On Pixels And The Rest Of The Weekend’s New Releases.

Pixels.
Director: Chris Columbus.
Writers: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad.
Playing At: Wide.
Aliens declare war on Earth after misinterpreting old arcade games for acts of aggression. Meaning? A lot of CGI video game characters and a lot of lazy acting from Adam Sandler. I’m sure there’s a fun movie buried in here somewhere, but it comes across as a cheap exercise in nostalgia, and it's not like we need any more of those.

Southpaw.
Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Writer: Kurt Sutter.
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
Playing At: Wide.
Jake Gyllenhaal completely transformed his body to play Billy Hope (yes, that the character's name), a boxer with an explosive temper. But, despite all that change, Southpaw is mired in boxing movie cliches. Are its engaging parts enough to give this one a puncher's chance? My review will tell you that.

Paper Towns.
Director: Jake Schreier.
Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber.
Cast: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith.
Playing At: Wide.
You either loved last year’s The Fault in Our Stars or you hated it. (I was in the latter camp.) Thankfully, this new John Green novel adaptation looks slightly more tolerable. Here, Quentin (Nat Wolff) goes searching for his neighbor/dream girl Margo (Cara Delevingne), who disappeared after the two went out on an all-night caper. I won't blame you for rolling your eyes at this one. Angela Jones' review can't help but do the same.

The Vatican Tapes.
Director: Mark Neveldine.
Writers: Chris Morgan, Christopher Borrelli, Michael C. Martin.
Cast: Michael Pena, Djimon Hounsou, Kathleen Robertson, Olivia Taylor Dudley.
Playing At: Wide.
I thought we were done with exorcism movies? Apparently not. Sadly, as is the case with most mainstream horror movies these days, you know what you're in for here. This one's got a good cast, I'll give it that. But I doubt it will be enough to provide genuine scares.

Tangerine.
Director: Sean Baker.
Writer: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch.
Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, James Ransone.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas.
Hell hath no fury like a trans prostitute scorned. In this one, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez plays Sin-Dee, who treks all over L.A. looking for her cheating boyfriend/pimp Chester (James Ransone of The Wire fame) with the help of her friend and fellow working girl Alexandra (Mya Taylor). Much has been made of the fact that director Sean Baker shot the whole film on iPhones, but the great reviews have been solely based on the performances, black humor and devastating emotional power.

Jimmy's Hall.
Director: Ken Loach.
Writer: Paul Laverty.
Cast: Barry Ward, Francis Magee, Aileen Henry, Simone Kirby.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano.
Ken Loach may be approaching 80, but he's not slowing down by any means. His latest is another life-affirming dramedy; here, Barry Ward plays Jimmy, who returns home to Ireland in the '30s, determined to re-open his dance hall despite the protests of the local priest and fascist village leader. (As in actual fascist, not buzzkill fascist.) If this is half as good as Loach's last film (The Angels' Share), you're in for a real treat.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.
Director: Roy Andersson.
Writer: Roy Andersson.
Cast: Holger Andersson, Nils Westblom, Charlotta Larsson, Viktor Gyllenberg.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.
Roy Andersson’s latest absurd comedy, as usual, doesn't have a straightforward plot. But it will have plenty of laughs (if you're on its wavelength) and a plenty to ponder as well. Afterward, you'll probably be a Person Sitting on a Bench Reflecting on Existence.

Repertory Pick of the Week.

Blade Runner.
Director: Ridley Scott.
Writers: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples.
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos.
Playing At: The Magnolia.
Showing: Tuesday, July 28.
As part of its ongoing The Big Movie series, the Magnolia shows one of the greatest science fiction films of all time — a movie with breathtaking effects that truly deserve to be seen on the biggest screen possible. This version is Ridley Scott's “Final Cut,” the only one purported to receive his full stamp of approval. Blade Runner is a must for everyone, regardless of your level of fanaticism. Go see it.

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