Fine movie-going friends, things are starting to look up. There are more new releases this week at the box office, but you'll have to choose wisely, lest you be trampled by a horde of tweens frothing at the mouth or accidentally stumble into the latest Adam Sandler dum-dum misogyny fest. Keep your head focused and your path true, and you may find satisfaction at the cinema. Opening in wide release this week: the sure to be thought-provoking and insightful documentary about obscure young musician Justin Bieber, "Never Say Never;" Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston show lots of respect for the sanctity of marriage in "Just Go With It;" Channing Tatum gets all period up on your asses in "The Eagle;" and long gestating animated feature "Gnomeo and Juliet" makes it to the screen. In limited release, things are much more appealing with the Ed Helms starring "Cedar Rapids," a host of great documentaries, and the Oscar nominated shorts may be playing in your town!
If you read The Playlist, we're going go out on a limb and guess that you'll be staying as far away from the multiplexes showing the Justin Bieber film "Never Say Never" this weekend. In fact, we'd bet good money on it. Why risk bodily injury or permanent hearing loss from the blood curdling screams of tweens? Believe me, the box office receipts on this one will be fine without your hard earned bucks. Anyway, fair warning if you try and show up to something on a Friday night, may as well stick to the art-house instead. More like "ALWAYS Say Never" amirite?! Rotten Tomatoes: 65% Metacritic: 51
If "Just Go With It" does boffo box office this weekend, this writer is packing up the rainbow flags and moving to Canada. It's not just that it's a bad film, it's that it's a bad film that completely shits all over the idea of marriage when perfectly lovely gay couples continue to be denied the right to pretend like they're married in order to pick up unsuspecting pretty young things. Why can't the gays have this right too, Adam Sandler? And Jennifer Aniston. Oh Jennifer, what are we going to do with you? Your choices in romantic comedies are just wrong. You should have stuck with Miguel Arteta! Our reviewer said that in addition to its many sins of being unfunny and sexist, the film is "an entirely lazy affair" but that Aniston is the one bright spot, offering "sharp comic timing." Okay, now we get it Jen, just wanting to look the best being surrounded by fools. Fair enough. RT: 26% MC: 36
Channing Tatum ditches the white-boy-with-flava schtick to suit up in some Roman soldier garb and go searching for that damn eagle of that damn lost 9th legion of Rome. There have been like 5 recent movies about this eagle and they still haven't worked out their issues with it. It's lost! The Picts or the Highlanders or the William Wallaces or whatever took it. And then Michael Fassbender ran off to live in a hut with Imogen Poots because she is the prettiest (spoiler alert) In Neil Marshall's "Centurion." This version is directed by Kevin McDonald and co-stars Jamie Bell as Tatum's fiery young slave boy (deposit that role playing fantasy in your spank bank), so it'll at least be interesting to see how Tatum holds his own with this kind of material. Our review called the film, "a sturdily made, if not quite emotionally compelling or mentally absorbing action picture." It seems like that's the best we can hope for. RT: 36% MC: 58
"Gnomeo and Juliet" is finally here! Yay! Now director Kelly Asbury can finally stop working on it. Until the DVD comes out. Sorry dude! This animated tale tells the story of star-crossed lawn ornaments. Isn't that adorable? Emily Blunt and James McAvoy lend their dulcet tones to the characters. Our reviewer wasn't exactly thrilled with the end result. RT: 56% MC: 54
Miguel Arteta returns with "Cedar Rapids" starring consistent scene-stealer Ed Helms, supported by John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah ("SHEEEEEEEIIIIIT") Whitlock Jr., Alia Shawkat and more in this "what happens on the corporate convention, stays at corporate convention" comedy. Finally some quality comedy! We are so starved! Give us laughs please! Our reviewer says it's "moderately bemusing at best with only a few big, hearty laughs... a ride that never gets as wild as it wants to." Aw shucks. Well it's a better choice than Bieber Fever. RT: 80% MC: 70
Documentary time! This week, there are several choice films to choose from, including the female sexual disorder exposé "Orgasm, Inc.," which our reviewer said that though it's "not a perfect work, it barks and bites just like the best of them." RT: 89% Also opening, "Vidal Sassoon the Movie," movie you never thought you needed but yes, yes we do about the innovative and groundbreaking hairstylist MC: 59; climate change doc "Carbon Nation" opens this week as well. RT: 63%
A meta-noir set in LA, "The Scenesters" is also out in limited, and it stars Sherilyn Fenn so that's an automatic bonus, right? And yes, there is a Fuck Yeah Sherilyn Fenn tumblr thank the heavens, check it out, but it's NSFW and aren't you the lucky one that it isn't? RT: 60%
Argentinian car-crash drama "Carancho" also opens this weekend, starring Ricardo Darin from the Academy Award winning "The Secret in Their Eyes." Our review says the film "takes a bit too many inorganic twists and turns to be anything more than an upscale B-picture." RT:78% MC: 54
Also in theaters: "In Her Skin," "Certifiably Jonathan," "The Sky Turns," and if you get the Oscar Shorts, you'll be that much closer to sweeping the office pool!