New movies this week
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
The gist: A counterinsurgency group dressed in mismatched uniforms takes on a nationless, well-funded terrorist organization bent on chaos and world domination. Boy, that '80s toy line was crazy! PG-13
Starring: Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Eccleston, Ray Park, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Christopher Eccleston.
The buzz: Our heart of hearts wants us to believe this won't be terrible. Our brain of brains knows better. But a few fanboy critics have seen it, and the results are split. Says Variety: "While thesping is not the main game here, having a cast of bright young things certainly helps, and Quaid gets in a few nice John Wayne-like moments as the no-nonsense boss."
A Perfect Getaway
The gist: A low-wattage cast lets the scenery chew them as newlyweds hike a Hawaiian trail where someone is making poi out of visitors. R
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth and Katie Chonacas.
The buzz: In case you haven't heard from the inflated marketing, there's some kind of twist. "It's still a gimmicky, tricked-out tale that is all too self-aware," the Hollywood Reporter says. "But the film does keep you guessing and probably guessing wrong." That's all we can ask.
Julie & Julia
The gist: Allegedly dovetailing stories about a woman desperate for attention who rides the coattails of a culinary giant; blogs and cookbooks and that sort of thing. PG-13
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina and Linda Emond.
The buzz: The gimmick doesn't quite work. "Strangely, though, there isn't enough for one movie, and the first clue to why lurks in the title's ampersand, a sort of linguistic duct tape holding together two stories that never really function as one," the Wall Street Journal admonishes.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org