New movies this week
The gist: Real people become superheroes in a reworking of Watchmen without all the existential angst. Well, maybe a smidgen. Plus, kids who swear like sailors and lots and lots of violence! R
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Lyndsy Fonseca, Mark Strong, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Moretz.
The buzz: Some reviews are split, but here's the thing: The target audience won't care. "Its balancing act between innocence and gore perfectly matches the expectations of genre fans, who should embrace the movie," the Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: A fake family moves into neighborhoods to try to get people to spend money they don't have working jobs they don't like to buy things they don't need. This is fiction, you say? R
Starring: David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Amber Heard, Gary Cole, Chris Williams, Lauren Hutton and Glenne Headly.
The buzz: This spoof of commercialism, much like the victims of marketing it's poking fun at, can't decide what it really wants to be. "Either this is a tragic family or a satirical one, and the film seems uncertain which way to jump," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert says.
Death at a Funeral
The gist: This remake of a 2007 British offering about a family that comes together at a funeral to show they really do (or do not) care about each other subs in an all-star black cast. That's a good thing. R
Starring: Loretta Devine, Peter Dinklage, Ron Glass, Danny Glover, Regina Hall, Martin Lawrence, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Columbus Short and Luke Wilson.
The buzz: There are no big reviews out, but the original was pretty mediocre. Word is this collection of actors livens it up.
The Secret of Kells
The gist: A Celtic boy is drawn into the fairy tale world of some kind of magic book full of drawings, making it kind of like The Neverending Story with barbarians. Don't worry, they're remaking that movie, too. No MPAA rating
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Evan McGuire, Christen Mooney, Liam Hourican, Mick Lally, Michael McGrath, Paul Tylack and Paul Young.
The buzz: Praise the lord, there's hope for traditional animated features. "This wonderfully strange and exquisite little feature was created, especially for young children, to celebrate the book through another kind of illumination that's been falling into disuse — hand-drawn animation," the Wall Street Journal says.
The Perfect Game
The gist: The true story of the 1957 Monterrey, Mexico, baseball team that won the Little League World Series by playing a perfect game. Say, that would be a great title ... PG
Starring: Clifton Collins Jr., Cheech Marin, Louis Gossett Jr., Emilie de Ravin, Bruce McGill and Patricia Manterola.
The buzz: Unfortunately, this production is anything but. "Barely dramatizing off-the-field struggles like visa problems and the boys' first taste of good ol' American racism, the film does a disservice to the community it depicts by rendering an inspiring cultural story entirely uninspired," L.A. Weekly chides.
Also this week
Sunscreen Film Festival
Film fans should keep an eye out for John Travolta, Patrick Wilson and Billy Dee Williams, who all are in town for the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg. They'll do anything to drum up business at BayWalk. Turn to Page 46 for more information.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org