Hatchet III
Dark Sky Films
Even though viscera and vital organs are tossed about as usual, and yet another bunch of luckless supporting characters are ripped apart like so much warm bread, there's something curiously underwhelming about the blood-soaked mayhem on display in "Hatchet III." Even die-hard fans may be disappointed by this ultra-violent low-budgeter, the latest and least installment in the cult-fave franchise about fear and loathing and corpse accumulating in a notorious stretch of Louisiana swamp country. Pic opens June 14 in simultaneous VOD and limited theatrical release.
-- Joe Leydon
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The Stroller Strategy
Rialto Premieres
Like a pared-down "Three Men and a Baby," sporting only one-third of the men and one-sixth of the gags, "The Stroller Strategy" concerns the misadventures of an unsuspecting bachelor into whose arms a baby literally falls. At first unwilling and overwhelmed, our handsome hero (Raphael Personnaz) exploits the infant as his key to winning back a beautiful lost girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon) to whom he failed to fully commit. Pretending to be the newbie's father, he sets about wooing his lady love, falling in love with the tyke in the process. Cute to the point of blandness, tyro French helmer Clement Michel's vaguely amiable laffer scrupulously avoids all ambiguity, innovation or flashes of wit. Instead, the cluelessness of the besotted hero; the misguided cynicism of his advice-dispensing sidekick (Jerome Commandeur), who uses baby paraphernalia to attract women; and the feisty integrity of his tot-loving girlfriend are meant to carry the day.
-- Ronnie Scheib

Married and Counting
Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills
The subject of "Married and Counting" decide to celebrate their 25th anniversary by getting hitched in every state where gay marriage is legal. That road-trip aspect lends novelty to this latest documentary about a topic that has been (and will be) addressed by many others, though its narrow character focus makes the effort sometimes seem more a glorified wedding(s) video than a particularly penetrating look at a divisive issue. After a year on the fest circuit, Allan Piper's feature opens June 14 on one Beverly Hills screen, though it will find its primary niche audience in home formats and possible broadcast sales.
-- Dennis Harvey
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Storm Surfers 3D
XLrator Media
The twin Australian ideals of outdoor adventure and ecstatic camaraderie achieve harmonic convergence in the visceral, extreme-sport thrill-ride "Storm Surfers 3D." Innovatively photographed, the pic features zealous fortysomething Down Under surfing legends Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones zig-zagging the southern hemisphere in search of waves the size of the Sydney Opera House. Currently touring Australia in one-off screenings with filmmakers and talent in attendance, international preems at the upcoming Toronto and San Sebastian fests will extend the established Storm Surfers brand, as stoked international auds wipe phantom sea-spray from their 3D glasses.
-- Eddie Cockrell
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