The summer blockbuster season is starting earlier and earlier–will there be the day that it goes year round?
Anyway, it kicks off with Captain America: Winter Soldier (69), the second film and the third appearance for the patriotic superhero. I liked the first one enough to brave the crowds for this one. Scott Tobias: “Arriving in the middle of Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Winter Soldier is among the best of the nine films released so far—roughly on par with the first Iron Man and The Avengers—but if the film has one major flaw, it’s the obligation to serve a larger franchise that keeps taking on weight.”
Cap has the multiplexes to himself this weekend. In art house fare, there’s Alan Partridge (68), Steve Coogan’s British TV character, an obnoxious talk-show host. I love Coogan, but I haven’t seen anything but clips of this character, so I’m not sure he deserves an entire movie. Stephen Dalton: “Though not the finest screen outing for Coogan’s best-known alter ego, this is a worthy addition to the ever-growing Partridge archive, with enough weapons-grade comic zing in the first half to excuse the less sure-footed second.”
Under the Skin (74) was getting pre-release buzz for a naked Scarlett Johansson, which guarantees at least a rental for me. But I don’t feel compelled to search it out in a theater. It’s the story of an alien shapeshifter with a certain hunger for mankind. Eric Kohn: “A totally wacky head-trip with midnight movie sensibilities and a daring avant garde spirit, Glazer’s movie is ultimately too aimlessly weird to make its trippy narrative fully satisfying, but owes much to Johansson’s intense commitment to a strangely erotic and unnerving performance unlike anything she has done before.”
The second volume of Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (60), which I’ll get around to seeing some day if just to satisfy my curiosity. Owen Glieberman: “A notch more watchable than Volume I, if only because Joe, the self-destructive heroine, is now played front and center by the magnetically dyspeptic Charlotte Gainsbourg instead of the vacuous model Stacy Martin.”
Also opening this week are a film generically called Alien Abduction (48); Afflicted (56), a horror film; Dom Hemingway (52), a British crime drama starring Jude Law; Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (65), a doc about the playful animals, who this time presumably don’t sing; and the worst title and worst rating this week, 10 Rules for Sleeping Around, which scores a 1 on Metacritic.