New movies this week
The gist: Former Tampa stripper Channing Tatum stars as a current male stripper who takes a novice dancer under his beefy wing and shows him the ropes. A though-provoking, cerebral examination of existentialist angst, then. R
The cast: Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Matthew McConaughey and Cody Horn.
The buzz: Actually, it is kind of a well-made movie. "Director Steven Soderbergh makes sure his movie about male strippers is packed with pecs," the New York Daily News say. "But there's plenty more beneath its well-oiled surface."
The gist: Seth MacFarlane leaves animation behind in a story about a grown man putting up with a teddy bear who came to life after a childhood wish. Finally, his story lines have matured a little! R
The cast: MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Patrick Warburton and Giovanni Ribisi.
The buzz: The humor may be similar, but this is quite a move past all the cartoons he's been making. "A crass, foul-mouthed, mostly hilarious, surprisingly sentimental bromance about a grown boy named John and his teddy bear," the Boston Globe says.
Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection
The gist: A federal prosecutor has to hide a whistle-blower in a Ponzi scheme, so he sends the guy's family to Madea's house so we can laugh at all the racial misunderstanding while the witness is under threat of death. PG-13
The cast: Perry, Eugene Levy, Percy Romeo Miller, Denise Richards, Doris Roberts and Devan Leos.
The buzz: Perry never screens these in advance anymore. He's probably too busy making the next one.
People Like Us
The gist: A failed businessman's father dies and he learns he has a 30-year-old sister he never knew existed. So, you know, he has to think about that for an hour and 55 minutes. PG-13
The cast: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Hall D'Addario, Michelle Pfeiffer, Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass.
The buzz: Well-acted and sorta funny, it mostly works in a schmaltzy way. "Though it's just a Christmas tree away from being a holiday special, the stellar cast wrings just enough genuine emotion out of a stale premise to make it mostly sweet," the Arizona Republic says.
The gist: An all-star Wes Anderson pic about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away from home together that isn't really about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away from home together. PG-13
The cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand.
The buzz: Even the people who don't like Wes Anderson movies think it's good. "A gorgeously shot, ingeniously crafted, über-Andersonian bonbon that, even in its most irritatingly whimsical moments, remains an effective deliverer of cinematic pleasure," Slate.com says.
— Joshua Gillin [email protected]