Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

New and Noteworthy: Movies

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star in "The Fault in Our Stars". (Twentieth Century Fox)
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star in "The Fault in Our Stars". (Twentieth Century Fox)
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star in "The Fault in Our Stars". (Twentieth Century Fox) Gallery: New and Noteworthy: Movies

COMING THIS WEEK

By Steven Rea

Edge of Tomorrow Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are soldiers in an epic battle against alien marauders - a battle the pair are doomed to repeat daily in some kind of freaky time loop. It's deja vu all over again, and again. PG-13

The Fault In Our Stars John Green's YA novel gets movie-ized, with Divergent's Shailene Woodley starring as a teen with a terminal diagnosis, and with a new boy in her life, courtesy of a cancer patients' support group. PG-13

Words and Pictures Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche are mutually attracted, philosophically opposed prep-school teachers, debating the respective merits of language and art, in this brainy rom-com from Fred (A Cry In the Dark) Schepisi. PG-13

 

Also Opening

 

  Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia This documentary looks at the noted author and his views on what has gone wrong with America.

 

Excellent (****)

Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.), Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), and David Hiltbrand (D.H.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.

Read complete reviews at www.inquirer.com/movies.

Finding Vivian Maier A fascinating puzzle-piece mystery - and a revelatory portrait of an eccentric figure who worked as a nanny in Chicago from the 1950s through the 1990s, and who dragged her charges through the city, taking pictures. The heretofore unknown street photographs are nothing less than brilliant; the documentary about this curious figure is a find in more ways than one. 1 hr. 23 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.

The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson's eighth, and most teeming, film is a between-the-wars comic caper set in a fictitious central European land, where Ralph Fiennes is the concierge of an elegant alpine hostelry. When a wealthy guest dies, and the will is read, a mad dash for money and a prized painting ensues. With Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, F. Murray Abraham, Saoirse Ronan, and newcomer Tony Revolori. Sublime. R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

 

Very Good (***1/2)

The Immigrant Marion Cotillard is nothing less than amazing as a destitute Pole who arrives at Ellis Island in 1921 and falls in with a smooth-talking pimp (Joaquin Phoenix). James Gray (Two Lovers, The Yards) directs this half-crazy, fascinating yarn. R (nudity, violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch's sly and seductive vampire movie, starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two old (very old) lovers, is as much about the life-sustaining force of music as it is about any hankering for blood. With Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, and John Hurt. 2 hrs. 03 R (profanity, nudity, adult themes) - S.R.

 

Also on Screens

Blended * In this rom-com, the comedy is strictly middle-cheek standard and the romance is nonexistent. Blame the listless leads, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who play antagonistic single parents taking their kids to the same South African resort. 1 hr. 57 PG-13 (Profanity, crude and sexual content) - D.H.

Godzilla **1/2 Giant Japanese monster reappears in this narratively muddled, effects-driven reboot. Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are among the noble thespians who tear around, screaming as if the world was collapsing around them. It is, thanks to a 350-foot-tall pile of dinosauric scales and dentition. 2 hrs. 3 PG-13 (intense action, carnage, adult themes) - S.R.

Maleficent *** Angelina Jolie stars as the titular villain of the Snow White tale in this imaginative, if somewhat belabored, reinvention of the classic Disney cartoon. With Elle Fanning as the cursed Aurora, and District 9's Sharlto Copley alarmingly cast as her dad, the king. Flower-powered fairyland visual effects to die for! And Jolie, horns and cheekbones high, is magnificent as the villainous fairy godmother. PG (violence, scary images, adult themes) - S.R.

A Million Ways to Die In The West * Seth MacFarlane writes, directs, and casts himself (a mistake) in the lead of this potty-brained and seriously unpleasant sagebrush spoof. Neil Patrick Harris, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, and Charlize Theron appear to be willing participants in the racist, misogynist "comedy." It's beyond bad taste. It's just bad. 1 hr. 56 R (profanity, crude humor, sex, nudity, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Neighbors *** In this lewd comedy, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are young parents whose lives are massively disrupted when a rowdy fraternity led by Zac Efron moves into the house next door. Smutty? Oh, yes. And often fall-on-the-floor funny. 1 hr. 37 R (profanity, nudity, sexual content, violence, alcohol and drug abuse) - D.H.

X-Men: Days of Future Past *** Time-travel is of the essence in this entertaining seventh installment in the series based on the Marvel comics about a gang of misfit mutant superheroes and their respective mentors, Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. Directed by Bryan Singer, with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine as the linchpin. Geeky, action-packed fun. 2 hrs. 11 PG-13 (intense action, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

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