New movies this week
The gist: In the near future, Hollywood makes movies that are supposed to be smartly constructed parables about issues of the day, such as privatized health care run rampant. What the movies are really about are people who buy organs on credit but are then visited by butchers who cut them open to reclaim the property if they don't pay the bills. Don't give insurance companies ideas, guys. R
Starring: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, RZA, Alice Braga and Carice van Houten.
The buzz: It's surprising Jude has been promoting this so much, because people really aren't liking it. "There's not a lot of humor here, just violence and more violence. The acting is fine enough — Whitaker, of the talented bunch, seems to be having the best time — but the slicing and dicing overpowers the cast, the story and everything else," the Arizona Republic says.
The Bounty Hunter
The gist: A bounty hunter is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, which would be great if it wasn't Jennifer Aniston. PG-13
Starring: Aniston, Gerard Butler, Jason Sudeikis, Dorian Missick, Joel Marsh Garland and Christine Baranski.
The buzz: It seems people are getting tired of Jen's princess persona and Butler's limited range. "This dire battle-of-the-exes action-comedy severely tests audience goodwill by running an indulgent 110 minutes, crammed as it is with half-baked thriller subplots and aimless supporting characters, as if to distract from the central duo's nonstop bickering," Variety chides.
The gist: A grumpy old man falls in love with a widow in early 1900s Cape Cod. Exciting, no? No. PG
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Blythe Danner, Bruce Dern, Mamie Gummer and Tom Wisdom.
The buzz: This flick is so dull, it's only opening at the Veteran 24 this weekend. We'd share reviews with you, but it looks like all the critics fell asleep while watching it.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The gist: A chronicle about a wise-ass middle school kid dealing with the requisite silliness of that stage of life. And since it's full of actors you're not sick of yet and has roots in print, it's actually good. PG
Starring: Zachary Gordon, Chloe Moretz, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick and Grayson Russell.
The buzz: "Does a great job of being in two places at once: In the head and gangly bodies of kids, and in the hearts of those of us who have survived grades 6-8," Entertainment Weekly praises. We can identify with that.
Also this weekend
Gasparilla Film Festival The fourth annual running of the indie movies is this weekend. Actors and filmmakers will be around town shilling their flicks Friday through Sunday. Tickets and information about the films, parties, panels and celebrities are available at gasparillafilmfestival.com.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org