On Fifty Shades of Black, And The Rest Of The Weekend’s New Film Releases.

Fifty Shades of Black.
Director: Michael Tiddes.
Writers: Rick Alvarez, Marlon Wayans.
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Jane Seymour, Mike Epps.
Playing At: Wide.
Marlon Wayans — somewhere between the fourth and sixth most important member of the Wayans family — has run out of horror movies to poorly mock, so he's turned his sights to Fifty Shades of Grey and the many other sex-filled movies that have been released of late. Like the Twilight spoof Vampires Suck, the source material deserves to be thoroughly ridiculed. But somebody who's actually, y'know, funny, should do it.

The Finest Hours.
Director: Craig Gillespie.
Writers: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson.
Cast: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Holliday Grainger, Eric Bana.
Playing At: Wide.
Casey Affleck plays the captain of a sinking ship. Chris Pine plays the Coast Guard rescue leader tasked with bringing him and his crew back while his fiancée (Holliday Grainger) waits at home. At its best it could rival the romantic, high seas heights of Titanic. At its worst it could be an overblown maritime misfire like Pearl Harbor. Our own Javier Fuentes dug it.

Kung Fu Panda 3.
Directors: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh.
Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger.
Cast: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, J.K. Simmons.
Playing At: Wide.
By now you know what you're in for: some humorous jokes about this fat panda doing kung fu, and some heartwarming moments about family both blood-related and not. Once again, Jack Black voices Po, now reunited with his father Li (Bryan Cranston). Together they have to stop an evil yak named Kai (J.K. Simmons) from destroying their village. OK, this is probably going to be awesome.

Jane Got a Gun.
Director: Gavin O'Connor.
Writers: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, Joel Edgerton.
Cast: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Noah Emmerich.
Playing At: Wide.
There are troubled productions, and then there's this movie, which lost its director and several stars before it had barely shot a few frames. Natalie Portman plays the heroine, who enlists the help of a gunslinger (Joel Edgerton) to protect her family from a gang led by a ruthless outlaw (Ewan McGregor). It doesn't look like director Gavin O'Connor is actually doing anything new with the Western genre here. But there are so few Westerns released these days that nearly all of them deserve to be celebrated.

45 Years.
Director: Andrew Haigh.
Writer: Andrew Haigh.
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano.
Can you ever really know someone? That's the question at the heart of 45 Years, which sees a couple (Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay) celebrating their longtime marriage, but questioning their union when a dark secret from his past is revealed.

Hitchcock/Truffaut.
Director: Kent Jones.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.
This doc takes a look at the two legendary directors and their incredible series of interviews. Those interviews, collected in a paperback, broke down Hitchcock's entire career, revitalized his reputation and inspired a generation of budding filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Wes Anderson.

Lazer Team.
Director: Matt Hullum.
Writers: Burnie Burns, Chris Demarais, Joshua Flanagan, Matt Hullum.
Cast: Alan Ritchson, Burnie Burns, Johnnie Walter, Colton Dunn.
Playing At: Alamo Drafthouse Richardson.
Rooster Teeth, purveyors of original Internet comedy videos, make their first big screen adventure with Lazer Team. They're four bros getting trained by the government to take down some invading aliens. As I'm sure you've figured out, this probably would have worked out better as a series of sketches.

Repertory Pick of the Week.

Raising Arizona.
Director: Joel Coen.
Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, William Forsythe.
Playing At: Alamo Drafthouse Richardson.
Showing: Wednesday, February 3.
In anticipation of Hail, Caesar! the Drafthouse is showing nearly all of the Coen Brothers' films. This is my absolute favorite of theirs. (Yes, I like it even slightly more than Fargo or The Big Lebowski. Sue me.) Nicolas Cage is the good kind of crazy as the ex-con who kidnaps a local businessman's baby so he and his wife (Holly Hunter) can have the life they've always wanted. It's the Coens' funniest movie, and a lot of that has to do with the characters' odd turns of phrase (“We released ourselves on our own recognizance,” and, “We're swingers. As in, to swing,” and even, “Son, you got a panty on your head.”) that would become a staple of the Coen Brothers' work.

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