New movies this week
The gist: Take equal parts Dreamscape, The Matrix, Johnny Mnemonic and The Italian Job, throw in a dollop of the latest CGI, have it be directed by the guy who does the new Batman movies, mix well and bake at the summer box office. PG-13
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger and Michael Caine.
The buzz: It's plenty dense and plenty fun. "As engrossing and logic-resistant as the state of dreaming it seeks to replicate, Christopher Nolan's audacious new creation demands further study to fully absorb the multiple, simultaneous stories Nolan finagles into one narrative experience," Entertainment Weekly raves.
The gist: A middle-aged loser meets a single mom who has a near-Oedipal relationship with her doofy son. Anything with Jonah Hill in tighty whiteys is bound to have funny moments, right? R
Starring: John C. Reilly, Hill, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener, Matt Walsh and Katie Aselton.
The buzz: Amazingly, not just a good comedy, but a good movie. "Amuses and unnerves in equal measure. A comedy of discomfort that walks a wonderful line between reality-based emotional honesty and engaging humor, it demonstrates the good things that happen when quirky independent style combines with top-of-the-line acting skill," the L.A. Times muses.
The gist: Really, does anyone care what this movie's about? It's an adaptation of an old Disney cartoon interpretation of a piece of symphonic music, based on an old poem. Somehow we think that will get lost in translation with Nicolas Cage involved. PG
Starring: Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Monica Bellucci and Toby Kebbell.
The buzz: A couple critics liked it, but the majority say nay. "A generally joyless pastiche of sorcery history, imitation Potter "chosen one" Messianics and mirthless silliness, it's another in a string of recent black marks against Cage's Oscar-owning reputation," the Orlando Sentinel admonishes.
The gist: A cut-rate High School Musical about 'tweeners entering some kind of song-and-dance contest. If only there were a TV show like this. PG
Starring: Al Sapienza and Jeana Zettler.
The buzz: No reviews are available, but if we want to see junior-high theater, we'll hang out at the cineplex lobby on Saturday night.
The gist: A group of French misfits take on two munitions companies to exact revenge for one of the crew's lifelong misfortune. French lesson: The title is French for "shenanigans." R
Starring: Dany Boon, Andre Dussollier, Nicolas Marie, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Yolande Moreau, Julie Ferrier, Omar Sy and Dominique Pinon.
The buzz: Know what you're getting into. "Spiced with melancholy and magic, Micmacs is an imaginative live-action film with the playfulness of an animation like Ratatouille," the Philadelphia Inquirer says. "Similarly, it is a fable of subterraneans who change how life is lived above ground in a Paris that is both retro and modern."
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org