New movies this week
The gist: A bunch of over-the-hill action stars get together for one more round of violence, explosions and bad one-liners. Or, stay home and watch Commando on AMC for the 83rd time. R
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and a lot of '80s nostalgia.
The buzz: Some critics are savaging it, but that's not why you're going to see it, are you? "An effective mix of lean and over-the-top, The Expendables is often preposterous, but it achieves the immediacy of a graphic novel without the overdone mythology," the Hollywood Reporter says. See, they get it!
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
The gist: A comic book that acts like a video game in a movie about a dorky guy (wow, what a stretch for Michael Cera) who has to fight his could-be girlfriend's exes for some reason. What is this, Inception for teenagers? PG-13
Starring: Cera, Kieran Culkin, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzmann.
The buzz: Director Edgar Wright's dizzying ode to pop culture is offensive to older viewers but might connect with the kiddies. Beyond that, it's just not a very good movie. "The film is repetitive, top-heavy: Wright blows his wad too early. But a different lead might have kept you laughing and engaged," New York magazine says. Yep, sounds like a video game, all right. Read a little more on Page 30.
Eat Pray Love
The gist: A woman who wants to get pregnant ends up divorced and alone, so she takes a journey around the world and meets Javier Bardem. That'll do it, all right. PG-13
Starring: Bardem, Julia Roberts and Viola Davis.
The buzz: Well, Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir didn't specifically mention Javier, but it's a nice image. "Eat Pray Love is like one of those rich dishes Liz consumes in Italy; robustly flavored and guiltily pleasurable," the St. Pete Times says.
The gist: A guy with a mysterious past finds a woman's wallet and starts to stalk her. Wait, this is supposed to be a romantic comedy. WTF? PG
Starring: André Dussollier and Sabine Azéma.
The buzz: Surprise! It's actually an art film by 88-year-old director Alain Resnais, and whether you like this movie depends on whether you like art films. "Whatever it is, Wild Grass is so overtly artificial and aggressively trifling that it's bound to put some viewers off, though it's also so bright and funny that it's hard not to be at least a little enchanted," The Onion A.V. Club reports.
I Am Love
The gist: One of those very important movies where an industrial tycoon splits power between his son and grandson, then the son's wife falls in love with the grandson's friend. It's all very serious and artistic. R
Starring: Edoardo Gabbriellini, Flavio Parenti and Tilda Swinton.
The buzz: It's also very well done. "I Am Love makes no apologies for its style. None needed: The film, a two-hour swoon, is a cry for romantic freedom, perched on the edge of self-parody, as all good melodramas are," the Chicago Tribune raves.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org