New movies this week
The Cabin in the Woods
The gist: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard decide to take the horror-movie genre and pull its ears off by finally explaining why all the stereotypical characters do stereotypically stupid things: Because they're being told to. This one sounds pretty over the top, in a good way. R
The cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams and Richard Jenkins.
The buzz: A horror movie critics are raving about? Is it still April Fool's? "This is not a perfect movie; it's so ragged, it's practically constructed of loose ends. But it's exciting because it ventures so far off the map," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert says.
The Three Stooges
The gist: The Farrelly Brothers promise they won't ruin the comedy trio by making a movie with no-name actors and lots of slapstick. And Sofia Vergara, just to make sure guys want to see it. PG
The cast: Vergara, Sean Hayes , Will Sasso , Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch and Jennifer Hudson.
The buzz: They didn't ruin it, exactly, because they just copied old routines. "The movie is content to simply mimic the old Stooges, bringing nothing new to the table," the Arizona Republic sighs. Well, what did we expect?
The gist: Guy Pearce hunts for stardom and a cult audience by starring in a sci-fi flick that sounds like Escape From New York in space. Oh, c'mon, you remember him. From Memento? L.A. Confidential? Priscilla, Queen of the Desert? PG-13
The cast: Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Joe Gilgun, Lennie James and Peter Stormare.
The buzz: It's a sci-fi prison-break movie; how many people do you think are gonna like it? "At a certain point, the pic's unpretentious B-movie style, like its generic and uninformative title, seems to indicate a simple lack of ambition," Variety says. Too bad.
The gist: A documentary about what it's like to get bullied, which recently had its rating dropped from an R so public schools could show it in class. Demi Lovato wants you to go see it, so you probably should. PG-13
The cast: A bunch of kids at schools your kids don't go to, but could.
The buzz: Not the greatest documentary ever, but it serves its purpose, which should be enough to justify that changed rating. "The access varies widely, there's far too much music telling us what to feel, and at the end its focus begins to drift. If it at least gets people talking, though, that's a good thing," the Newark Star-Ledger says.
The Raid: Redemption
The gist: A punch-and-shoot action movie with a video game-like premise: A team of cops has to fight a tower full of criminals to get to the big boss at top. Quite a few broken bones and gunshot wounds, we hear. PG-13
The cast: Iko Uwais , Doni Alamsyah , Ananda George, Pierre Gruno, Yayan Ruhian and Ray Sahetapy.
The buzz: Hardcore action flicks that are both pointless and well-done are hard to come by these days. "The movie is a gory free-for-all, a horror film dressed up as an action film, and it's as pure a shot of adrenaline as any Tarantino fan could wish for," the New Yorker raves.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org