Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

New and Noteworthy: Movies

Jonah Hill, left, and Channing Tatum reteam in "Jump Street" a sequel to their 2012 undercover cop action comedy. (Columbia Pictures)
Jonah Hill, left, and Channing Tatum reteam in "Jump Street" a sequel to their 2012 undercover cop action comedy. (Columbia Pictures)


By Steven Rea

22 Jump Street Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reteam in the sequel to their 2012 hit undercover cop action comedy based on the vintage '80s series 21 Jump Street. This time, they've moved on from high school to college. R

How to Train Your Dragon 2 The second sequel of the week, and the second sequel of the week with Jonah Hill in its credits. In this computer-animated installment of the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, Hill supplies the voice of Snotlout Jorgenson, rider of the dragon Hookfang. Channing Tatum does not appear, but Cate Blanchett - well, her vocal cords, anyway - does. PG

The Signal Two guys and a girl drive from MIT to some desolate corners of New Mexico in search of a hacker who's seriously messing with their minds - and their computers. A spooky indie, with The Matrix's Morpheus himself - yes, Laurence Fishburne - in a transformative role. PG-13


Also Opening


Alone Yet Not Alone A German family struggles to build new lives in mid-18th century colonial America amid the backdrop of war between Britain and France.

The Grand Seduction The acting mayor of a small fishing town goes to great lengths to lure a doctor to move there in an effort to win a lucrative contract.

 Lucky Them Toni Collette stars as a slacker music journalist whose last chance to save her job is to track down and profile a reclusive former rock star who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend.

 Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon Documentary on the life and career of the Hollywood insider and celebrity manager.

 We Are the Best! Three female friends battle the odds in their attempt to form a punk band in 1980s Stockholm. Swedish with subtitles.


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

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 though the world is 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 Sleeping Beauty tale in this imaginative, if somewhat labored, 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 this 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.

   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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