For years, Jason Segel has proved himself a reliably funny dude, a comic foil and sometimes-leading man in rom-coms, brom-coms, and a sitcom, too. Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You Man, The Five-Year Engagement, and nine seasons' worth of the CBS hit How I Met Your Mother - the guy's comedy cred is without question.
'I arrived in New York with holes in my socks and holes in my mind," Marlon Brando says, describing his transformative move east in 1943, a high school dropout training with acting god Stella Adler at the New School, leaving behind the Midwest and the military academy his father forced him to attend.
Phoenix, a moody post-Holocaust noir, stars the formidable German actress Nina Hoss. It's cowritten and directed by Christian Petzold, who shepherded Hoss through 2012's taut East-West thriller Barbara. Like the latter film, Phoenix finds its protagonist moving anxiously along the borders of postwar Germany, telling lies as if she believed them.
Fantastic Four, the new adaptation of the Marvel Comics title about a quartet of hangdog superheroes who work best together when they're not bickering, brooding, or running away, can lay claim to one of the longest, dullest setups - OK, it's an origin story - in movie history. Not until almost an hour into this uninspired reboot (two slightly more inspired Fantastic Fours came out in 2005 and 2007) does the quartet get their powers, and a chance to try them out.
Amy Powerful documentary portrait of Amy Winehouse, the British singer who died in 2011 at 27, a victim of drink, drugs, and fame. Soul-stirring, heartbreaking, the film uses a trove of archival footage, much of it recorded on smartphones by friends, lovers, bandmates, roadies, record execs, and fans, to trace the life and blazing career of the singer and songwriter with the trademark beehive and the fearsome talent. R
According to A Lego Brickumentary, Kief Davidson and Daniel Junge's actively appreciative documentary about the interlocking plastic bricks from Denmark, more than enough Legos have found their way into children's playrooms and grown-ups' work stations that there are now "over one hundred Lego pieces for every person on the planet."
Late into the high-speed hugger-mugger of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, the fifth installment in the series featuring Tom Cruise as impossibly spry spy guy Ethan Hunt, Alec Baldwin finds himself extolling the virtues of the secret agent.
Tangerine The clack of prostitutes' heels, screaming matches in divey motels, the admonishments of a donut shop owner threatening to call the police. . . . Sean Baker's iPhone 5-shot film dives into the world of transgender sex workers on the streets of L.A., following two friends - played by newcomers Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor - looking for their pimp. Outrageous, funny, raw, and, yes, maybe even kind of sweet, too. R
According to the remarkable documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, we have the Curtis Institute of Music to thank for jazz vocalist and songwriter Nina Simone's blazing career. Trained from early childhood as a classical pianist, the then Eunice Waymon of Tryon, N.C., was in New York with a one-year scholarship to Juilliard when, in 1951, she applied for admission to Philadelphia's storied tuition-free conservatory. She was rejected.
Tangerine is a heartwarming tale of humanity punctuated by the clack of prostitutes' heels on sun-baked L.A. streets, by screaming matches in divey motels, and the admonishments of a doughnut-shop owner threatening to call the cops if everybody doesn't shut up.
Billy "The Great" Hope, the light-heavyweight champ played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the shamelessly melodramatic, shamefully entertaining Southpaw, is the kind of fighter famous for being able to withstand impossible pummeling, round after round after round. Somehow, Billy always bounces back, bloodied and bruised and knocking his opponents to the mat after they've exhausted themselves. His record is 43 and 0.
Paper Towns, a road-trip teen romance and scavenger-hunt of a movie adapted from John Green's YA novel of the same name, invokes the restless spirits of Woody Guthrie and Walt Whitman. The famous photo of the itinerant folkie wielding his "This machine kills fascists" guitar hangs in a window. A collection of Whitman's verse sits by a bed, its pages rife with highlighted lines.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind County Theater, Doylestown, 7 p.m. Thursday. Steven Spielberg's iconic sci-fi film (Richard Dreyfuss' mashed potatoes! The five-note sequence from the spaceship! François Truffaut!) is on the County's "Hollywood Summer Nights" lineup. The 1977 aliens-among-us odyssey should be revisited at least once a decade.