Notable new releases and events
The symbol indicates titles of unusual interest, quality, and/or critical acclaim.
To the Wonder was the final movie review filed by Roger Ebert prior to his death; read his (very positive) take at rogerebert.com.
If you found Terrence Malick's previous film (The Tree of Life) a bit lacking in the plot department, then his latest meditative work To the Wonder (in limited theatrical release and on VOD beginning Friday) isn't going to win you over; as the latter's star Ben Affleck said last year, the new film "makes The Tree of Life look like Transformers." The story, such as it is, centers on a man (Affleck) torn between two women: Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a single mother who returns with him to Oklahoma from Paris, and Jane (Rachel McAdams), a former flame. Booed at the Venice Film Festival but cheered (mostly) by critics so far, the film should at least please those already down with Malick's quasi-experimental show-don't-tell aesthetic.
In wide release this Friday, 42 stars Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in a biopic about the former Brooklyn Dodgers superstar who broke through baseball's color barrier ... Scary Movie 5 (which is unlikely to have any reviews prior to its release; note that none of the prior movies scored higher than 49) prolongs the spoof series with a fresh slate of characters played by the likes of Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex, Heather Locklear, and Molly Shannon ... In limited release, The Angels' Share is an atypically lightweight outing for director Ken Loach (though it still won the Jury Prize at Cannes last year), with a story about a few Glasgow thugs who attempt to turn their lives around in the whisky industry.
Armando Iannucci's (The Thick of It) American political satire Veep (Sunday at 10p on HBO) returns this week to kick off a 10-episode second season. Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus is back as Vice President Selina Meyer, and joining her fellow returning cast members (including Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, and Matt Walsh) this season are Kevin Dunn (Luck) and Gary Cole (Entourage).
Also airing on HBO this week is Louis CK: Oh My God (Saturday at 10p), a new stand-up special taped at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. ... Fellow pay cable outlet Showtime also returns two of its original series on Sunday, Nurse Jackie (9p) and The Borgias (10p). The former, entering its fifth season, features a new showrunner (Clyde Phillips, formerly of Dexter) and adds Morris Chestnut and Betty Gilpin to the cast, making up for the departure of Bobby Cannavale (though he will show up for at least one episode).
Newcomers this week include Da Vinci's Demons (Friday at 10p on Starz; shifts to 9p beginning April 19), a new historical fantasy series from screenwriter David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel). English actor Tom Riley stars as the brilliant but troubled Leonardo Da Vinci, who, at the age of 25, begins to "invent the future" amidst the shifting politics of Florence. ... Airing opposite that show is Sinbad (Friday at 10p on Syfy), a British production about the legendary Middle Eastern sailor hero that stars newcomer Elliot Knight and Lost's Naveen Andrews. ... Meanwhile, MTV will broadcast the 2013 MTV Movie Awards (Sunday at 9p), hosted by Rebel Wilson. Presenters include Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Rock, and Zac Efron, while Will Ferrell will be presented with the first "Comedic Genius Award."
Listen to Shaking the Habitual prior to its Tuesday release at the band's official site.
The icy electronic beats of The Knife return Tuesday after a seven-year absence (which, admittedly, did include an opera score and a side project). Double album Shaking the Habitual features over 96 minutes of new music from the Swedish brother-sister duo across just 13 tracks, making for a more challenging listen compared to the group's poppier early work. (Also challenging: the aggressively un-pretty album artwork.) Despite the lack of immediacy, critics are hailing the record as a "triumph."
Overgrown is the second album from young English producer James Blake, following his Mercury Prize-nominated debut. The new LP is also earning plenty of acclaim—with critics especially appreciating Blake's maturing songwriting talents—and it features collaborations with RZA and Brian Eno. ... Another Tuesday release receiving great early reviews is Wakin on a Pretty Daze, the fifth album from Philadelphia's Kurt Vile. Critics are praising the new album's 11 foggy, introspective rock tunes as among Vile's best compositions to date, with production a notch above that of his previous LP.
Also out this week is a double-disc reissue of Give Up, the sole album from The Postal Service, the indietronica duo of Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard. (The original album earned a 79 upon its 2003 release.) This 10th anniversary version adds a second disc with two new songs as well as covers, B-sides, and remixes. ... M83 provides the score to Oblivion, the upcoming Tom Cruise film; the soundtrack is out Tuesday ... And Paramore's self-titled album (the band's fourth, though it's their first without departed co-founders Josh and Zac Farro) is starting to collect positive reviews ahead of its Tuesday release.
Closing the book on last week
|Most Popular Title on Metacritic|
|BioShock: Infinite (PC) 95||Week of 3/31-4/6|
|Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)|
|Evil Dead 58||$26.0 million; 1st week at #1|
|#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)|
|Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience 74||2nd week at #1|
|Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)|
|NCIS (CBS)||18.6 million viewers; week of 3/25-3/31|