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

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

As summer inches closer, the weekends are getting ever more crowded with new releases and this week is no exception.  Big news this week is that the Joss Whedon produced horror movie “The Cabin in the Woods” is finally hitting theaters after years of delay.  Also opening this week: “The Three Stooges,” the Farrelly brothers reboot of the classic comedy trio; “Monsieur Lazhar,” which was one this year’s Best Foreign Language Film nominees at the Oscars; and “Hit So Hard,” the rock-doc on former Hole drummer Patty Schemel.

Click through below for all the reviews from the Indiewire network for this week’s new releases.

“Blue Like Jazz”

The Playlist: B
“Blue Like Jazz,” based on a book of autobiographical essays from Christian writer Donald Miller, likely gives pause to those on the fence about religion-based material.

“Cabin in the Woods”

Indiewire: B+
Relentlessly toying around with a meta story, “The Cabin in the Woods” is sometimes too clever for its own good. However, by successfully analyzing tired formulas, it gives them new life.

Leonard Maltin
If you like your horror films to be genuinely scary, as opposed to ironic and self-reflexive, you may stop short of unbridled enthusiasm. I fall into the latter category.

The Playlist: B+
“The Cabin In The Woods” is something very different: a neat subversion and celebration of its genre that delivers a fistful of scares, along with things less common to the genre: smarts, laughs and an awful lot of surprises.

Thompson On Hollywood
Unlike most horror offerings, this movie is hilarious, outrageous and genre-deconstructing–with plenty of VFX. It allows the audience to enjoy its sexy, exploitative, subversive E-ride through horror monsters past (and some demented new creations as well) as it sends up all the cliches of the genre.


The Playlist: D+
To be fair, “Here” isn’t a failure, but it misses the mark on some of its biggest elements and is disappointingly mediocre by the time the credits roll.

“Hit So Hard”

The Playlist: C+
Directed by P. David Ebersole (tellingly a friend of Schemel’s), while ‘Hit So Hard’ can be an engaging documentary, its biggest, fatal flaw is the fact the film seems to suffer from its own identity crisis.

“L!fe Happens”

The Playlist: D+
It’s a fundamental problem that “L!fe Happens” is simply too overstuffed to work, ignoring needless scenes meant to showcase senior billing players.


Indiewire: C-
In both premise and execution, “Lockout” combines elements of Besson’s “The Fifth Element” and “Escape from New York,” clinging to those and countless other movies’ B-movie thrills so faithfully that it at least remains watchably bad

The Playlist: B+
“Lockout” has a persistent sense of humor that allows the attempt to poke fun at the fact that this cockamamie strategy is the work of a future administration, and that Snow isn’t exactly as much in the resourcefulness wheelhouse as, say, Snake Plissken.

“Monsieur Lazhar”

Indiewire: A-
Life-affirming in accordance with classic Frank Capra formula, “Monsieur Lazhar” doesn’t abuse the backdrop of wartime scars as an excuse for heavy-handed dramatic weight.

Caryn James
Don’t be put off by its hokey-sounding subject: a substitute teacher takes over a class. This gem from director Philippe Falardeau is far from the inspirational snooze that description suggests.

Leonard Maltin
The hype-meisters of moviedom have made it difficult to use words like “heartwarming” and “inspiring” without sounding like a huckster…but when you see a film as moving and well-wrought as Monsieur Lazhar, it’s hard to resist.

The Playlist: B-
Gentle and understated, Philippe Falardeau’s film is a classy crowd-pleaser, the kind of mild effort that makes people shake their heads imagining what awfulness would be done to it in an American remake.

“Post Mortem”

Indiewire: B+
“Post Mortem” portrays the specter of dictatorship through the lens of one man’s private hell.

The Playlist: B-
It’s not a forgettable movie by any means, but there’s also really not much to reflect on post-viewing.

“The Three Stooges”

Leonard Maltin
The movie is the comedy equivalent of a cubic zirconia: an imitation.

The Playlist: C
Sasso, Hayes and Diamantopoulos are three talented but incompatible comedians playing dress-up while aping the mannerisms of dead guys that became famous for their original schtick. What’s so funny about these new Stooges?

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