New movies this week
The gist: A man with a terminal illness must find a way to negotiate with the upper classes in an attempt to find affordable health care for himself and millions of afflicted souls. It's an allegory for our times, except it's 2154 and this guy grafts a killer exoskeleton onto his body before blowing his way into an orbiting space station full of rich people. R
The cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, Alice Braga and Diego Luna.
The buzz: This follow-up by Neill Blomkamp shows the same problems District 9 had: Great setup and allegories, blow-em-up third act. "Even when Elysium grows allegorically simplistic or familiar, the script avoids pounding cliche, and Blomkamp and his design and effects teams give us a plausibly harsh idea of things to come," the Chicago Tribune says.
The gist: Let's get back to the family values of 1972, when the girl next door could become the greatest porn star of her era with a single movie made in Miami called Deep Throat, only to realize too late what she'd become. In this case, Linda Lovelace is played by the girl from one of the Little Red Riding Hood movies. R
The cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Juno Temple, Chris Noth, Bobby Cannavale, Adam Brody and Hank Azaria.
The buzz: It seems this take focuses a bit too much on the naked parts and not enough on the women's rights parts. "Seyfried's performance is worth the price of admission. But Linda Lovelace deserved something more," Salon says.
The gist: Disney wants to sell your kids toys, and since they have enough cars lying around, they decided to tell almost the exact same kind of story with airplanes. We look forward to the 2018 release, Boats. PG
The cast: The voices of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer and Sinbad.
The buzz: Forget for a moment that every character seems to be an ethnic stereotype of some stripe and realize that even little kids aren't so stupid as to be unable to realize what a ripoff this is. "Planes borrows a world from Cars, but even compared to that soulless exercise in well-merchandised animated automotive adventure, Planes is dead in its big, googly eyes and hollow inside," MSN Movies says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org