New movies this week
The gist: A feel-good yarn spun out of the cruel, elitist pastime of horse racing, making us feel like we should care by telling us the story of the last horse to win the Triple Crown. The conceit is that it's a woman winning at the elitist pastime, making it slightly less cruel and elitist, right? PG
The cast: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, Scott Glenn, Dylan Baker and Margo Martindale.
The buzz: Despite the fact these horses are bred until they're like water buffalo with toothpick legs, people love them some horses, despite the comparisons to Seabiscuit. "This conventional but rousingly effective picture pulls through its occasional faltering stretches by focusing on the essentials of its incredible real-life saga, even if the details have been massaged for maximum uplift," Variety says.
Never Let Me Go
The gist: Cloned children who are raised to provide organ donations try to exploit a loophole in the donor rules that say they can live a little longer if they can prove they're in love. That sounds more like cruel and unusual punishment than just harvesting their livers and kidneys. R
The cast: Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling, Nathalie Richard and Sally Hawkins.
The buzz: This adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's acclaimed book is a bit clumsy, but plenty think it's been pulled off well. "A more admirable movie than a lovable one, but director Mark Romanek has so faithfully adapted Ishiguro's novel with such grace that it's moving in its own quiet way," CinemaBlend.com says.
Life As We Know It
The gist: Yes, another unconventional Gen X parental pic, this time about two people who must care for an orphaned infant. It stars Fergie's husband and the woman who got kicked off Grey's Anatomy. What lessons will those slackers learn? PG-13
The cast: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas and Alexis, Brooke and Brynn Clagett.
The buzz: It's hilarious when woefully unprepared people who don't even like each other become new parents. "So anyway, what happens in Life As We Know It? You'll never guess in a million years. Never," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert muses.
The gist: Back before Ryan Reynolds became a household name by marrying Scarlett Johansson, he made a movie about a guy who wakes up in a coffin with only his cell phone and a lighter and has to figure out what happened. Something tells us this will be the scariest movie all Halloween. R
The cast: Reynolds, Ivana Miño, Stephen Tobolowsky and Samantha Mathis.
The buzz: Give this one a try before watching that latest slasher movie. "It may sound like a gimmicky premise, but Buried is as far outside the box as a buried-alive movie can be," the Seattle Times raves.
It's Kind of a Funny Story
The gist: A clinically depressed teenager falls for another patient in a mental ward, so he takes the advice of a cohort played by Zach Galifianakis. Sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn't it? PG-13
The cast: Galifianakis, Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoe Kravitz and Aasif Mandvi.
The buzz: Critics seem split by this turn from Zach, which is out of sorts for him, but it's earning more praise than damnation. "The densely built and bearded Galifianakis demonstrates, in an impressive display of quieter dramatic skills, that he knows when to dial it down," Entertainment Weekly says.
My Soul to Take
The gist: Wes Craven returns with another child killer acting from beyond the grave — but this one is in 3D! R
The cast: Max Theriot, John Magaro, Emily Meade, Nick Lashaway, Denzel Whitaker and Shareeka Epps.
The buzz: There have been few, if any, preview screenings for this one. But who cares when you have gullible kids out there willing to part with $12 to watch a gory rehash of A Nightmare on Elm Street?
Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
The 21st annual festival runs through Oct. 17 at Tampa Theatre, BayWalk20 in St. Pete and other venues. Passes range from $125 to $500, and single tickets cost $9.50 (students get $2 off). Turn to Page 30 for more information.