Screen Junkies » what’s playing http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:06:04 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 What’s Playing This Weekend: July 29th http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-29th/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-29th/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 22:59:14 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=222671 Indiana Jones and James Bond: Together at last.

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With three big releases hitting theaters today, there’s no shortage of options at the box-office. Unfortunately, of those three releases, only one is getting anything approaching positive reviews. I hope you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, because if you’re not, be prepared to watch a less than stellar film.
 
So, what’s playing this weekend?
 

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Steve Carell stars as a man in his 40′s who is blindsided by a divorce. Sounds romantic.

‘Crazy Stupid Love’ Looks Neither Crazy Nor Stupid

The film also stars Emma Stone, which makes it instantly more appealing.
 
Best Review
Constructed with such professionalism and inhabited by such warm characters that even its cliche moments are easily forgiven…
 
John Beifuss – Commercial Appeal
 
 
Worst Review
Crazy, Stupid, Phony
 
James Verniere – Boston Herald
 
Our Recommendation
I’m not big fan of romantic comedies, but if you are forced to see one, you can do a lot worse that this. It’s currently pulling in 74% at Rotten Tomatoes. Add Emma Stone‘s ass (or eyes) to the mix, and you’ve got an exteremly watchable film.
 

The Smurfs

The Smurfs are back, and they’re better than ever. And by better, I mean much, much worse.

Smurf The New ‘The Smurfs’ Trailer

Honestly, did you really think this was going to be any good?
 
Best Review
Adorable and annoying, patently unnecessary yet kinda sweet, it’s a calculated commercial enterprise with little soul but an appreciable amount of heart.
 
Justin Chang – Variety
 
Worst Review
I wouldn’t smurf Gosnell’s ‘The Smurfs‘ on my smurfiest enemy.
 
Sean O’Connell – Washington Post
 
Our Recommendation
If the idea of the Smurfs traveling to the real world appeals to you, by all means, check out this film. If you are parents forced to sit through this dreck, my sympathies.
 

Cowboys & Aliens

In case you have trouble taking things literally, this film is about a group of cowboys who encounter a group of space aliens, just like the title implies.

Extended ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ Trailer Here To Extend Nerd Boners

Any film with both James Bond and Han Solo can’t be all bad, right? Wrong.
 
Best Review
Alien-invasion aficionados should be pleased. Western nostalgists may be pleasantly surprised. Fans of cowboys-versus-aliens movies, well, it’s been a long wait and here’s your movie.
 
Michael Phillips – Chicago Tribune
 
Worst Review
The mash-up on cowboys and aliens doesn’t do either camp any favors. How are we supposed to work up a rooting interest when both sides are shooting blanks?
 
Peter Travers – Rolling Stone
 
Our Recommendation
With a 44% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, Cowboys and Aliens doesn’t seem to be impressing a whole lot of critics. You’re probably better off re-watching Blade Runner or Casino Royale than you are plunking down $12 to see this mess.

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What’s Playing This Weekend: July 15th http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-15th/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-15th/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2011 21:11:44 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=220476 Here's what's playing for the weekend of July 15th, 2011

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This weekend, Harry Potter seems to be the only thing the movie going public gives a damn about. And given the fact that Deathly Hallows: Part II marks the end of a franchise ten years in the making, it’s easy to see why. But if you’re not in the mood for wizards and (Emma) Watson, there are a few other choices, including the children’s classic, Winnie the Pooh. And as an added bonus, if you do choose to see something besides Potter, you’ll probably have the whole theater to yourself.

So, what’s playing this weekend?

Salvation Boulevard

When you save the best for last, it makes sense to save the worst for first.

The 'Salvation Boulevard' Trailer Compels/Confuses You

Unfortunately, the worst seems to be the religious satire, Salvation Boulevard.

Best Review
Salvation Boulevard isn’t groundbreaking or even consistently funny, but it is mildly inventive and the absurdities of its characters are tender and recognizably human. Best of all, we’re encouraged to laugh with them rather than at them.

Mark Holcomb – Village Voice

Worst Review
It’s a stupid farrago of aborted ideas, misguided actors, lame direction, submental writing and follow-the-dots plotting that never comes anywhere within a 10-mile radius of what I used to call coherent filmmaking.

