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What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week

By Aaron Bogert | Indiewire March 16, 2012 at 11:40AM

This weekend is absolutely packed! The biggest release is definitely the Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum starring "21 Jump Street," a reboot of 80s TV series that gave Johnny Depp his start. Another comedy opening is the Will Ferrell starring "Casa De Mi Padre." The film is entirely in Spanish and Ferrell is apparently able to handle the language barrier.
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Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Jason Segel in "Jeff, Who Lives at Home"

This weekend is absolutely packed!  The biggest release is definitely the Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum starring "21 Jump Street," a reboot of 80s TV series that gave Johnny Depp his start.  Another comedy opening is the Will Ferrell starring "Casa De Mi Padre."  The film is entirely in Spanish and Ferrell is apparently able to handle the language barrier.

If both of those films sound too wacky for you, there's plenty more to choose from such as the new Duplass brothers film "Jeff, Who Lives at Home"; Criticwire's pick of the week "The Kid with the Bike"; "Natural Selection," which swept last year's SXSW; and there's "Seeking Justice," because what would any weekend be without a new Nicolas Cage movie.  

Click through below for reviews for all these and more from the Indiewire network:

"21 Jump Street"

The Playlist: A
More than merely hilarious, thrilling, intelligent, or involving – any one or two of which alone would be a significant achievement – it’s well-rounded, wonderful, and truly special.

Shadow and Act
Sure, I did laugh a few times, genuinely; a grin or smile here and there as well; but for much of the film’s running time, I was bored, and just wanted it to end.

Leonard Maltin
21 Jump Street goes for easy laughs wherever possible, raunchy or otherwise, in Michael Bacall’s screenplay (with a story co-credited to Hill) but the likability of its stars carries it a long way.

"Casa De Mi Padre"

The Playlist: C+
At 84 minutes, the film comes close to overstaying its welcome, but is moderately amusing for much of that duration.

Caryn James
Casa de Mi Padre is like a looser, goofier version of a Christopher Guest film.

"Detachment"

Indiewire: D
The most remarkable aspect of "Detachment" is that it contains so many first-rate actors in an utterly mediocre product

The Playlsit: D+
A bizarre, well intentioned mess, at the very least, "Detachment" is never dull.

"The FP"

The Playlist: B-
A fun and ambitious if over-the-top and overlong comedy about a world where gangs work out their differences via dance fights to the death, “The FP” is one of the most unique films made in years, but that novelty value also often makes it more of an admirable effort than a truly enjoyable one.

"Jeff, Who Lives at Home"

Indiewire: B
"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is another fascinating, occasionally transcendent example of the Duplass' unique ability to infiltrate Hollywood cinema with their brand of filmmaking techniques.

The Playlist: B+
"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" brings big-studio moviemaking and big-name stars to the Duplass brothers, embracing their sensibilities and style without smothering them, and we in the audience benefit.

Leonard Maltin
Jeff, Who Lives at Home is so delicate—like a well-constructed house of cards—that even a breeze could blow it over. In other words, I think you should discover it for yourself and allow it to win you over, as it did me.

"Juan of the Dead"

Indiewire: B
By never turning into a legitimate horror movie, "Juan of the Dead" makes for the rare case where the zombies exclusively function as a metaphor rather than an unstoppable menace with bonus value as social commentary. This is a movie about Cuba, not the Cuban undead.

"The Kid with the Bike"

Indiewire
Something that, on the surface, looks startlingly new, slowly reveals itself to be something surprisingly familiar and not all that effective in the latest film from the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

The Playlist: B+
For the most part it's another strong character study, and yes, it's at times absolutely wrenching.

Leonard Maltin
It isn’t programmed like a Hollywood movie, and even at moments of high drama everything seems absolutely real.

"Natural Selection"

Indiewire: B+
Although littered with narrative gaps and occasionally clumsy pacing, "Natural Selection" sustains an intimate feel by keeping the focus on Linda's desperate need to find her own happy equilibrium.

Twitch
This is an incredibly accomplished first feature, full of as much heart as hilarity.

"Seeking Justice"

The Playlist: C-
Nicolas Cage is far less manic than he has been in recent memory. The world-weary exhaustion he's sported in more emotionally taxing material is in full bloom, as the vaguely unhinged, frequently cackling star of "Con Air" and "Adaptation" is stuck playing an underwritten Average Joe.

This article is related to: What to See, What to Skip, Reviews







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