A suffocatingly current post-romantic comedy about a girl named Lola (Greta Gerwig) who's dumped three weeks before her wedding, Lola Versus arrives with a pedigree that suggests it should be better than it sounds. It isn't. The implacably trite script, directed by Daryl Wein from a script he co-wrote with Zoe Lister Jones, is too content with mild laughs and sitcom-simple life lessons to ever make much use of its richly talented cast. Gerwig's floaty charm is complimented by the likes of Hamish Linklater, Joel Kinnaman and a bunch of other young actors who've become exciting new faces precisely because they've managed to avoid material this bland.Read more
Given the prestigious opening night slot at Cannes, director/co-writer Wes Anderson finds himself in competition for the first time at the French film festival—and Moonrise Kingdom is worthy of prizes. The director of quirky fare with a rabid cult-like following (Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, The Life Aquatic, The Fantastic Mr. Fox) has made a charming, magical and really funny new work about two unique young kids discovering love over one unforgettable summer, and it's the director's most accessible movie yet. Opening in America on May 25, strong word of mouth and a marquee cast could turn this Kingdom into Anderson's biggest box office hit to date, and it should prove a critical hit and awards magnet.Read more
Game on. Battleship had the unusual box office strategy of opening in most corners of the globe before hitting its home market in the U.S., and so far has performed respectably with over $200 million in the bank preceding its North American debut. It may be good business for Universal to squeeze every last buck from the action-friendly overseas market before word of mouth and killer summer competition sinks this ship. A hyper-loud, non-stop assault on the senses, this two hour-plus CGI aliens vs. the military concoction is a half-baked conceit based on the Hasbro board game. Consider it Transformers meets Independence Day meets Pearl Harbor meets Top Gun.Read more
What to expect from What to Expect When You're Expecting: laughs, heart and a terrific ensemble of actors doing what they do best. After the recent surprise success of Steve Harvey's self-help-book-turned-movie, Think Like A Man, yet another unlikely screen adaptation from the advice section has been turned into a conventional comedy detailing five separate stories centered around pregnancy. With 35 million copies sold, the must (and most) read book for prospective parents totally delivers a nice platform for an entertaining, if disposable movie experience. The crowd of attractive and talented actors means audiences should have fun at this early summer counter-programming entry, though despite a sizable male cast, expect Expecting to chiefly appeal to women.Read more
The angriest treatise on kindness and decency around, Bobcat Goldthwait's dark comedy God Bless America at first looks too violent to be distributed, even if it doesn't spill as much blood as Transformers, or as many pixels as The Matrix. What God Bless creates is a world of utter douche bags, children included, that its protagonist Frank (Joel Murray) dispenses to save the country. In the process of dispatching a lot of humans, God Bless creates a surplus of humane sentiment. It deserves a hard "R" and careful marketing, and Magnet Releasing, the edgy genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, looks like just the right company to do it.Read more
Eva Mendes may be ever-charming, but her harried single mother takes a backseat to daughter Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez), a maturity obsessed teen. Produced and distributed as part of the Pantelion collaboration between Lionsgate and Televisia (recently responsible for Casa de Mi Padre) this archly self-aware coming-of-age tale fizzles, as the targeted Latino audience is upstaged by a culture more firmly rooted in the film's soggy Seattle setting. Box office won't be a wet blanket, but it won't signal blue skies either.
Mendes may have top billing, but she isn't the lead; Ansiedad (which means anxiety) drives the plot and much of the action. She's is itching to "come of age" so, inspired by her high school English class, she devises her own rite-of-passage ritual.
Middle East megalomania, antisemitism, sexism, racism and war-mongering are given side-splitting censure in The Dictator, a superb vehicle for Sacha Baron Cohen's over-the-top socio-political outrageousness. A worthy successor to his prior mockumentaries Borat and Bruno despite its more scripted construction, Cohen and director Larry Charles' latest finds the comedian assuming the larger-than-life guise of Admiral General Aladeen, the despot of the fictional North African Republic of Wadiya. While on a trip to the U.N. to protest forthcoming NATO strikes predicate...Read more