New movies this week
The gist: Russell Brand remakes the Dudley Moore classic, substituting the man-child who is an alcoholic for a man-child is just a daffy idiot. That's a real stretch for Russell, surely. PG-13
The cast: Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner, Nick Nolte and Luis Guzman.
The buzz: It's about as entertaining as it sounds. "Despite Mirren's estimable presence, the new Arthur has little of its own to offer. It's the same story, told with much less heart," the AP chides.
The gist: A teenage surfer girl has to summon the strength to get back in the water after surviving a shark attack. We haven't even seen it, but we're betting by the end, she does. Spoiler alert. PG
The cast: Annasophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Lorraine Nicholson, Carrie Underwood and Kevin Sorbo.
The buzz: The true-life story of Bethany Hamilton is pretty engrossing. This, not as much. "An inspiring true-life story gets a less-than-inspired film dramatization," the Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: Two goofball princes join up with Natalie Portman to save a princess in another entry for the ever-popular Dark Ages-era comedy category. Yes, this is the movie where Portman's G-string was digitally covered up. R
The cast: Danny R. McBride, James Franco, Rasmus Hardiker, Portman, Toby Jones and Justin Theroux.
The buzz: It's very likely Nat lobbied for this thing to be released after the Oscars for a reason. Possibly the best quote on this comes from the Boston Globe: "A radioactive turd disguised as a sword-and-sorcery comedy." Wow.
The gist: An ex-CIA agent raises his teenage daughter in seclusion in the wilds of Finland to be a trained assassin until she becomes the target of a hit squad who wants them dead. Someone should really call DCS about that. PG-13
The cast: Saorise Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Tomm Hollander and Jessica Barden.
The buzz: Finally, an original-sounding storyline. Well, not if you count The Professional, but that's a bit different. "Hanna is a fairy tale of lightning speed, gritty action and shocking gravity, all driven by the electronic beat of a hypnotic score by the Chemical Brothers," Rolling Stone lauds.
The gist: A harried attorney must take care of his elderly client's rebellious grandson in order to live, love and learn (with some high-school wrestling and funny bits thrown in) — and con you out of $10 at the cineplex. Well, Paul Giamatti is worth $5 of that, right off the bat. R
The cast: Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Alex Shaffer and Melanie Lynskey.
The buzz: The idea and execution is familiar, but it's always best when the movie makes it work. "There are no real surprises, but this is not to say that Win Win is rote or formulaic. Quite the opposite," the New York Times cheers.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org