Rites of Spring

It’s Friday, and you know the drill. To the megaplex!

Admission: Tina Fey smooches Paul Rudd while struggling with her own emotional baggage in Chris Weitz’ charming but confused dramedy, which almost-but-not-quite works in exactly the same quietly frustrating way as In Good Company. But it does have its moments.

The Croods: DreamWorks goes caveman for its latest animated feature, which Rad enjoyed in spite of its target audience. The bus ad featuring the Emma Stone character has been making me smile for weeks; the animators have really captured her innate giddiness.

From Up on Poppy Hill: Glenn really enjoys Studio Ghibli’s non-magical 2011 drama about a teenager who falls for a fellow student during the run-up to the Toyko Olympics.

Home Again: Sudz Sutherland’s first feature since Love, Sex & Eating the Bones is a bit of a mess, really, with schematic plotting, underwritten characters and an editorial strategy that seems devoted to covering up the limited budget. So that’s disappointing.

New World: Park Hoon-Jeong’s gangster picture is one-half Infernal Affairs, two-sixths Election and one-sixth Oldboy. Still pretty good.

Olympus Has Fallen: It’s Die Hard in the White House! Literally! To the point where I think I could have loved Antoine Fuqua’s straight-faced actioner if there’d been just one acknowledgement of how derivative it was of John McTiernan’s 1988 classic. At least two scenes practically cry out for it.

Yossi: Israeli director Eytan Fox made Walk on Water, which I quite liked, and Yossi & Jagger, which I did not. This one’s a sequel to the latter, so Glenn took it, and found it to be intriguing if not totally satisfying.

And there we have it! Kate and I are off to the United Kingdom this weekend, so expect a series of posts about pies, Daleks and sheep. It’s all I know.

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