By Forrest Cardamenis | Criticwire April 19, 2013 at 10:47AM
You could say that the first "Summer blockbuster" is released this week, but if you choose to skip it, there is still a diverse array of films being released this week. From music dramas to horror films and postmodern coming-of-age stories, there looks to be something for everybody.
Storming the theaters this weekend is "Oblivion" (B-, 13 critics), Joseph Kosinki's visually stunning follow-up to "Tron: Legacy."
"The Tom Cruise star vehicle has been going a little too long now, it no longer means what is once did and after one too many flops, it appears that perhaps his train is stopping at Joseph Kosinski's ('Tron: Legacy') station, and that is the busy, beautiful, frenzied and somewhat boring 'Oblivion.'"
"Kosinski's first film, 'Tron: Legacy,' was pretty dreadful, but 'Oblivion' makes clear that, with a less confused script, the director has real talent."
Some are calling "In The House" (B+, 18 grades), Francois Ozon's latest, his best film to date.
"A script with razor sharp wit, effective and unobtrusive direction and fine performances from the key leads all help ensure this is one of, if not the finest of Ozon's films to date."
Characterised by the same sharp satirical wit and frankness towards sexuality which has become synonymous with his work, Ozon's 'In the House' is a delightfully playful example of narrative and meta-narrative coalescing - blurring fact and fiction into an incredibly mischievous deconstruction of the storytelling process."
Gina Rodriguez is winning praise for her lead performance in "Filly Brown" (C-, 10 critics), which also contains Jenni Rivera's final performance.
"The script is uneven, marred by a predictable arc and some overheated scenes. But there's an inherent likability and fiery quality in Rodriguez's performance that keeps us invested and rooting for her character."
"'Filly Brown' would have benefited from tighter editing and dropping some of the unnecessary side story lines instead focusing on Filly's journey and how her love for her family affected her music in both positive and negative ways."
Rob Zombie is back with "Lords of Salem" (C+, 11 critics), early reviews of which suggest that it will please horror fans but few others.
"It appears that Rob Zombie may have been studying up on his David Lynch lately as the metal-head-turned-filmmaker's latest is more head trip than it is horror...This makes the film Zombie's most mature directorial work to date and a very enjoyable midnight entry."
"Zombie's vivid imagination and good intentions don't carry The Lords Of Salem as far as they should...But from moment to moment, The Lords Of Salem is thrillingly weird."
The smaller releases also come through this week: Angad Bhalla documents the incarcerated mind in "Herman's House" (B, 1 grade).
"Sumell uses her art to educate the world about the inhumane (torturous) tactics of the United States prison system. And like the 'The House That Herman Built' exhibition, Bhalla's film also functions as an intelligent and thoughtful condemnation of the U.S. penal system."
It isn't the best weekend, but it's not the worst either, with many releases bound to please genre fans and "In The House" on its way to being one of the more acclaimed films so far this year.