New movies this week
The gist: A psychic, a tsunami survivor and a little boy walk into a bar and Clint Eastwood says, "Hey, I could make a movie about that." It's not a joke; that's the plot. PG-13
The cast: Matt Damon, Cecile De France, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard; Frankie McLaren and George McLaren.
The buzz: It's not that it's a bad movie … it's that it's so fluttery and ethereal, it would be hard for anyone to make a cohesive story out of it. "Hereafter is a solemnly reassuring film made by major talents working intriguingly outside their comfort zones," the Chicago Tribune says. Note they didn't say whether it was all that good.
The Tillman Story
The gist: An examination of the dedicated football star who loved his country so much he gave up millions of dollars to serve in Afghanistan after 9/11, only to be shot by his own troops by accident and have it covered up by the military. R
The cast: Pat Tillman and his very angry family.
The buzz: It's a searing portrait of the insanity of war and the government that wages it, yet is still a fitting tribute. "Learning his story — and holding his gaze — should make us aspire to be worthy of not only his sacrifice but to learn the real reasons for it," the Oregonian says.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
The gist: A Woody Allen vehicle that revels in its pointlessness as an ensemble cast explores the futility of human existence. We'd describe what's going on, but there's really no use. R
The cast: Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Freida Pinto, Naomi Watts and Lucy Punch.
The buzz: As with most Woody Allen movies, you'll either really like it or really hate it. You know who you are. "In the autumn of his career, toiling exclusively in Europe, Woody is like an aging cabinetmaker still blessed with craft but grown erratic in design," Toronto's Globe and Mail opines. How artful.
Paranormal Activity 2
The gist: You liked the last camcorder-driven adventure into low-budget filmmaking so much, they've brought the concept back for another go-'round, but this time with an entire security system. That's progress, folks! R
The cast: Katie Featherston and a bunch of other people you've never seen before.
The buzz: Despite a few stops and starts, this is actually a fairly spooky rerun. "Eagle-eyed audiences watching every corner of the screen are rewarded with spooky 'did-you-see-that?' moments," the New York Daily News warns.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org