New movies this week
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
The gist: It's like the TV show, but on stage and in 3D! Woooo! It's almost as good as watching the show for free at home! PG
The cast: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith.
The buzz: Okay, fine, it's entertaining if you're a fan. "Is it calculated? For sure. But it does what it needs to do to please its target audience. Everyone else may as well surrender to the juggernaut," the AP reasons.
30 Minutes or Less
The gist: A pizza guy is forced into robbing a bank with his best friend. Heck, if they pull it off, just keep the money and go on the lam. R
The cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Dilshad Vadsaria and Michael Pena.
The buzz: Don't expect too much, because this isn't a good comedy. "A darkly comic underachiever that manages to charm almost in spite of itself, Ruben Fleischer's 30 Minutes or Less is probably best watched as it was made: without much evident effort," the New York Daily News warns.
The gist: Another doc in the vein of Food Inc., in which small family farms that don't pump their food full of chemicals before you eat it are muscled out by corporate agriculture and the government. The problem with these types of movies is that they preach to the converted. Make it run on screens in McDonald's lobbies and see what happens. No MPAA rating
The cast: Talking heads and downtrodden farmers.
The buzz: Only mildly entertaining and informative. "Racks up damning anecdotal evidence without substantially altering the discussion," Variety notes.
Final Destination 5
The gist: More unknown actors are chased down by the idea that death is a physical force with wishes, dreams and impulses. Unlike the target audience. R
The cast: People you don't know and probably never will, plus Tony Todd.
The buzz: Like you gotta ask. "The script and acting satisfy the genre's requirements by being thoroughly forgettable," the Washington Post says. Why did they even watch it?
The gist: Two English comedians take a trip to Northern England to talk about food and life. It's kind of like Sideways about comedy, but without all the tedious Baby Boomer self-pity. No MPAA rating
The cast: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
The buzz: It's a dry, entertaining diversion, if nothing else. "Part of the fun are those moments that walk the line between truth and fiction — or between fiction and real-life friction," the San Francisco Chronicle cheers.
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
The gist: A documentary chronicling the ascension, breakup and subsequent reunion of one of the most important hip-hop groups of the 1990s. Chances are your local big daily newspaper hasn't written anything on this, because they don't realize it's the Gen Xer equivalent of a documentary about what happened to the Beatles.
The cast: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White and the Beastie Boys.
The buzz: Universal acclaim from the media outlets that did review it. "The film serves both as a welcome document and reminder of the group in its prime, while also creating a portrait of lives still in motion, grown men trying to move on from yet respect the work of their younger selves," the L.A. Times lauds.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org