Insurgent: Quickie sequel to last year’s YA sci-fi hit. The marketing for this entry has confused the heck out of me (they seem to be playing up some unexplained dream sequence in every single ad) to the point where I have no idea what the actual plot is, despite having seen the original only a month or two back. It also looks much cheaper than the original, although I doubt less money was spent.
Divergent’s Director Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist) has been replaced by RED’s Robert Schwentke for the remainder of the series. Schwentke started off “ok” with a Jodie Foster thriller (Flightplan) before bottoming out with 2013’s R.I.P.D., which was very nearly a crime against humanity. It’s incredibly impressive that he was able to rebound into a cushy, long-term gig like this so quickly.
Rotten Tomatoes: 35% (slightly lower than Divergent’s 41%)
Metacritic: 42 (Divergent scored 48%)
Personal interest factor: 7
The Gunmen: Sean Penn tries to pull a Liam Neeson on his career with this silly bullshit. I have no idea what the plot is and can’t be bothered to look. I’m going to say he’s a cop or soldier or DEA agent (most likely retired) or something who has to rescue/protect ________ from ________. He will shoot people. Taken’s Pierre Morel directs.
Morel hasn’t had much luck outside of the Luc Besson world and there’s little to no chance of lightning striking twice with this kind of effort. We’ll always have the underrated District B13, though.
Rotten Tomatoes: 16%, Metacritic: 39%
Personal interest factor: 0
Wild Tales: Comedic Argentine-Spanish revenge anthology. I don’t think I’ve ever typed that before.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93% Metacritic: 77%
Personal interest factor: 8
Song of the Sea: Hand-drawn, full-length animated feature from Ireland about magical, shape-shifting seal/human hybrids. Probably not as Cronenberg-esque as I made that sound. The trailer is very pretty and the reviews are terrific.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% Metacritic: 85%
Personal interest factor: I don’t know what to make of it. I certainly admire it but it’s probably not my bag. Here is a video of a baby seal falling asleep.
For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running Silence of the Lambs Darko (1991) Friday and Saturday evening and The Apartment (1960) Saturday and Sunday morning.