Rex Reed – The New York Observer

Our Recommendation
The fact that Rex Reed hates a film usually means it’s at least watchable. But unfortunately, this time it looks like he’s part of the general consensus. Despite it’s more than respectable cast, Salvation Boulevard is falling flat, leaving 90% of critics unimpressed. Don’t be a hero. Go see Harry Potter with everyone else.

Winnie the Pooh

This classic children’s tale is back in an all new Disney animated film.

But how does Pooh hold up in the age of Pixar?

Best Review
In a time of shock-value 3-D animation and special effects, the look of the film is gentle and pleasing.

Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

Worst Review
Disney doesn’t offer much here that it hasn’t done as well before.

Liam Lacey – Globe and Mail

Our Recommendation
Clearly, Liam Lacey has no soul. With 90% of film critics agreeing that Pooh is a pleasing children’s film, fans young and old should not hesitate to give it a look. It’s a shame that it’s coming out the same weekend as Harry Potter. Hopefully it will get some spill over when Deathly Hallows sells out.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

It’s the end of an era for Harry Potter films.

New Clip And Photos From ‘Deathly Hallows Pt. 2: The One Where Something Finally Happens’

Whether you grew up with the franchise, or you’re still in the process of growing up, Deathly Hallows seems to offer a fitting tribute to one of the most successful film series of all time.

Best Review
A movie with no beginning and no middle but two-plus hours of thundering, momentous ending…

Andrew O’Hehir – Salon.com

Worst Review
Now that the Harry Potter series is over, maybe the truth can be realized: This has been the dullest franchise in the history of movie franchises.

Armond White – New York Press

Our Recommendation
With a staggering 97% of critics in agreement that Deathly Hallows: Part II is worth checking out, who am I to disagree? Unless your opinions are normally in line with Armond White, you’ll probably find this film to be a satisfying conclusion.

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What’s Playing This Weekend: July 8 http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-8/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-8/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2011 18:49:20 +0000 Col. Longshanks http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=219395 Killing bosses and Kevin James visiting T.G.I. Fridays with a gorilla.

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This weekend marks one of the only weekends this summer that won’t be invaded by superheros, aliens, or gigantic morphing robots. It will however welcome the return of Kevin James in a kids movie. But don’t fret! There are other options available to you. An air-conditioned theater can still be your sanctuary.

So, what’s playing this weekend?

Horrible Bosses

There's Funny Stuff In 'Horrible Bosses' Red Band

Horrible Bosses follows three guys with varying degrees of ineptness as they try to murder their employers. I often wish I had to bear the burden of Jennifer Aniston‘s relentless sexual harassment.

With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 76%, you can walk in feeling fairly confident that Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day will deliver a fair amount of laughs.

Best Review

Takes a thin premise and milks it for all its worth, riding a witty script and super-strong cast to comedic glory.

Stephen Silver – Patch

Worst Review

Look at how crazy is the craziness we are doing for you. Isn’t it crazy? the movie shouts, and the more it does, the less you’ll laugh.

Kyle Smith – New York Post

Our Recommendation

If you’re a fan of the actors, and like a dark comedy that doesn’t get so dark you feel uncomfortable, then give Horrible Bosses a shot. Jennifer Aniston also has a real whorish mouth in it. She’s come a long way since Friends.

The zookeeper

Trailer For Kevin James’ ‘The Zookeeper’: Nothing Matters Anymore

Kevin James plays a zookeeper who can talk to animals. Ugh. The animals help him try to win a girl back who’s too much of a bitch to even deserve their efforts. Ugh.

Judging by the 13% it’s currently receiving on Rotten Tomatoes, you should avoid this movie like Kevin James should avoid trans fats. And yes, I know fat jokes are easy, but that doesn’t make them any less funny.

Best Review

James is appealing enough to make it work – just barely.

Chris Hewitt – St Paul Pioneer Press

Worst Review

Offensive to women, men, children, parents, WASPs, Asians, African-Americans, animals and zookeepers … a movie with no conceivable audience.

Steven D. Greydanus – Decent Films Guide

Our Recommendation

If your kid desires to see this one, drop him or her off at the theater with a crisp $10 bill, make your way over to the nearest strip club for their extensive buffet, and return ninety minutes later not feeling like you want to end your life.

The Ward

‘The Ward’ Trailer Might Hurt A Little

A thriller centered on a woman stuck in a looney bin who is being terrorized by a ghost. So is she crazy, or is there really a pain in the ass poltergeist making her appear that way?

