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Weekend Preview: 'Marley' Top Pick of Weak New Arrivals

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood April 20, 2012 at 4:19PM

There's a rash of horrendously reviewed films this weekend, along with a few standouts to compete with the likes of holdovers "Titanic 3-D," "The Hunger Games" and "Cabin in the Woods." If you adore a particular star (Zac Efron in "The Loved One"? Diane Keaton in "Darling Companion"? Michael Sheen in "Jesus Henry Christ"?) or genre (South Korean war pic "My Way"? Wanna-be horror "The Moth Diaries"?), that may persuade you to buy a ticket for one of the new arrivals.
1
"Goodbye, First Love" and "Marley"
"Goodbye, First Love" and "Marley"

There's a rash of horrendously reviewed films this weekend, along with a few standouts to compete with the likes of holdovers "Titanic 3-D," "The Hunger Games" and "Cabin in the Woods." If you adore a particular star (Zac Efron in "The Loved One"? Diane Keaton in "Darling Companion"? Michael Sheen in "Jesus Henry Christ"?) or genre (South Korean war pic "My Way"? Wanna-be horror "The Moth Diaries"?), that may persuade you to buy a ticket for one of the new arrivals.

The best-reviewed new film to catch is the thorough "Marley" from gifted documentarian Kevin Macdonald ("Touching the Void"), which arrives fittingly on 4/20 and offers insight into the man and the legend. For fans of French arthouse fare, Mia Hanson-Løve's sun-soaked "Goodbye, First Love" may be seductive, but some will find Lola Creton to be a lackluster leading lady.

Trailers, reviews and details below:

"Marley" Magnolia, US/UK | Dir: Kevin Macdonald |
 94% Fresh | The New Yorker says: "Marley, by reminding us of the longing and the indignation from which the music leaped, does a grand job of turning the volume back up. If only it had found more time to stop and listen." | ThePlaylist says Reverence outweights Insight.

Diane Keaton in Lawrence Kasdan's "Darling Companion"
Sony Pictures Classics Diane Keaton in Lawrence Kasdan's "Darling Companion"

"Goodbye, First Love" Sundance Selects, FR/GER | Dir: Mia Hanson-Løve; Cast: Lola Créton, Sebastian Urzendowsky | Indiewire: The Eloquent Poet of Relationship Dramas | ThePlaylist's Review | 69% Fresh | THR says: "Arthouse audiences could drink this down like a glass of Chardonnay."

"The Eye of the Storm" Sycamore Entertainment, AUS | Dir: Fred Schepisi; Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Dustin Clare, Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis |
 68% Fresh | THR calls it an "intelligent, visually sumptuous drama that embraces the grandeur of the Australian literary classic upon which it's based."

"My Way" Well Go, S. KOREA | Dir: Je-gyu Kang; Cast: Dong-gun Jang, Jo Odagiri |
 0% Fresh | Village Voice says: "Perhaps the most charitable thing that can be said about [it]—with a reported budget of almost $25 million, the costliest Korean motion picture ever produced—is that it does nothing by halves."

"Think Like A Man" Screen Gems, US | Dir: Tim Story; Cast: Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good |
 53% Rotten | Christy Lemire says: "You have to give [it] credit for not only trying to serve as an alternative to Tyler Perry-style date-night fare, but for even going so far as to make fun of those movies for their soapy conventions."

"The Lucky One" Warner Bros. US | Dir: Scott Hicks; Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner | 22% Rotten | Rolling Stone says it "doesn't have a genuine emotion in it or a plausible reason to endure it. It's strictly for the sisters of the cult of Sparks and the men who love them."

"The Moth Diaries" IFC, CAN/IRE | Dir: Mary Harron; Cast: Scott Speedman, Sarah Bolger, Lily Cole |
 Harron talks to Indiewire | Women and Hollywood talk to Harron | 19% Rotten | Village Voice says: "Lesbian desires, fears of mortality, and adolescent jealousies are all handled as bluntly as the unintentionally corny black-and-white flashbacks and gauzy dream sequences." | ThePlaylist says it Has No Fangs.

"Darling Companion" Sony Pictures Classics, US | Dir: Lawrence Kasdan; Cast: Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Mark Duplass, Dianne Weist, Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Boss, Sam Shepard |
 15% Rotten | TOH! Interviews Kasdan & Kline | EW says: "Kasdan's comedy strikes a note of rib-nudging blah coyness that feels very 1987."

"Jesus Henry Christ" E1 Entertainment, US | Dir: Dennis Lee; Cast: Toni Collette, Michael Sheen |
 ThePlaylist calls its Blasphemously Joyless | Lee talks to Indiewire | Tomatometer | Variety says it's "Too deliberately eccentric to attain quite the level of wigginess it aspires to."

"Seven Below" Arc Entertainment, US | Dir: Kevin Carraway; Cast: Val Kilmer, Ving Rames | Tomatometer.


 


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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.