New movies this week
(500) Days of Summer
The gist: It's a romantic comedy, yes, but one that's fairly original and fun to watch (and not really a romantic comedy), as some young dork finds a crazy girl to date and then proceeds to make a mess of the whole thing. Finally, something we can relate to! PG-13
Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Clark Gregg, Minka Kelly, Rachel Boston, Matthew Gray Gublert and Chloe Moretz.
The buzz: Like the two leads, this one is a winner. "The film does a lovely job of balancing emotional clarity, formal trickery, pop sweetness, and heartfelt narrative," the Portland Oregonian says. "It is, yes, cute, and it is, yes, quirky. And it is entirely justified, estimable and loveable in being those things."
The Hurt Locker
The gist: A bomb-disposal squad in Iraq is led by a sergeant who seems to care not a whit about the occupational hazards he (or his teammates) face on a daily basis. R
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes and Guy Pearce.
The buzz: "A first-rate action thriller, a vivid evocation of urban warfare in Iraq, a penetrating study of heroism and a showcase for austere technique, terse writing and a trio of brilliant performances," the Wall Street Journal raves. "Most of all, though, it's an instant classic that demonstrates, in a brutally hot and dusty laboratory setting, how the drug of war hooks its victims and why they can't kick the habit." Wow, enough kudos for you?
The gist: Judd Apatow strikes again, this time exploring the life changes of a comedian who has a near-death experience. R
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman.
The buzz: It's funny, and some like it, but others don't think the story is quite there yet. "Amusing and engaging yet lacking in snap and cohesion, this insider's look at the world of standup comics in contempo Los Angeles rings true in its view of the variously warped, stunted and narrow lives of its mostly male denizens," Variety says.
The gist: A burglar breaks into a home to discover a serial-killing madman has turned the house into a deathtrap. What did he do, install that toxic Chinese drywall everywhere? R
Starring: Josh Stewart, Karley Scott Collins, Juan Fernandez, Jabari Thomas, Colvin Roberson and Michael Reilly Burke.
The buzz: No reviews, as if they were really going to prescreen any movie brought to by the writers of Saw IV, V and VI.
Aliens in the Attic
The gist: Aliens are trying to take over the Earth with a mind-control ray that affects only adults, not teenagers. The jokes write themselves sometimes. PG
Starring: Kevin Nealon, Robert Hoffman, Doris Roberts, Tim Meadows and Ashley Tisdale.
The buzz: No reviews for this one, either, considering the CGI aliens look terrible and the big kiddie draw is Ashley Tisdale. And her new nose.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org