The film’s rating of 33% on Rotten Tomatoes would indicate that this isn’t John Carpenter’s best work since Halloween.

Best Review

Basically, this is a ghost story merged with a slasher film and sealed with Shutter Island twist. But at least Carpenter the spook-meister knows how to goose you.

Owen Gleiberman – Entertainment Weekly

Worst Review

Continues the painful decline of a director who seems more nostalgic for past glories than excited about new ideas.

Jeannette Catsoulis – New York Times

Our Recommendation

Re-watch Halloween and The Thing.

Project Nim

About a chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. So basically, the reverse of Tarzan.

Critics are loving this documentary, granting it a 95% thus far.

Best Review

“Project Nim” is practically irresistible. The story keeps getting odder and richer and more complicated.

Michael Phillips – Chicago Tribune

Worst Review

Another singular case exploited and expanded to look ordinary.

Chris Cabin – Filmcritic.com

Our Recommendation

How can a movie starring a cute baby monkey be bad? It can’t be, damnit.

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What’s Playing This Weekend: July 1st http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-1st/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/whats-playing-this-weekend-july-1st/#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2011 16:24:54 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=218668 Robots.

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I hope you like robots, because this weekend, your local cinema is going to be crawling with them. For those of you who don’t enjoy robots, I hope you like bad romantic comedies and Selena Gomez vehicles, cause that’s about all you’ve got to look forward to.

So, what’s playing this weekend? You might be sorry you asked.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Michael Bay is back, and this time, it’s personal. I’ve always wanted to use that line, and now I have!

7 photosRosie Huntington-Whiteley

Bay’s last Transformers film was trashed by the critics. But will the third installment redeem the franchise?

Best Review
It’s a momentous achievement and it will make untold amounts of money and you should see it even though it’s hateful and empty and preaches the worst kind of reactionary violence without even really meaning it.

Andrew O’Hehir – Salon.com

Worst Review
Watchin Transformers: Dark of the Moon makes you die a little inside. Is this the future of movies? God help us! Michael Bay, you’ve done it again.

Peter Travers – Rolling Stone

Our Recommendation
For the most part, the reviews have been horrible. But honestly, what else is there to say? It’s just more of the same, so there’s no point in defending or decrying this film. If you enjoy Michael Bay’s mindless explosion-filled mayhem, go and see it. If you don’t, don’t.

Larry Crowne

Through the years, Tom Hanks has made many memorable romantic comedies.

New 'Larry Crowne' Trailer Is Like A More Serious 'Back To School'

Can Larry Crowne rekindle that Sleepless in Seattle magic? No.

Best Review
Too cute for its own good, Larry Crowne is nonetheless hard to dislike.

Steven Rea – Philadelphia Inquirer

Worst Review
Soulless Hollywood product doesn’t provide a better textbook example than this Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts vehicle.

Peter Howell – Toronto Star

Our Recommendation
Unless you’re a 50-year-old housewife, you’re probably not going to enjoy this film. Then again, given the other options you have to choose from this weekend, it might win the title of “most watchable” by default.

Monte Carlo

If you’re a tween girl, I’ve got some great news for you.

'Monte Carlo' Trailer Looks Generally Horrible

If you’re a parent who’s in charge of taking tween girls to the movies, I’ve got some bad news for you.

Best Review
For girls of a certain age (and their mothers), Monte Carlo hits the sweet spot.

Carrie Rickey – Philadelphia Inquirer

Worst Review
It’s chirpy, it’s bright, there are pretty locations and lots happens. This is the kind of movie that can briefly hold the attention of a cat.

Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

Our Recommendation
If you want your wives and daughters viewing a film that hits their “sweet spots,” then by all means, send them to this Monte Carlo. For the rest of you, avoid it like the plague.

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What’s Playing This Weekend? (June 24th) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/what%e2%80%99s-playing-this-weekend-june-24th/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/what%e2%80%99s-playing-this-weekend-june-24th/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2011 16:06:33 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=217720 What's playing this weekend? Glad you asked.

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This week, we’ve got a film for kids, a film involving kids, and a film about a guy who gets paid to act like a kid. I’m not sure any of that information actually means anything, but it looks good in an intro paragraph.

