New movies this week
Paranormal Activity 3
The gist: We're doing this for another round, huh? And making it a prequel about Katie from the first movie and Kristi from the second? Shrug. Sure, why not. R
The cast: Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner, Katie Featherston and Sprague Grayden.
The buzz: Believe it or not, it's still freaky enough to give you a good jump. Thank goodness. "When you consider how the grimy, manglefest Saw sequels have ruled the Halloween season in recent years, it's refreshing to think that the spook-show franchise that has now caught the popular imagination has replaced depravity and sadism with a 21st-century, video-reality version of old-school campfire shivers," Entertainment Weekly says.
The gist: Martin Sheen plays a doctor whose son (played by real-life son Emilio Estevez, who also wrote and directed) is killed in a storm while making a pilgrimage through the Pyrenees, so Dad decides to finish the 900-mile journey for him. This woulda been a great cast with Kirk and Michael Douglas. PG-13
The cast: Sheen, Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen, James Nesbitt and Tcheky Karyo.
The buzz: A touching and fairly well-made road movie. "There's nothing startlingly original about Estevez's screenplay, yet it has a modesty you seldom see when Hollywood tackles spiritual subjects," the New York Post says.
The Three Musketeers
The gist: Another version of this swashbuckler. How come they always show the musketeers swordfighting? Shouldn't they be shooting the bad guys? That'd be great in 3-D! PG-13
The cast: Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Matthew MacFadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Mads Mikkelson, Christoph Waltz and Orlando Bloom.
The buzz: Three words: Paul W.S. Anderson. Or is that four? "A very 2011 take on Alexandre Dumas' classic that feels weirdly dated already," Variety says. What an achievement!
Johnny English Reborn
The gist: A sequel to Rowan Atkinson's Double-0-Bean. How many of you remember he played a spy in the 007 one-off Never Say Never Again? We do. PG
The cast: Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike, Dominic West, Daniel Kaluuya and Burn Gorman.
The buzz: It ain't high art. "A redundant spy farce sequel that's less of a rebirth than a retread," the Hollywood Reporter says.
The Mighty Macs
The gist: Another one of those feel-good, faith-affirming true stories shot on a shoestring budget. Hey, there's room for those, too. This one is about 1971-72 Immaculata College women's basketball team coached by Hall of Famer Cathy Rush. G
The cast: Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Ellen Burstyn, Marley Shelton, Jennifer Butler and Phyllis Somerville.
The buzz: That's not to say it's well-made. "There is nothing to complain about except ... deadening predictability and the bland, shallow characters," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert says.
The gist: A documentary about Sholem Rabinovich, the writer behind Fiddler on the Roof. Almost single-handedly keeping Eastern European Jewish culture alive deserves that. No rating
The cast: Talking heads and archival footage of smart people.
The buzz: A rare movie with universal praise. "Wonderfully rich, like one of Tevye's monologues, Joseph Dorman's Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness captures the spirit of a man and his times," the Chicago Tribune says.
The gist: Three half-brothers start a bail bonds business in order to get cash from their dead father's will. PG-13
The cast: John Cena, Ethan Embry, Robert Boyd Holbrook, Michael Rispoli, Amy Smart and Jack Conley.
The buzz: Hardly anyone has seen this action-comedy, but the word is it's not very exciting and not very funny.
— Joshua Gillin [email protected]