New movies this week
The Amazing Spider-Man
The gist: A reboot of the comic book series just a decade after Sam Raimi featured a teenager bestowed with arachnid super powers and directed by fate to battle a green monster high above Manhattan. But this one is totally different. It's about a teenager bestowed with arachnid super powers and directed by fate to battle a green monster high above Manhattan in 3-D. PG-13
The cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Denis Leary and Campbell Scott.
The buzz: Judging by box-office receipts since its release on Tuesday, most of you have already seen it. "This is the second-best Spider-Man movie yet made. In the previous trilogy, only Spider-Man 2 surpasses it," the Toronto Star reasons. Well, that's worth $12.50.
The gist: Oliver Stone goes full-blown pulp in a gory tale about two marijuana growers who take up arms to rescue their girlfriend (singular) from Salma Hayek's drug cartel. Another wonderful family film from a director definitely not on the downward slope of a career riding on reputation. No, not at all. R
The cast: Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Hayek, John Travolta and Blake Lively.
The buzz: It's good if you're not expecting any morals to the story. "Savages is Oliver Stone doing what he should have done a long time ago: making a tricky, amoral, down-and-dirty crime thriller that's blessedly free of any social, topical, or political relevance," Entertainment Weekly says.
Katy Perry: Part of Me
The gist: First she divorces Russell Brand, then the human Kewpie doll releases a concert movie. Coincidence? We think not. And good news, fellas: It's in 3-D, too. PG
The cast: Hm, well, let's think about this …
The buzz: It's surprisingly well-done for what it is. "Any self-produced documentary about oneself is bound to be a propaganda film, but Katy Perry: Part of Me is a good one, and a persuasive one," the San Francisco Chronicle says.
To Rome With Love
The gist: A Woody Allen movie featuring an ensemble cast in a story about people falling into and living with love. It's a real stretch for Woody, sure, but he tries his hardest. R
The cast: Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page.
The buzz: Too bad it doesn't work so well. "Somewhere in here is a real movie, but it's hard to find in all the mess (which, despite everything, is actually funny from time to time)," the Washington Post says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org