You've heard of this "Lorax," he speaks for the trees! This latest Dr. Seuss adapation is in theaters this weekend, starring the voice talents of Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, Betty White, Rob Riggle, and of course, Danny Devito as the diminuative title character. Our review says the film "is decent and charming, it's very true indeed. It's got bears that look like Ewoks and songs and something called a Thneed. But you can't help but wish that the filmmakers took some liberties, too. It's good to be respectful, but it can also make you blue." Rotten Tomatoes: 57% Metacritic: 49
What to make of the absurdity that is "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie"? Their bizarre Cartoon Network series "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!" is a surreal riff/metatextual commentary on the nature of televisuality-- how might this translate to the big screen? Our heros, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, find themselves in a billion dollars worth of debt after blowing their moviemaking budget, and turn to rehabiliting a mall in order to make the money back. Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Will Forte, Jeff Goldblum, Robert Loggia, and Ray Wise jump on the crazy train too. Our review says it, "is a toss-off, a trifle, a doodle; but, with their bouillabaisse approach and emphasis on editorial gamesmanship, it might just be the next phase of American comedy," and "its adherence to some narrative conventions, coupled with its gentle surrealism, especially on a larger scale, allows it to come across as oddly charming." RT: 42% MC: 39
1920s set Chinese Western-inspired flick "Let the Bullets Fly" stars Chow Yun Fat, Ge You, and director Jiang Wen in this story of gangs fighting for control of land and ahem, letting bullets fly (at each other, naturally). Our review says, "Jiang is a talented helmer and this film demonstrates a very dark wit to go with set pieces that hit familiar beats while remaining enjoyable due to the clean camerawork," and the film "revels in breathtaking, breakneck pacing but still manages to feel like an absolute slog at 132 minutes, the middle weighing the film down to the point of viewer exhaustion." RT: 76% MC: 63
"Gomorrah" co-writer Gianni De Gregorio triple threats (writes, directs, and stars) in "The Salt of Life," about a bored older man facing the realities of aging. Our review says the film, "has the right amount of sweet and sour, able to entertain while it candidly explores its characters. Dare we say, it’s a film for adults made by adults, and it’s a great time." RT: 86% MC: 64
"Last Days Here" documents the life of aging wayward rocker Bobby Liebling, the lead singer for metal band Pentagram. Our review says directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton "manage to craft a redemption movie that surprisingly doesn't feel by-the-numbers, a difficult feat that even seasoned non-fiction filmmakers consistently fall into." RT: 91% MC: 68
French action flick "The Assault," directed by Julian Leclerq, hits U.S. theaters this week. The 90s set film takes on a documentary realist approach, and our review says, "misinterprets post-Greengrass shaky-cam action as a levelling of the idealist playing field, a chance to allow all opinions to find simultaneous voice in the rush of onscreen action, when in fact it's about the chance to allow, and crave, the order and humanity out of the chaos of widespread violence. There may be plenty of propulsive action in 'The Assault,' but there is little humanity.
Also, arriving is Taika Waititi's box office smash (in New Zealand) and Sundance hit "Boy." The film chronicles the coming of age and troubled relationship between a young boy and his father. RT: 81% MC: 65