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Weekend Preview: Roll the Dice At A Crowded Box Office

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood April 12, 2012 at 9:02PM

It's a crowded weekend at the box office, so we'll try to steer you in the right direction.
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"The Cabin in the Woods," "The Lady"
"The Cabin in the Woods," "The Lady"

It's a crowded weekend at the box office, so we'll try to steer you in the right direction.

"The Cabin in the Woods" is a clever treat for fans of the horror genre who are willing to send it up. Luc Besson's "The Lady" couldn't be more timely: its central figure Aung San Suu Kyi, now back at the center of Burma politics, is played to perfection by action actress Michelle Yeoh. The biopic follows the struggle of the Nobel Peace Laureate, her fifteen year house arrest and ongoing fight as the face of Myanmar's National League for Democracy. When Suu Kyi won a house in the country's Parliament, the New York Times called it a "remarkable shift from dissident to lawmaker" in a country that is still - for the most part - controlled by the military.

While ThePlaylist says Guy Pearce's "Lockout" is the B-movie we've been waiting for, and Canada's "Monsieur Lazhar" (Oscar nominee for Best Foreign language film) is a beautiful portrait of grief, "The Three Stooges" is failing to impress. Indie offerings "HERE" and "Late Bloomers" each boast strong casting ("Incendies"'s Lubna Azabal and Ben Foster in the former, Isabella Rosselli and William Hurt in the latter), but are earning mixed reviews.

According to co-writer-actress Krysten Ritter of "L!fe Happens," the film "shouldn't be reviewed" because "all that anybody should say about this film is 'Good for you, girls, go get 'em.' -- and that it's adorable.'" Sorry, but it's not adorable and not worth your money or your time.

Reviews, trailers and details below:

"Monsieur Lazhar" Music Box Films, CAN | Dir: Philippe Falardeau; Cast: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx | TOH! Interviews Falardeau | Indiewire's 8 Great Teacher/Student Films | ThePlaylist's Review | 91% Fresh | Globe and Mail says: "An exquisite, humanistic and subtly topical work of cinema art that manages to keep the intimate, revelatory sensibility of a one-man play intact while fleshing out the characters and creating a very realistic and richly detailed school community."

"The Lady" Cohen Media Group, FR/UK | TOH! Interviews Yeoh & Besson | 39% Rotten | LA Times calls it "A fumbling and fawning - if sincere - tribute to the living legend and a director who has never seemed more out of his element.

"The Cabin in the Woods" Lionsgate, US | Dir: Drew Goddard; Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford | TOH! Review & Interview | Criticwire's Pick of Busy Weekend | 92% Fresh | ThePlaylist calls it A Smart, Witty Blast for Genre Fans.

"Late Bloomers" Olive Films, FR/BEL/UK | Dir: Julie Gavras; Cast: William Hurt, Isabella Rossellini | 57% Rotten | Village Voice says Rossellini "is radiant in a profoundly ordinary and believable way, as always, and stirs up generational pathos all by herself."

"Lockout" Open Road Films, FR | Dir: James Mather; Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare | 37% Rotten | ThePlaylist says It's The B-Movie You've Been Waiting for All Year | THR says "Witty one-liners compensate for cliched plotting and cheesy effects in this sci-fi action thriller."

"Three Stooges" Twentieth C. Fox, US | Dir: Farrelly Brothers; Cast: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Hudson | 47% Rotten | ThePlaylist calls it A Limp Homage | Roger Ebert Didn't Laugh Much.

"HERE" Strand Releasing, US | Dir: Braden King; Cast: Ben Foster, Peter Coyle, Lubna Azabal | 80% Fresh | Indiewire says it "loses a lot of the grandiose lyricism it establishes right of the gate by failing to build on it in any substantial way, but for those willing to accept the lack of exposition, [it] provides a cogent analysis of the drive to explore new territory in both physical and psychological terms."

"L!fe Happens" PMk*BNC Films, US/CAN | Dir: Kat Coiro; Cast: Krysten Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, Geoff Stults, Justin Kirk | 45% Rotten | Village Voice calls it "a blonde-brunette buddy comedy with a charmless cast." | EW says it's "neither as funny nor as poignant as it wants to be."

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Critics, Reviews, Reviews, Genres, Trailers, Headliners, Studios


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.