New movies this week
The gist: A terrarium-bound lizard is forced into a world of Wild West cliches and must back up his exaggerations about being a wily gunfighter. Good thing he brought a Hawaiian shirt. PG
The cast: The voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy and Ray Winstone.
The buzz: A stellar cartoon that's not quite for the kids. "Rango is some kind of a miracle: An animated comedy for smart moviegoers, wonderfully made, great to look at, wickedly satirical, and (gasp!) filmed in glorious 2-D," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert says.
The Adjustment Bureau
The gist: A man running for the Senate is told by mysterious men to stay away from a dancer because they never were supposed to meet and it will change the course of history. The surprise: Those guys aren't his campaign advisers! PG-13
The cast: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, Shohreh Aghdashloo, John Slattery and Michael Kelly.
The buzz: This Philip K. Dick story has had its release date adjusted so many times, it's tough to tell if it's good or not. Chances are this tale about chance determining our fate and love conquering all is a little too strange for mass audiences, so we'll probably like it a lot. "It taps into your longing for the days when a sci-fi matrix could explain the world without making it a darker place," Entertainment Weekly says.
The gist: The guy from I Am Number Four shows up in yet another movie, this time as a guy caught in an awful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The cast and plot read like someone pasted together old copies of Tiger Beat. PG-13
The cast: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris, Erik Knudsen and Dakota Johnson.
The buzz: Never heard of it until now? There's plenty of reasons for that. "A brain-dead update of the classic fairy tale whose feeble understanding of its own point runs only skin-deep," Variety rages.
Take Me Home Tonight
The gist: An MIT graduate works in a video store and pines for his high-school sweetheart as he goes to one more end-of-summer party. This could be a documentary, were it set in the present-day. R
The cast: Topher Grace, Dan Fogler, Anna Faris, Theresa Palmer, Chris Pratt and Lucy Punch.
The buzz: Nostalgia for the '80s is so bad these days, they're just making comedies set in the '80s now (and this one is just as bad as they were). Gag us with a spoon. "It's Hot Tub Time Machine without the time machine or the hot tub. Or the fun that entailed," the Orlando Sentinel chides.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org