Our weekly roundup offers a brief look at this week's new film releases. For a full selection of reviews for these and many more films, visit Metacritic Movies. [Updated 4/2 at 3:30p]
How to train your Kraken
Titans will clash with Dragons this weekend over the limited number of 3-D screens available. Here's one solution: If you must see the new Clash of the Titans remake (and whether you should or not is a question we'll answer below), do so at a 2-D theater; the three-dimensional effects, say critics, are absolutely not worth the extra money. Here's how this week's new releases compare:
|Clash of the Titans||WIDE||PG-13||Fantasy||39||8,12,11||5.4|
|The Last Song||WIDE||PG||Drama||33||3,14,10||5.2|
|Why Did I Get Married Too?||WIDE||PG-13||Dramedy||(not screened for critics)||n/a|
|Leaves of Grass||LIMITED||R||Comedy/Thriller||58||4,6,0||n/a|
|Compare to the "best" wide releases from recent weeks:|
|How to Train Your Dragon||3/26||PG||Family/Adventure||74||29,4,0||9.1|
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid||3/19||PG||Family/Comedy||56||13,11,2||7.5|
|Clash of the Titans (2010)||39|
|Alice in Wonderland (2010)||54|
|The Final Destination (2009)||30|
|X Games 3D The Movie (2009)||43|
A remake of the 1981 film of the same name, this new action-fantasy is also set in the world of Greek mythology, though the special effects this time are computer-generated rather than stop-motion. Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes star, and the film is directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk 61, The Transporter 51). The film was delayed a week so that 3-D effects could be added, but if you really want to see this movie, critics recommend that you choose the standard 2-D version.
What the critics like: Some of the CGI effects are good, and a few critics find a bit of goofy fun to be had here. The film is completely Harry Hamlin-free.
What they don't like: The film is boring, and the dialogue is terrible. It's too dark (visually and thematically), and the lack of humor prevents it from having any charm, personality, or camp value. The unimpressive, barely noticeable 3-D effects aren't worth the higher ticket prices (and the regular CGI effects don't hold up to Ray Harryhausen's original take). It's a huge waste of a talented cast.
It's Miley! Singer-actress Miley Cyrus ("Hannah Montana") stars in this Southern coming-of-age melodrama written by novelist Nicholas Sparks, who has already given the world such gems as The Notebook 53, A Walk to Remember 35, and Nights in Rodanthe 39. Of course, you can't fully blame Sparks for those previous efforts: he only wrote the books, not the screenplays. That changes with "The Last Song," which Sparks penned as a script first and a novel second.
What the critics like: A few critics are enjoying the film as a solid, atmospheric, emotional drama/romance. Entertainment Weekly also enjoys Cyrus' performance. There are sea turtles.
What they don't like: Most other critics aren't as fond of Cyrus in the film. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls her performance "two-note," adding that she "lacks emotional range," while the Village Voice adds, "The Cyrus machinery repels any believable human connection onscreen." Salon calls the actress "charmless," and the Boston Globe states, simply, "It’d be nice to see her do some acting." As for the movie as a whole, most critics have few good things to say about it; the film is calculated, formulaic, predictable, bland, and unconvincing.
A sequel to the prolific filmmaker's 2007 film Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, this new dramedy returns stars Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson and Jill Scott. The story here focuses on four couples on vacation together in the Bahamas. The film was not screened in advance for critics, which means that if you do not typically see films that begin with the words "Tyler Perry's ...", you probably shouldn't start with this one.
The Greatest 45
Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, and Pierce Brosnan star in a limited-release drama that screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The story centers on a grieving couple whose son was recently killed in a car crash, and whose lives change again when a young stranger arrives at their door.
Only a tiny handful of reviews have been published so far, and critics are not all that impressed with the film despite the talented cast. The screenplay appears to be the major problem.
A comedic thriller written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson, "Grass" stars Edward Norton as twin brothers: one an Ivy League philosophy professor, the other an Oklahoma pot dealer. Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon and Keri Russell also star.
What the critics like: It's intelligent, literate, ambitious, and fun. Norton delivers a strong performance -- make that two strong performances. Roger Ebert calls it one of the year's best films.
What they don't like: While some critics feel that Nelson was able to successfully pull of the constant shifts in tone, others find it a bit jarring, and some call the film a mess. It's not all that funny, but it can be too cartoonish and goofy. The film is a little too indebted to the Coen Brothers. Many critics also fault Nelson's portrayal of Oklahoma's Jewish community.
Next week in Metacritic
Opening wide next Friday, April 9th, are the Tina Fey-Steve Carell comedy Date Night and the feel-good drama Letters to God (yes, it's a slow week). Here are the trailers: