Yeahhhhhh!! "Bridesmaids" is here! Ladies and the dudes who love them have been waiting with bated breath for the premiere of the only seemingly smart female-centric comedy, um, ever? Suck it all you Cannes-goers, we've got quality comedy over here! Regular readers of this site will know that we are big fans of the film and hope that it does bonkers bidness to open the door for more equal opportunity female driven comedy. Less "Something Borrowed" and more "Bridesmaids" please! Also opening is "Priest," but seriously, the less said about that the better. And some interesting festival hits appear in theaters in limited release as well.
So yeah, "Bridesmaids"! We've already kind of told you how excited we are for this film, based off the hilarious script draft we read, and the talent involved: numero uno being the insanely funny SNL MVP Kristen Wiig as the put-upon maid of honor in (another SNL MVP) Maya Rudolph's wedding. Rose Byrne demonstrates her turn in "Get Him to the Greek" wasn't just a fluke as she plays the bitchy rival, and the trio of Ellie Kemper, Wendy McClendon-Covey and Melissa McCarthy round out the rest of the bridesmaids. Everyone from our team who has seen the film has been head over heels for it, and our review from SXSW says, the film is both "hilarious and heartfelt," and that Wiig gives a revelatory performance that is "deceptively complex." Rotten Tomatoes: 91% Metacritic: 76
Also out in wide release is Paul Bettany's current bad career choice, "Priest." I really don't know what to say about this? Warrior Priests? Vampire Wars? Post-apocalyptic western? 3D? Actually that sounds kind of awesome, but, really, don't go see this people. Go see "Bridesmaids" and make sure ladies get more smart comedies and less stupid religious horror flicks. RT: 18% MC: 41
In Limited Release:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt does his metalhead grifter thing in "Hesher," befriending a young kid and Natalie Portman in unflattering spectacles. That trailer with the Metallica track slays, dude! And, wow, that Natalie Portman 2011 Appearance Decree sure is serious. She really is in a new movie in theaters every week this year! Our review from SXSW says it's "the type of movie that rubs you the wrong way and puzzles you in certain ways where you can’t tell if the filmmakers are being emotionally engaging or stimulating… or just plain annoying." RT: 52% MC: 40
Ashley Greene and Shiloh Fernandez star as young lovers with uncertain futures in 80s period flick "Skateland." Our review says it "doesn’t offer much beyond the period pleasures, the casually-engaging performances and the lived-in local details." RT: 50% MC: 51
Will Ferrell goes low-key in the indie "Everything Must Go," about an alcoholic who gets fired and kicked out of his house on the same day, and decides to stage the most epic 5-day yard sale ever. Our review says "Ferrell delivers a dramatic performance that doesn’t just find him dialing things down, but finding wholly new notes and tones we haven’t seen from him before. His charisma stays intact, but it’s used to a completely different effect than we’re used to." Written and directed by Dan Rush, with costars Michael Pena, Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern and Notorious B.I.G.'s little one Christopher Wallace. RT: 77% MC: 64
Pierre Thoretton's documentary "Yves Saint Laurent: L'Amour Fou" looks at the legendary fashion designer's life through the lens of the posthumous sale of his extensive art collection and the memories of his partner Pierre Bergé. Our review says the film "is a beautiful artifact, without much soul." RT: 70% MC: 65
Another bio-doc hitting theaters this week is Craig McCall's "Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff," which lets cinematographer Cardiff himself lead the trip through his remarkable career. Our review says, "anybody at all interested in the art will likely fill their Netflix queue with things they’ve missed and, ultimately, agree with Hitchcock: “It’s bloody good.”" RT: 93% MC: 71
Antonio Banderas stars in "The Big Bang" hitting theaters, and then DVD shortly. The "silly noir pisstake" (from our review) boasts a huge cast including Sam Elliot, William Fichtner, Delroy Lindo,Thomas Kretschmann, Bill Duke, James Van Der Beek and Snoop Dogg generally making a mockery of themselves. RT: 0% MC: 13
Dax Shepard stars in "Brother's Justice" a mockumentary concerning his trying to get a martial arts movie off the ground in Hollywood. Our review says "among show business mockumentaries, 'Brother’s Justice' may be the least believable yet with a tin ear for how Hollywood works and a complete disinterest in its own subject matter." Better luck next time, Mr. Kristen Bell.
Also in theaters: Rape of Nanking period drama "City of Life and Death" RT: 91% MC: 79; depressing dead baby Zach Braff movie "The High Cost of Living" RT: 44%; "Star Wars" legacy debate documentary "The People Vs. George Lucas" RT: 60% MC: 52; the late David Carradine's last film, martial arts epic "True Legend," directed by Yuen Woo Ping, costarring Michelle Yeoh and Jay Chou RT: 70% MC: 61; inspiring Kenyan education film "The First Grader" RT: 52% MC: 57; meaning of life documentary "How to Live Forever" RT: 64% MC: 53; documentary "The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls" about comedic entertaining/activist duo The Topp Twins. RT: 82%.