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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? ‘Cloud Atlas’ & ‘Chasing Mavericks’ Ride The Wave Of New Movies In Theaters

What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Cloud Atlas' & 'Chasing Mavericks' Ride The Wave Of New Movies In Theaters

Here at The Playlist, we regularly express a variety of opinions in reviews, columns, and features, and now we’d like to encourage that opportunity among you, our faithful readers. We’re launching a new format for “In Theaters” (let’s call it version 2.0), in which we’ll provide short summaries of the critical reactions to new releases so that you can easily determine your favorites in the bunch. We would love to hear any and all remarks about the films you’ll be investing your hard-earned cash in (or not) each weekend. So, please, comment away!

Chasing Mavericks.” Directed by Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson. Starring Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, and Leven Rambin. Our review: “It’s hard to tell who is to blame for the movie’s abrasive anonymousness – Curtis or Apted – but it hardly matters. In either directors’ hands, ‘Chasing Mavericks’ would have been a wipe-out. It’s totally bogus.” Metacritic: 43 Rotten Tomatoes: 34% The Playlist: D

Cloud Atlas.” Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski. Starring everybody. Our review: “Too long by at least a half hour, and both dull and repetitive as it goes on, ‘Cloud Atlas’ reaches for envelope-pushing storytelling but never delivers on its promise.” MC: 52 RT: 59% PL: C-

Fun Size.” Directed by Josh Schwartz. Starring Victoria Justice, Jackson Nicoll, Jane Levy, and Chelsea Handler. This Halloween-themed flick from Nickelodeon Movies is clumsy and trite, and doesn’t seem sure if its target audience is 8 or 28. Our review: “Aiming for a trifecta of small kids, their older sisters and parents in the audience, ‘Fun Size’ fails them all in a movie that is neither a trick nor a treat.” MC: 38 RT: 38% PL: D+

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.” Directed by Michael J. Bassett. Starring Adelaide Clemens, Sean Bean, and Kit Harington. Our review: “Any attempt at nuance is gone, replaced by a need to have anonymous monstrosities stab characters in the face with giant blades while highlighting the film’s ghastly ‘shot in Edmonton’ production aesthetic.” MC: no score yet RT: 20% PL: F

The Loneliest Planet.” Directed by Julia Loktev. Starring Gael García Bernal, Hani Furstenberg, and Bidzina Gudjabidze. Our review: “It’s a simple enough plot, but where this assured sophomore fiction effort from Loktev becomes quite interesting is in its complex character moments and subtle nuances.” MC: 83 RT: 87% PL: B+

Orchestra of Exiles.” Directed by Josh Aronson. This documentary about a Jewish violinist who helped other musicians escape from Nazi-occupied countries is a bit overstuffed with storylines and less-than-satisfactory reenactments, but moving and richly historical nonetheless. MC: 59 RT: 80%

Pusher.” Directed by Luis Prieto. Starring Richard Coyle, Bronson Webb, and Agyness Deyn. A nearly frame-for-frame remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 feature, just more British. MC: 54 RT: 52%

The Zen of Bennett” opened Wednesday. Directed by Unjoo Moon. This doc about crooner Tony Bennett features plenty of famous faces, and a good amount of heart, but not too much in the way of soul. MC: 70 RT: 80%

Sleep Tight.” Directed by Jaume Balagueró. Starring Luis Tosar, Marta Etura, Alberto San Juan, and Iris Almeida Molina. In Spanish, with subtitles. By inverting the techniques of the suspense thriller, and aligning the audience with a suspect rather than his victims, this film’s potential for terrifying viewers is nil. However, strong characterizations and pacing keep the story interesting, and the movie itself is an enjoyable experiment in genre. MC: 71 RT: 87%

The Other Son.” Directed by Lorraine Lévy. Starring Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbé, and Jules Sitruk. In French, with subtitles. The Israel-set switched at birth story – one son Israeli, the other Palestinian – provides an interesting commentary on the region, but verges toward mawkish, contrived storytelling a bit too often. MC: 62 RT: 70%

The Black Tulip.” Directed by Sonia Nassery Cole. Starring Haji Gul Aser, Sonia Nassery Cole, and Walid Amini. The politics of contemporary Kabul are depicted with verve and hope, but very little shading or refinement. MC: 43 RT: 43%

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