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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? ‘Burt Wonderstone’ May Be ‘The Call’ For ‘Spring Breakers’ Everywhere

What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Burt Wonderstone' May Be 'The Call' For 'Spring Breakers' Everywhere

There’s a certain sense of heightened and/or alternate reality pervading the theater releases this weekend. On the one hand, we have a film about magicians, professionals who create the illusion of having manipulated real world physics; plus, it takes place in Vegas, a city that, unto and of itself, is an entirely other universe. In the other corner is Harmony Korine‘s new picture, an exploitation flick where the Wizard of Oz leads the starlets of “High School Musical” in a coke-fueled game of Russian Roulette. And then, somewhere in the middle, “Little Miss Sunshine” gets kidnapped by a gasoline-hose-wielding sociopath.

Spring Breakers.” Directed by Harmony Korine. Starring James Franco, Selena GomezVanessa HudgensAshley Benson, and Rachel Korine.
Our review: “It’s ultimately a fairly thin, pulpy crime tale, given
more substance than it should have on paper thanks to some excellent
filmmaking. It’s unlikely to make Korine’s hardcore fans happy (it
almost feels like a statement from the director, for better or worse,
that he’s ready to stop dicking around and make ‘proper’ films), but
midnight movie programmers of the future will undoubtedly give it a long
life years after it’s gone from first-run theaters.” MC: 64 RT: 72% PL:

Upside Down.” Directed by Juan Solanas. Starring Jim SturgessKirsten Dunst, and Timothy Spall.
Our review: “‘Upside Down’ is a film built on binary elements —
lavishly and ambitiously executed — yet with its laughably undercooked
romantic core, it remains foolishly stubborn towards anything more
nuanced.” MC: 41 RT: 38% PL: C-

From Up On Poppy Hill.” Directed by Goro Miyazaki. Starring
Masami Nagasawa, Junichi Okada, and Keiko Takeshita. A charming, poignant coming-of-age parable for a post-WWII Japan realized in beautifully realist animation. MC: 71 RT: 86%

Ginger & Rosa.” Directed by Sally Potter. Starring Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola, and Christina Hendricks.
Our review: “Beautiful, yet dark and moving, unsparing, but told with a
sympathetic eye, ‘Ginger & Rosa’ is sometimes relentless in its
examination of emotional pain, and as such may be a challenging picture
for some audiences.” MC: 69 RT: 69% PL: B+
K-11.” Directed by Jules Stewart. Starring Goran Visnjic, Kate del Castillo, D.B. Sweeney, Portia Doubleday, and Jason Mewes.
An overwrought prison drama that fails to hit the mark in nearly every
way, from its crude plot to extremely disturbing and frequent tonal
shifts. MC: 21 RT: 13%
Reality.” Directed by Matteo Garrone. Starring Aniello ArenaGiuseppina CervizziLoredana SimioliNando Paone, and Nello Iorio.
Our review: “While it’s great to look at, ‘Reality’ is an empty shell. A
feature length examination on the artifice of reality programming,
Garrone’s film itself is superficial and lacking the same depth of
artistry and ideas he finds absent on TV.” MC: 74 RT: 77% PL: C-

Mindless Behavior: All Around the World.” Directed by Steven Goldfried.
Reading closer to marketing campaign than music documentary, the series of upbeat performances, behind-the-scenes footage, and slick visuals here are enjoyable but relatively light. MC: no score yet RT: no score yet

Reincarnated.” Directed by Andy Capper. This “making of the album” doc — featuring a side order of Snoop Lion‘s
personal life — is a little slow and a little
expected, yet manages to be disarmingly honest and passionate. MC: 43 RT: 23%

My Amityville Horror.” Directed by Eric WalterOur review calls this documentary about the infamous supernaturally disturbed house and its residents “wholly riveting” and “a disturbing mixture of paranormal ghost story and psychological unease.” MC: 45 RT: 71% PL: A-

Vanishing Waves.” Directed by Kristina Buozyte. Starring Jurga Jutaite, Marius Jampolskis, Brice Fournier, and Sharunas Bartas. This retro sci-fi thriller showcases some stunning visuals, if a rather thin and derivative plot. MC: 57 RT: 83%

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