How does Cars 2 match up to other Pixar films? Does Cameron Diaz pull off her role as bad teacher? Is it weird watching Conan O’Brien’s pasty skin on the big screen? You’ll get the answer to those questions and more in this week’s edition of What’s Playing?

Cars 2

If you liked Cars, I’ve got some good news. The gang from the original is back, and this time, they’re competing with cars from around the globe in the first ever World Grand Prix.

3 photosI Wish 'Cars 2' Looked As Awesome As Its Poster Art

If you didn’t like Cars, then you’re pretty much S.O.L.

Best Review
I blow a piston whenever 2006′s Cars gets trashed as the runt of the Pixar litter. The sequel is a tire-burning burst of action and fun with a beating heart under its hood.

Peter Travers – Rolling Stone

Worst Review
Mater is dumb, excitable and puppy-dog loyal, his idiot-savant automotive expertise grounded in humble, blue-collar simplicity. I doubt anyone will protest much, but Pixar has now found its redneck Jar-Jar Binks. Such a proud moment.

A.O. Scott – New York Times

Our Recommendation
While it might not be the best of the bunch, anything with the name Pixar on it is going to be at least tolerable, especially if you’re stuck taking kids to the movies. And with the top critics split, there’s a reasonable chance you might enjoy it.

Bad Teacher

As the tag line says, some teachers just don’t give an F. Unfortunately, some film critics do.

6 photosCameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz stars in this dark comedy about a gold-digging teacher who is dumped by her rich fiancee and is forced to come up with a plan b.

Best Review
Bad Teacher” is exactly the one-joke movie that you probably expect it to be, but there are enough variations and shadings of that one joke to sustain its brief running time — just barely.

Christy Lemire – Associated Press

Worst Review
We’re not on Elizabeth’s side, or anyone else’s, really. We’re just watching a film try to pass off misanthropic blunt-wittedness as ”edge.”

Owen Gleiberman – Entertainment Weekly

Our Recommendation
If you’re in the mood for a comedy, Bad Teacher might get the job done. But based on the lackluster reviews, you’re probably better off waiting for something better.

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop is a behind the scenes look at O’Brien’s 32-city comedy tour that took place after his less-than-amicable departure from NBC.

New Trailer: 'Conan O'Brien Can't Stop' And So He Didn't

Fans of Conan are sure to be pleased, but will non-fans be able to enjoy the film?

Best Review
If the principal audience for “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” is obviously the comedian’s legions of fans, it’s probably most interesting as a detached study of the workings of fame.

Andrew O’Hehir – Salon.com

Worst Review
The whole thing becomes a sort of “Song of Myself” for needy multimillionaire comics at work and play.

Michael Phillips – Chicago Tribune

Our Recommendation
Overall, reviews have been favorable, with the film currently holding a 79% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. That seems to indicate that even non-fans can find something to enjoy about this film. Or, you can always sit at home eating prunes and watching Leno.

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What’s Playing This Weekend? (June 17th) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/whats-playing-this-weekend-june-17th/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/whats-playing-this-weekend-june-17th/#comments Fri, 17 Jun 2011 20:36:14 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=216660 It's a great week to be a movie fan. Of course course by "great," I mean "abysmal."

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It’s a great week to be a movie fan. Of course course by “great,” I mean “abysmal.” Neither of the two major releases were able to break the 50% mark on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, if you combine the two, the score is still below 70%. So if it’s a good new release you’re after, I hope you live near a major city, because you’re going to have to hit up a limited release.

So, what’s playing this weekend?

Green Lantern

The Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, tells the story of a man who is transported to a far-away planet and enlisted in a intergalactic military/police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. Based on the critical reception alone, this film is everything a summer movie should be.

33 photos‘Green Lantern’ Stills…And Stills…And Stills

Just kidding. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 24%, it looks like almost no one will enjoy this CGI heavy Comic Book adaptation. Then again, our own Fred Topel liked it (click here for his review), so maybe I’m wrong.

Best Review
Serves up all the requisite elements with enough self-deprecating humor to suggest it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Todd McCarthy – Hollywood Reporter

Worst Review
As a disjointed rumble in the cosmos, it’s both too much and too little, and too dorky looking. In this case, Green means stop.

Tom Long – Detroit News

Our Recommendation
If it’s a comic book movie you want, go and see X-Men: First Class, or wait for Captain America to come out. If neither of those options sound appealing, then just stay home and have sex with your girlfriend. (Insert your own “comic book guys don’t get laid” joke here).

