Hey y’all! How ’bout those “Hunger Games,” huh? Obviously, everyone and their mom went last weekend to the child murder games, and we’ll see if it has legs to keep going (we think it does), so if you have to catch up on that one, it is in theaters this weekend! If you already saw it, never fear, there are still creepy kid movies to be found in “Bully” and “Womb” (and “Mirror Mirror” does that count?) Fun! And if not, blockbuster season is officially open with “Wrath of the Titans.” CGI-y! And for a nice change of pace, another entry in the classic hockey comedy canon, “Goon” hits U.S. theaters this weekend too. Won’t you hit the ice with us?
Cardboard cutout Sam Worthington is back and wrathier than ever in “Wrath of the Titans“!! I feel like there should be heavy metal playing right now. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are back (remember when they were like, nominated for Oscars?), and Rosamund Pike, Toby Kebbell and “Carlos” himself, Edgar Ramirez show up to yell, swing swords and wear flowy outfits to play Greek gods. And Bill Nighy! Is he playing the Kracken? Our review says of the film, “the visuals trump the story. Unfortunately for [director Jonathan] Liebesman, dude had to hire actors. And either they got paid in gold doubloons or the set had a killer craft services table, because no one seems particularly aware or concerned about what they have to do. Aside from Worthington’s action hero vogue-ing, this is a cast of autopilots, fulfilling contractual obligations. Or so it seemed at the time — it’s hard to remember.” Rotten Tomatoes: 33% Metacritic: 36
Tarsem Singh‘s Snow White movie “Mirror, Mirror” hits theaters before that other Snow White movie. This one is the jokey, kid-oriented, schlocky version instead of the dark, action-y version. Lily Collins plays Snow, Armie Hammer plays the prince and Julia Roberts puts her comedy hat on to play the evil queen. Our review says, “like the big budget Broadway show that you’re forced to see when your parents are in town,” it, “tries to add some fizz to the tired fairy tale formula, it feels hopelessly outdated and stale. You’d think that Tarsem, a filmmaker who has shown himself more than willing to combine disparate elements into something weird and fresh, would have extended that to the movie’s thematic concerns. Instead, it’s the same old once upon a time… all over again.” RT: 56% MC: 44
Documentary “Bully” hits theaters this weekend after much Harvey Weinstein-instigated brou-ha-ha over it’s R-rating. In fact, did you hear he has summoned the trifecta of Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama, and the Duchess of Cambridge (that’s Kate Middleton to us commoners) to aid in his secession from the MPAA? Our review of the film by Lee Hirsch and Alicia Dwyer says the film “shifts the blame,” and “the good intentions of everyone involved in making ‘Bully’ don’t matter when the underlying logic to their film is so latently disparaging.” RT: 96% MC: 72
Eva Green stars in this week’s obligatory creepy movie, “Womb” as a woman who clones her dead lover and raises the child. Ick. Our review of the film by Bendek Fliegauf says, “it’s an intriguing sexual study geared towards love and companionship, but it can only feel academic as long as Rebecca, who ages gracefully into her later years, remains inherently unknowable.” RT: 40% MC: 45
Seann William Scott makes up for the embarrassment that is the “American Reunion” paycheck with this week’s sports showcase “Goon” written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, costarring Eugene Levy, Alison Pill, and Liev Schreiber. Nothng like a good hockey movies, amirite? Our review from the UK release in January says, “it feels like a megamix of a half-a-dozen films all featuring the same cast, and that stops the finished product from ever flying. All the same, it’s a more enjoyable watch than we were expecting, thanks principally to Scott, who should get a decent boost off it. And so it’ll serve as a decent rental, or drunken Friday night big-screen outing, when it hits American shores, but the execution is never effective enough to make it anything more.” RT: 78 MC: 64
Already in theaters since Wednesday, “The Island President” is the story of the president of the Maldives who is faced with saving his country from the rising waters of global warming. With a Radiohead score! Our review says, “It’s the kind of bold, beautiful documentary filmmaking that isn’t afraid to get into the nitty gritty of the situation, without giving up any of its inherent entertainment value.” RT: 100% MC: 64
With Emma Bernstein