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Weekend Preview: Jessica Chastain's 'Mama,' Schwarzenneger's 'Last Stand' and Wahlberg's 'Broken City'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood January 18, 2013 at 2:52PM

It's all about Jessica Chastain this weekend, with Andrew Muschetti's horror title "Mama" joining Oscar-nominated holdover "Zero Dark Thirty" at the box office. The modestly reviewed "Mama" is probably the best bet of the new releases...
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Jessica Chastain in "Mama"
Jessica Chastain in "Mama"

It's all about Jessica Chastain this weekend, with Andrew Muschetti's horror title "Mama" joining Oscar-nominated holdover "Zero Dark Thirty" at the box office. The modestly reviewed "Mama" is probably the best bet of the new releases. Chastain's bulked-up opponents include Arnold Schwarzenneger in "The Last Stand" (directed by Korean auteur Kim Ji-woon) and Mark Wahlberg in "Broken City"--macho films with tepid to wimpy Tomatometer scores. On the limited release circuit, both Sheldon Candis' "LUV" and Bruno Dumont's "Hors Satan" are sitting decently with  critics.

"Mama" Dir. Andres Muschetti, Spain | Universal | Cast: Jessica Chastain, Isabelle Nelisse, Megan Charpentier, Nikolaj Coster Waldau | 62% Fresh | Roger Ebert: "Movies like 'Mama' are thrill rides. We go to be scared and then laugh, scared and then laugh, scared and then shocked. Of course, there's almost always a little plot left over for a sequel. It's a ride I'd take again."

"Hors Satan (Outside Satan)" Dir. Bruno Dumont, France | New Yorker Films | Cast: Alexandra Lematre, David Dewaele | 78% Fresh | The Guardian: "Devotees of Dumont's earlier films – particularly his 1999 film 'Humanity' – will instantly recognise the style, the locale, the narrative, the bizarre quasi-realism, in which events take place in a world infinitesimally different from the one we inhabit. As ever, the visionary, radioactive glow is compelling."

"The Last Stand" Dir. Ji-woon Kim, USA | Lionsgate | Cast: Arnold Schwarzenneger, Eduardo Noriega, Forest Whitaker, John Patrick Amedori, Johnny Knoxville | 58% Rotten | Austin Chronicle: "Despite his acknowledged age, creaking bones, and reduced nerve, Schwarzenegger still delivers quite a performance in this fun, straight-ahead action film."

"LUV" Dir. Sheldon Candis, USA | Indomina Releasing | Cast: Common, Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert, Michael Rainey Jr. | 33% Rotten | New York Times: "It does not entirely succeed, but at its best Luv shows the kind of heart and intelligence that is always welcome - and often missing - in American movies." | TOH! interview with director Sheldon Candis.

"Broken City" Dir. Allen Hughes, USA | Twentieth Century Fox | Cast: Barry Pepper, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Kyle Chandler, Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe | 23% Rotten | A.V. Club: "In spite of some punchy scenes, crackling dialogue, and fine performances, Broken City is hopelessly overmatched. It has Academy Award dreams, but a detective-show heart."

This article is related to: Reviews, Weekend Preview, Jessica Chastain, Mark Wahlberg, Bruno Dumont, Trailers, Trailers, Hors Satan, LUV


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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.