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Starring Jim Carrey and a bunch of birds, this film tells the story of a New York business man who inherits six penguins. Sounds plausible.

5 photosPeep Out ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ Pics

Although it’s Rotten Tomatoes score is more respectable than Green Lantern’s, 43% is nothing to brag about. Click here for our review.

Best Review
With, say, Eddie Murphy as the star, Mr. Popper’s Penguins might have been a glorified paycheck contrivance. But Carrey is so naturally stylized that he coaxes the film’s gentle, creature-feature insanity to life.

Owen Gleiberman – Entertainment Weekly

Worst Review
Everything about the idea of “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” sounds lovely, and everything about the actual movie is ugly.

Mick LaSalle – San Francisco Chronicle

Our Recommendation
If you have kids, this film might be a tolerable enough way to kill an hour and a half. Then again, if you have kids, you’ve already given up on life, so why even bother reading the reviews?

Buck

Well, they can’t all be bad, right? If you happen to live close to where Buck is playing, you might want to check it out.

The film currently has an 88% RT ratting, which is more than the previous two films combined. Buck tells the story of a real American Cowboy who is adept at training problem horses. It must be a lot better than it sounds on paper.

Best Review
This is going to sound corny, but here goes: “Buck” will make you want to be a better person.

Christy Lemire – Associated Press

Worst Review
I don’t know why, but I just can’t get all worked up over Dan (Buck) Brannaman, subject of the documentary “Buck.”

V.A. Musetto – New York Post

Our Recommendation
While a documentary about a guy hanging out with horses might not seem all that exciting, the reviews are positive across the board. But clearly, it’s not for everybody. If crappy CGI and aliens with lanterns is more your style, you know where to turn.

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What’s Playing This Weekend? (June 10th) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/what%e2%80%99s-playing-this-weekend-june-10th/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/what%e2%80%99s-playing-this-weekend-june-10th/#comments Sat, 11 Jun 2011 00:23:41 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=215766 Finally, I'll get to see what that damn alien looks like. Then again, maybe not. It's not like J.J. Abrams is big on closure.

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After months of waiting, Super 8 has arrived. Finally, I’ll get to see what that damn alien looks like. Then again, maybe not. It’s not like J.J. Abrams is big on closure. After spending years watching “Lost,” I still don’t know what the hell was going on. It was so hard to follow, like “Heroes” or “Will and Grace.” Hopefully, that’s not the case with Super 8.

Here’s a look at what’s playing.

8 photosNew ‘Super 8′ Stills Show Everything (But The Monster)

Super 8

If you like Steven Spielberg, you’re probably anxious to see J.J. Abrams’ Super 8. The film is basically a love note to the acclaimed director of E.T., Close Encounters, and lest we forget, 1941.

See, even geniuses shit the bed once in a while.

Best Review
Super 8 is a wonderful film, nostalgia not for a time but for a style of filmmaking, when shell-shocked young audiences were told a story and not pounded over the head with aggressive action.

Roger Ebert – The Chicago Sun-Times

Worst Review
Sadly, the helmer seems too smitten working with Steven Spielberg to recognize that his idol-turned-champion created the very paradigm that limits his passion project, forcing this modest nostalgia trip to function as a blockbuster.

Peter Debruge – Variety

Our Recommendation
Over all, there seems to be a lot to like about this film, provided you haven’t bought into the hype. If you set out with realistic expectations, you’ll probably enjoy it. But if you are already expecting a classic, be prepared for disappointment…just like my wife.

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen‘s latest film is finally getting a wide release. And that’s great news, if you like Woody Allen.

‘Midnight In Paris’ Trailer: Now It’s Owen Wilson’s Turn To Imitate Woody Allen

If you don’t like Woody Allen, then why they hell are you bothering to read this? Get out there and live, damn it!

Best Review
As a filmmaker, Allen has grappled with the temptations of repeating himself instead of forging a fresh path. You can feel that conflict here, and watching him work it out is exhilarating.

Peter Travers – Rolling Stone

Worst Review
Pure Woody Allen. Which is not to say great or even good Woody, but a distillation of the filmmaker’s passions and crotchets, and of his tendency to pass draconian judgment on characters the audience is not supposed to like.

