Two big openings that shows a great example of counterprogramming. How many couples will go to the theater this weekend and have he go to one movie and she go to another?
She’ll probably want to see The Fault in Our Stars (69), the teenage weepie based on the immensely popular book of the same name. I’ll probably end up seeing this because A) I read the book; and B) of my fascination with Shailene Woodley, who is again getting great reviews. Bill Goodykoontz: “The Fault in Our Stars is manipulative as can be, pulling out all the stops — kids with cancer — in its attempt to bring the tears. And you know what? It works.”
He may want to go see The Edge of Tomorrow (71), which stars Tom Cruise in a kind of Groundhog Day as action film. But is Tom Cruise a big star anymore, in the terms of getting fannies in the seats? I haven’t seen a Tom Cruise movie in a theater since Valkyrie, which wasn’t exactly a Cruise vehicle. If you limit it to him starring in a blockbuster, I have to go back to War of the Worlds nine years ago. This is getting decent reviews, though, and may put off my instinct to shun his films. Manohla Dargis: “In Edge of Tomorrow, Mr. Liman brings Mr. Cruise’s smile out of semiretirement and also gives him the kind of physical challenges at which he so brilliantly excels.”
In the art-houses, we have Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (61), a doc co-directed by Mike Myers about a Hollywood insider. Claudia Puig: “Myers’ sense of humor is interspersed throughout the engaging film, which consists of a host of wild stories, as well as vivid archival footage, talking heads and cleverly made re-enactments.”
Obvious Child (73) stars Jenny Slate in what is being called an “abortion rom-com.” It may be more historically important–the heroine of a comedy actually going through with an abortion, than a good movie. Dana Stevens: “There’s something old-Hollywood about Slate’s dizzy-dame charm, and at the same time, something very modern about her unapologetic ownership of her own sexuality.”
The best reviewed limited release is The Case Against 8 (80), a doc about the overturning of Proposition 8 in California. David Rooney: “Exhaustively tracking the five-year battle to overthrow California’s ban on same-sex marriage, they distill the dense legal process into a lucid narrative while illuminating the human drama of the plaintiffs, and by extension, the countless gay men and lesbians they represent.”
Also this week: Citizen Koch (49) a doc about the moneymen behind the Tea Party; Trust Me (53), a comedy about a Hollywood agent, directed and starring Avengers’ actor Clark Gregg; and Willow Creek (61), directed by Bobcat Goldthwaite, about Bigfoot enthusiasts.