New movies this week
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The gist: The second installment of the young-adult book series finds Katniss Everdeen getting in trouble for being a revolutionary icon and having to hit the arena again. Good thing only fictional governments pillory people advocating for change in the system. Plus: OMG, Peeta or Gale?!? PG-13
The cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Willow Shields, Paula Malcolmson, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The buzz: It's always nice to see a movie adaptation that's as engaging as the book on which it was based. "Catching Fire, which builds on the box-office and critical success of last year's Hunger Games, is spectacular in every sense of the word. For extra pow, see it in IMAX," Rolling Stone raves. For more, see Pages 50-51.
The gist: A dopey schlub finds out that he fathered 533 children from sperm donations (where did he find the time?), and 142 of them are suing to find out his identity. Boy, are they going to be disappointed. At least they'll know why they have sunken Vince Vaughn eyes. PG-13
The cast: Vaughn, Cobie Smulders, Chris Pratt, Britt Robertson, Dave Patten, Bobby Moynihan and a bunch of no-names playing all the children.
The buzz: Surprisingly, not as crude as you'd expect, but not all that great. "With its edges sandpapered smooth, the story about an affable loser discovering he has fathered 533 children is rendered ludicrously feel-good and nonsensical," the Arizona Republic says.
Dallas Buyers Club
The gist: A based-on-real-life yarn, about an HIV positive cowboy in 1985 Texas who decides to live on his own terms to get help when friends and family shun him. Matthew McConaughey got scary skinny for this one, so tune in to marvel at the weight loss, if nothing else. R
The cast: McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Dallas Roberts and Steve Zahn.
The buzz: After trying for several years, people are talking gold statues for Mac. "A solid biopic is made transcendent by McConaughey, who shed nearly 50 pounds and deserves to gain an Oscar for his ferocious, funny performance," Newsday lauds.
Gori Tere Pyaar Mein
The gist: The AMC Veterans 24 Bollywood specials continue with this romantic comedy about a rich boy and an activist girl who meet cute and then dance and sing a lot. It's more novel than 90 percent of the Hollywood rom-coms, based on production values alone. No MPAA rating
The cast: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Nizhalgal Ravi.
The buzz: There are no reviews available, but if you're a crazed Bollywood fan, you've likely already blocked Friday's opening on your calendar.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org