On Hot Pursuit and The Rest of This Weekend's New Film Releases.
Director: Anne Fletcher.
Writers: David Feeney, John Quaintance.
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley.
Playing At: Wide.
One's a petite, by-the-book cop. The other's a buxom Latina who doesn't play by the rules. When they're forced to go on the run together, will these people from different worlds learn to become friends? C'mon, now. Witherspoon and Vergara are both gifted comediennes, so they deserve better than this wacky comedy that looks derivative of The Heat and Midnight Run. Shame, shame.
The D Train.
Directors: Andrew Mogel, Jarrad Paul.
Writers: Andrew Mogel, Jarrad Paul.
Cast: Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Mike White.
Playing At: Wide.
Jack Black and James Marsden put their unpredictability into subversive roles in The D Train. Black plays nebbish Dan, who flies to L.A. to convince Oliver (Marsden) to return home for their high school reunion. Oliver may be a struggling actor — but, as the face of a Banana Boat campaign, he’s the biggest thing to come out of their small town. As typical with such things,not all goes as planned. There's likely more than laughs here, as it impressed enough folks at Sundance to get nominated for the festival’s Grand Jury prize. But, if there is, our own Javier Fuentes ain't seeing it.
Director: Stephen Bradley.
Writer: Stephen Bradley.
Cast: Dierdre O'Kane, Brendan Coyle, Mark Huberman, Nhu Quynh Nguyen.
Playing At: Wide.
Break out the tissues, y'all. Yup, it's time for an inspirational flick based on a true story. Dierdre O'Kane plays Irishwoman Christina Noble, who overcame an unbelievably awful childhood to start a series of orphanages for thousands of Vietnamese children whose parents were killed during the war. Expect an earnest life story that's told in the most mediocre possible fashion.
Director: Henry Hobson.
Writer: John Scott.
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Laura Cayoutte.
Playing At: Alamo Drafthouse.
Believe it or not, Schwarzenegger's actually been getting critical acclaim for his acting here. No, really! This time around, he plays the father of Abigail Breslin, who's slowly becoming a zombie. While that may not sound effective, it's pretty obviously a metaphor for the grief of losing a child to disease. Talk about real horror.
Director: Francesco Munzi.
Writers: Francesco Munzi, Maurizio Braucci, Fabrizio Ruggirello.
Cast: Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta, Fabrizio Ferracane, Giuseppe Fumo.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano
A solid if uneventful Mafia thriller, this Italian import boasts incredible cinematography and a creeping sense of dread throughout. Stay home if you're expecting Scorsese, but head out if you want some nearly biblical brotherhood and betrayal. Oh, and if you want to see my full review, head here. I liked it OK.
5 Flights Up.
Director: Richard Loncraine.
Writer: Charlie Peters.
Cast: Diane Keaton, Morgan Freeman, Carrie Preston, Cynthia Nixon.
Playing At: LOOK Cinemas.
This is Morgan Freeman. You're now reading this column in my voice. Come watch Diane Keaton and me as we make fun of the hipsters and terrible parents vying to move into our Brooklyn brownstone. It may not be original, but you'll enjoy your time with us.
Far from the Madding Crowd.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg.
Writer: David Nicholls.
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaearts, Tom Sturridge.
Playing At: The Magnolia, Angelika Plano
All the women who independent, throw your hands up at me. All the honeys who make your money, throw your hands up at me. Here, Carey Mulligan plays the trailblazing Bathsheba in the latest version of Thomas Hardy's classic novel. Pursued by three very different men, she just can't make up her mind!
Welcome to Me.
Director: Shira Piven.
Writer: Eliot Laurence.
Cast: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano.
Kristen Wiig's had an interesting film career since leaving Saturday Night Live. She's eschewed the line of Bridesmaids sequels that were surely offered to her in favor of quirky, but not so great indie dramedies. This looks like more of the latter, with so much quirk thrown in that it'll like;y drown out the laughs and pathos. Here, she's a slightly unhinged lottery winner who parlays her payday into her own talk show. As anyone who got sick of her recurring characters on SNL can tell you, too much Wiig can be a bad thing.
Lambert and Stamp.
Director: James D. Cooper.
Cast: Terence Stamp, Chris Stamp, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas, Cinemark West Plano.
Old rockers, get out your lighters: This doc tells the story of Chris Stamp and the late Kit Lambert, who dropped their careers as aspiring filmmakers to manage this up-and-coming R&B band that later became The Who. For fans only.
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Writers: Guillame Laurant, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Cast: Audrey Tautou.
Playing At: Inwood Theatre.
Showings: Friday, May 8; Saturday, May 9.
To those not already familiar with this French film, it might just appeal to be a bundle of adorable quirks, with Tautou serving as a sort of proto-Zooey Deschanel. But this one's so much more — a joyous, life-affirming comedy that marches to the beat of its own drum. You will walk out of the theater with a smile on your face, guaranteed.