Russell Brand and Helen Mirren reprise the Dudley Moore and John Gielgud roles, respectively, in this Jason Winer-directed update of Steve Gordon’s 1981 comedy about the titular spoiled, rich man-child (Brand) who is threatened with being cut off from his wealth if he doesn’t marry the right woman. Jennifer Garner and Greta Gerwig co-star.
Opens April 8
BLAST OF SILENCE
Allen Baron wrote, directed, and starred in this 1961 noir about a hit man (Baron) who starts to reevaluate his life after being recognized by a childhood friend.
BORN TO BE WILD
Sometimes, a movie just gets everything right. In Born to Be Wild 3D, you get a handsomely filmed story of two fantastically strong women who rescue orphaned wildlife—one orangutans in Borneo, one elephants in Kenya—after human greed has destroyed their mothers and/or habitats, appropriately narrated by Morgan Freeman and set to original music by the wonderful Mark Mothersbaugh, all rendered in gorgeous 3D and thrown up on a big beautiful IMAX screen. It’s a necessary exposure of an important issue wrapped up in a highly enjoyable and far too short 40-minute experience. Opens April 8.
No, this isn’t Miley Cyrus’ move to become an action-adventure heroine—though, well, that could be interesting—but director Joe Wright (
) trying his hand at the international assassin flick. Saoirse Ronan stars as the titular teen specially trained to take out all the suckers who wronged her father (Eric Bana), possibly including Cate Blanchett rocking yet another classic Kate Hepburn hairstyle and power suit.
Opens April 8
MURDER, MY SWEET
Raymond Chandler took exception to song-and-dance man Dick Powell portraying his trademark detective Philip Marlowe in 1944’s
Murder, My Sweet
, and the film bears him out. Too long associated with musicals, Powell wanted to revamp his image, and director Edward Dmytryk thought Powell brought some missing innocence to the Marlowe role. But the result turns out to be classic Chandler noir—members of a rich Hollywood family carry out baroque betrayals on one another—as presided over by a smiling cipher. With a style that’s equal parts lazy-cool and weak-chinned (think Bruce Willis meets Dana Carvey), Powell investigates a gruesome blackmail-murder case with all the gravitas of a game-show host, coming off cute when he means to be diffident, snippy when he wants to be tough. The script is marbled with Chandler’s sinewy dialogue, though, and it’s worth the price of admission alone to watch Claire Trevor smolder as an insatiable trophy wife. Together, all this helped audiences buy Powell in the role—he got lots of B-noir work after this—but Chandler would later say that he didn’t find the Philip Marlowe he was looking for until two years later, when Humphrey Bogart signed on for
The Big Sleep
. (Blake de Pastino)
Just your average based-on-a-true-story overcoming-adversity heartwarming sports movie, this one the old saw about the teenage surfer (AnnaSophia Robb) who loses an arm to a shark attack and returns to surf again. Yes, shark attack.
Opens April 8
may be, but it hasn’t aged as well as some of director Ingmar Bergman’s other movies—partly due to overexposure. Indeed, in the wrong mood, the movie’s dream sequences can feel ponderous, its flashbacks maudlin, and its dashes of God-is-dead existentialism overwrought—that is, Joe Six-Pack’s notion of the dreaded foreign art film brought to life. One morning 78-year-old professor Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström) and his daughter-in-law Marianne (Ingrid Thulin) impetuously decide to drive instead of fly to a ceremony in his honor. Thus begins an unconventional road-trip flick in which the people and places the two encounter (including a cameo from Bergman regular Max von Sydow) fuel the professor’s reflections on death, family, and lost opportunities—the latter revolving around his childhood love, cousin Sara (Bibi Andersson). (Eric Allen Hatch)
David Gordon Green appears to still be smoking that pineapple express with this comedy, in which Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Justin Theroux, and Zooey Deschanel appear to be sending up sword and sorcery flicks like
after about 90,000 bong hits.
Opens April 8