In Theaters: Take '21 Jump Street' To Get To 'Casa De Mi Padre' To Find 'Jeff Who Lives At Home'

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by Katie Walsh
March 16, 2012 4:21 PM
2 Comments
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Hello all, greetings from the humid climes of Austin, Texas! I am reporting your weekly In Theaters to you while taking a break from watching movies about rape, that take place in the woods, or are about long-forgotten musical icons. Pro-tip: next year, submit a film that's about a camping trip gone awry, with at least one rape of any kind, co-starring, like, one of the members of Ace of Base or something. Let's sign some checks people! No, but the fest has been super fun and crazy as most fests are and should be. Also, I'm very busy with plans to start a charitable foundation for independent filmmakers who are in desperate need of tripods. The lack of tripods is an important issue that is facing our independent films today. But since you are not here (or are you?), let's get down to what's in theaters this weekend! This one is gonna be quick and dirty, 'cause I gots to go watch a crazy documentary.

Dream team Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum go back to high school as undercover cops in the surprisingly-beloved-by-critics "21 Jump Street." Our review says the film, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is "a brilliant, rewarding convergence of incredibly talented people who were of one mind about what they were trying to make, and miraculously they made it. More than merely hilarious, thrilling, intelligent, or involving – any one or two of which alone would be a significant achievement – it’s well-rounded, wonderful, and truly special." Wowza! Rotten Tomatoes: 87% Metacritic: 69

Will Ferrell heads south of the border for his Spanish-language comedy "Casa de mi Padre," with Mexican stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna in tow. Our review of the film directed by Matt Piedmont says it's "more grindhouse than glorified telenovela... is a gentle goof, a distinctly minor entry in Ferrell’s proudly irreverent career." RT: 46% MC: 53

The Duplass Brothers just can't stop and their latest film, "Jeff Who Lives At Home," stars lovable lunks Jason Segel and Ed Helms as brothers, with Susan Sarandon as their mom. Our review says, "human and heartfelt filmmaking is rare at any level of the industry, and even rarer in comedy -- but the Duplass brothers manage to get laughs without resorting to cheap tricks or broad flailing." RT: 76% MC: 60

Adrien Brody plays a substitute teacher in Tony Kaye's ("American History X") "Detachment." Our review says, "even as the film is bad, it’s compulsively watchable... Kaye’s shock tactics seem obvious and juvenile but the biggest waste here is the cast," and it's "a bizarre, well intentioned mess, at the very least, 'Detachment' is never dull." RT: 55% MC: 52

The Dardenne Brothers' latest film, "The Kid with a Bike," hits theaters after debuting at Cannes. Focusing on a young boy abandoned by his father and finding a home wherever he can, our review says, "It's nothing particularly groundbreaking for the directing pair, but that's hardly a criticism. Once again, they focus on a tough slice of life with a strong observational eye and close attention to detail. 'The kid' of the title may not quite be saved as the credits roll, but in Samantha he may have found for the first time, someone worth believing in and the journey to that realization is complex, beautiful and soulful." RT: 94% MC: 86

Weirdly, this is a huge week for directing brother duos (brothers Duplass, Dardenne and now Trost) as "The FP" opens this week from bros Brandon and Jason Trost. It apparently concerns a Dance Dance Revolution-type contest in some kind dystopian future. You know I'm down with that. Our review says it's "one of the most unique films made in years, but that novelty value also often makes it more of an admirable effort than a truly enjoyable one," and it "functions perfectly as a cult movie, but its ambition never feels bigger than to achieve that benchmark."RT: 42% MC: 52

Hot diggity damn! Nic Cage during Lent! We are the luckiest! "Seeking Justice" stars the Cage alongside January Jones (heh) and Guy Pearce as a New Orleans high school teacher who is trapped into performing duties for the man who enacts revenge for his wife's assault. Our review says, "Cage is far less manic than he has been in recent memory. The world-weary exhaustion he's sported in more emotionally taxing material is in full bloom... [but] stuck playing an underwritten Average Joe." RT: 28% MC: 34

Audrey Tautou plays a business woman grieving the loss of her husband in "Delicacy," directed by the Foekinos Brothers (ANOTHER BROTHER TEAM! What is with this week??).  Our review says, "the picture yields more to Nathalie's grief than to the romantic aspect... as much as we want to see her triumph, she is the only real presence, and only well-written character, for us to watch. And it's fairly easy to watch someone overcome their sadness when the camera loves them."RT: 43% MC: 47

Funny lady Rachael Harris goes dramatic in "Natural Selection" as a woman seeking out her husband's son after he has a stroke. This film swept the awards at last year's SXSW festival, including laurels for Harris' performance, so it's worth checking out while it's in theaters! RT: 85% MC: 58

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2 Comments

  • Angeliki | May 28, 2012 1:23 PMReply

    Detachment was by far the best...

    http://www.unsungfilms.com/5448/detachment/

  • JLong | March 17, 2012 11:45 AMReply

    "The lack of tripods is an important issue that is facing our independent films today"

    Thank you Katie for making me laugh out loud this morning while giving voice to one of my pet peeves. Nausea-inducing handheld takes have replaced the classic locked Master shot--which brings up (pun intended) my next least favorite, cheap dramatic trick--the obligatory vomiting scene.

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