Richard Corliss – TIME Magazine

Our Recommendation
If you’re OK with a guy banging his pseudo step-daughter, be sure and check out Midnight in Paris!

Troll Hunter

Troll Hunter is not your father’s troll hunting film. Unless of course you are very young, and your father worked on this film, in which case, it is.

Trolls Are Larger Than Life In 'Troll Hunter' Trailer

Either way, this film about Norwegian film students trolling for trolls is unlike anything you’ve seen before, unless you’ve seen another movie about trolls. God, I’ve got to stop making such sweeping statements.

Best Review
You’ll want to catch this clever movie before Hollywood ruins everything with a dumb remake.

V.A. Musetto – New York Post

Worst Review
Here’s what’s not so good in Troll Hunter: the actual troll hunting.

Noel Murray – AV Club

Our Recommendation
If you’re in the mood for something different, this film will certainly deliver. The premise isn’t for everyone, but with genuinely positive reviews, you can do a lot worse.

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What’s Playing This Weekend? (May 27th) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/whats-playing-this-weekend-may-27th/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/whats-playing-this-weekend-may-27th/#comments Sat, 28 May 2011 00:34:04 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=213942 What better way to honor their memory than by spending your extra day off watching a movie about a talking smart-alec panda that knows kung fu?

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Another week is behind us, and another weekend is upon us. And while all weekends are cause for celebration, this one in particular is special, at least for those of us living in the U.S. Yes, it’s Memorial Day, a time for careful reflection on and remembrance of those brave men and women who laid down their lives for our country. With that in mind, what better way to honor their memory than by spending your extra day off watching a movie about a talking smart-alec panda that knows kung fu? If your grandpa’s brother were here instead of at the bottom on the Pacific Ocean, I’m sure he’d be doing the same thing.

So, what’s playing? Let me tell you…

The Hangover: Part II

If you haven’t looked at a paper, watched TV, or gone on line for the past two months, maybe you can be forgiven for no knowing that The Hangover: Part II is here.

‘Hangover Part II’ Teaser Warms Your Frat Boy Heart

And it seems whether or not you love it or hate it, everyone agrees that it’s basically the exact same movie as the original, except with a darker tone.

Best Review
This is everything we loved about The Hangover and more all new epic, outrageous comedy.

Fred Topel – ScreenJunkies.com

Worst Review
One of the most uninspired and unoriginal sequels you’ll ever see. Or not see, if you’re lucky.

Richard Roeper – RichardRoeper.com

Our Recommendation
Well, our own Fred Topel liked it, so I’m going to default to him. That said, this film is currently at 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, which means that he is certainly in the minority. So if you don’t agree with Fred, you basically hate minorities.
 

Kung Fu Panda II

As far as talking bears that know kung fu are concerned, Kung Fu Panda has to be one of the most famous.

Everybody Is Still Kung Fu Fighting In ‘Kung Fu Panda 2′ Trailer

And according to the overwhelming consensus, this followup to the original does not disappoint.

Best Review
The animation is elegant, the story is much more involving than in the original, and there’s boundless energy.

Roger Ebert – The Chicago Sun-Times

Worst Review
Accomplishes the depressingly familiar mathematical trick of being both more and less than its predecessor.

A.O. Scott – New York Times

Our Recommendation
With nearly 80% of critics liking the film, who are we to say you shouldn’t see it? But do keep in mind that if you’re over the age of 30 and you go to the film alone, you will be mistaken for a pedophile.
 

Tree of Life

Terrence Malick‘s newest film, Tree of Life, won the coveted Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Brad Pitt's Kids Need A Good Belting In 'Tree Of Life' Clip

If your immediate response is “That sounds gay,” this movie probably isn’t for you. Go see The Hangover: Part II.

Best Review
Some will dismiss its overarching themes and elliptical visuals as pretentious. Others might question its quasi-biblical images. But the artistry in every frame is undeniable.

Claudia Puig – USA Today

Worst Review
[Malick is] a meticulous visionary who knows where to place a camera, but he hasn’t a clue about how to tell a story with simplicity and coherence.

Rex Reed – New York Observer

Our Recommendation
If you fancy your self a film buff, or at the very least a wanna be film snob, this film is a must see, especially if you’re lucky enough to live in a city where it’s playing. Also, if you can, go stoned.

The post What’s Playing This Weekend? (May 27th) appeared first on Screen Junkies.

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