Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Shall we run through the list?
About Alex: Jesse Zwick’s Big Chill update doesn’t really update Lawrence Kasdan’s boomer class as repeat it with the occasional line about smartphones not working in the sticks. Jason Ritter’s pretty good, though.
Calvary: John Michael McDonagh’s followup to his brilliant The Guard is a different sort of animal — an intimate, bristling character study of a priest, a small village and all of Ireland, anchored by a fantastic performance by Brendan Gleeson. Don’t miss it.
Elena: Jose is much impressed with Petra Costa’s documentary about her ill-fated younger sister. Perhaps you will be too.
An Honest Liar: Illusionist turned debunker James Randi gets the documentary he deserves — incisive, unblinking and ultimately amazing. Please note that I’ll be moderating a Q&A with Randi tonight (Friday) following the 6:30 pm show at the Bloor. There may be cake.
The Hundred-Foot Journey: Lasse Hallstrom’s latest is another cross-cultural romance, sort of, with food being the thing that brings a French chef (Helen Mirren) and a Mumbai patriatch (Om Puri) together. Perhaps they make a deal to import Yemeni salmon.
Into the Storm: Yup, it’s a found-footage Twister — but as it turns out, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just take a few decent actors (including Sarah Wayne Callies, Richard Armitage and Matt Walsh), throw a bunch of tornadoes at them and cross your fingers.
Land Ho!: Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens’ charming road picture follows two aging friends (Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson) on a weeklong visit to Iceland. Not much happens. Not much needs to.
Night Moves: Kelly Reichardt’s slow-burn thriller is slender enough that it risks getting lost in the crowd of late-summer titles … but if you’re in the right mood, its sultry charms will draw you in, and you’ll be able to appreciate how good Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard and Dakota Fanning really are as activists planning to bomb a dam in Oregon. (They’re really good.)
Step Up: All In: Oh, hey, another one.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: They just look so weird, don’t they? So very weird. Also, Michael Bay is involved so you know it’s not going to be any fun. Andrew was not amused.
And there, that’s it for another week. And if there doesn’t seem to be enough to choose on this week’s slate, don’t fret; next week’s is positively insane.