New movies this week
The Great Gatsby
The gist: The Fitzgerald novel about a Midwestern doofus chronicling the life of the rich and shameless gets the Baz Luhrmann treatment. In 3-D, no less! Surely literary fans will enjoy that! PG-13
The cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton and Elizabeth Debicki.
The buzz: Hit or miss, depending on whether you like Luhrmann's devotion to popular music and jump cuts. "Leonardo DiCaprio gives us the full Gatsby, assured yet insecure, and he's magnificent, but the movie ends up romanticizing what Fitzgerald spent the book de-romanticizing," the Boston Globe says.
The gist: First-time director Tina Gordon Chism enlists Tyler Perry's help in making this story about a regular joe who crashes a hoity-toity family's reunion in the Hamptons to ask for a woman's hand in marriage. Just so long as we don't find out Madea is related. PG-13
The cast: Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier. S. Epatha Merkerson, Tyler James Williams and Melvin Van Peebles.
The buzz: A good effort, but not a solid one. "The performers are up to the wacko task. But one of the movie's key problems is that it only pretends to let loose, its calculated absurdity firmly tethered to the life lessons that lie in wait," The Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: The five children of a Nazi SS officer caught by the Allies must make the journey to their grandmother's house in the north. Chances are postwar Germany won't be the most pleasant place to travel through. No MPAA rating.
The cast: Saskia Rosendahl, Kai Malina, Ursina Lardi, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Nele Trebs and Mika Siedel.
The buzz: A fresh take on World War II movies. And you thought that was impossible. "The film sustains an air of overarching mystery in which the viewer, like the title character, is in the position of a sheltered child plunked into an alien environment and required to fend for herself without a map or compass," the New York Times says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org