater: Uptown.

 

If the Comedy Channel and the Food Channel jumped into an Aston Martin and hit the road, the pairing would be something like a Steve Coogan/Rob Brydon epicurean sojourn. In director Michael Winterbottom’s sequel to “The Trip,” the two British funnymen who ostensibly only sort of like each other fine-dine their way from Italy’s Piemonte region down to Naples and Capri. The pair’s free-association banter, descents into absurdity and endless string of impressions — Michael Caine, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Christian Bale’s Batman — will make some people laugh out loud while quickly wearing thin for others. But fans of “The Trip,” the pair’s first foodie foray together in northern England, will like this one more. It’s sparklier, funnier and a bit naughtier, with Alanis Morrisette’s “Jagged Little Pill” providing musical inspiration in the car.

KRISTIN TILLOTSON

 

A LETTER TO MOMO

⋆⋆⋆ out of four stars

Unrated, but passes the “G” test.

Theater: Edina.

 

The second kiddie-anime feature directed by Japanese animator Hiroyuki Okiura (the first was 1998 award-winner “Jin-Roh”) doesn’t achieve the heights of the genre’s best, but with many realistically moving moments and the aid of three amusing imps (one of them a farting lizard), it tells an engaging tale. After her father dies, 13-year-old Momo and her mother move from Tokyo to a sleepy island where mysterious happenings are wreaking havoc. The grieving girl is obsessed with an unfinished letter her father left, blank except for the salutation “Dear Momo.” After hooking up with the trio of spirits only she can see, she goes on a magic- and danger-filled adventure in search of the truth. Scene after gorgeously hand-drawn scene offer a visual feast, but two hours of it is a bit too long.

K.T.

MAY IN THE SUMMER

⋆⋆ out of four stars

Rating: R for some language.

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  • “A Letter to Momo”

  • Cherien Dabis (foreground) and Alia Shawkat in “May in the Summer.”

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