Check out the smorgasbord of offerings arrriving in theaters this weekend, from John Hillcoat’s prohibition drama “Lawless” to Jamie Travis’s sex-romp “For a Good Time, Call…”. Found-footage horror “V/H/S” arrives on VOD this weekend with strong reviews, while Jessica Biel and Orlando Bloom each get their own thriller vehicles, “The Tall Man” and “The Good Doctor.” There’s also Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud charming “Chicken with Plums,” which premiered last year at Venice, as well as Tsui Hark’s glorious big-budget 3-D period epic “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate,” starring Jet Li, complete with floating subtitles.
“Chicken with Plums” SPC, FR/GER/BEL | DIR: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud CAST: Mathieu Amalric, Isabella Rossellini | 76% Fresh | ThePlaylist calls it “Amiable & Pretty, But Twee & Thin” | Criticwire’s Picks “Chicken with Plums.”
“Lawless” Weinstein Co. US | DIR: John Hillcoat CAST: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce | 67% Fresh | Toronto Star: “All slicked up but mostly firing blanks, John Hillcoat’s Prohibition-era western Lawless looks and sounds great but fails to tell a compelling story.” | How “Lawless” Went Indie | Hillcoat talks to ThePlaylist.
“V/H/S” Magnet (VOD), US | DIR: Multiple CAST: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Hannah Fierman | 77% Fresh | Todd Gilchrist: “A horror anthology which chillingly showcases both the breadth of interesting ideas still available to explore within the genre, and the considerable talent of some of its most promising filmmakers.”
“Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” Indonima, CHINA | DIR: Tsui Hark CAST: Jet Li, Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, Kwai Lun Mei | 50% Rotten | Variety: “The 3D is terrific,..but helmer Tsui Hark’s costume actioner — the first Chinese-lingo movie shown in the stereoscopic Imax format — is let down by two-dimensional characters.”
“The Tall Man” Image, US/CAN/FR | DIR: Pascal Laugier CAST: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie, Wlliam B. Davis | 57% Rotten | Film.com: “I like to imagine the pitch meeting for [it] as something like this: ‘It will be like ‘Twin Peaks,’ only absolutely terrible on every level’…It has to be a little frustrating to have a career like Jessica Biel’s.”
“The Good Doctor” Magnolia, US | DIR: Lance Daly CAST: Orlando Bloom, Riley Keough, Troy Garity, Rob Morrow, Taraji P. Henson, Michael Peña | 67% Fresh | Variety: “Daly deftly creates a disturbing, Chabrol-like tension that plays on immediate identification with the handsome medico’s lonely, shy vulnerability and slow-building horror at the depths to which his self-delusion can sink.”
“For A Good Time, Call…” Focus, US | DIR: Jamie Travis CAST: Ari Graynor, Lauren Anne Miller, Justin Long, Mark Webber, James Wolk | 70% Fresh | AV Club: “While the perky vulgarity is sometimes overwhelming, For A Good Time scores points by treating sex frankly, with playful mock coyness or none at all.”