In Theaters

Trance (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

A new film from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting; 127 Hours) is typically cause for celebration.  Other than The Beach, I’ve liked everything he’s made (A Life Less Ordinary and Millions are my blind spots) and his latest looks like it may add to the trend.  Trance stars James McAvoy as an art auctioneer who’s hypnotized by a therapist (Rosario Dawson) linked with criminals (among them Vincent Cassel) that are after a stolen painting.  The trailer suggests a stylized mind-bender of a distinctly Boyle variety, and along with the strong trio atop the film’s billing, good times appear to be ahead.

The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features)
The Place Beyond the Pines
(Focus Features)

The last time Derek Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling worked together they made Blue Valentine.  The film led to a Best Actress Oscar nomination for co-star Michelle Williams and for Gosling showed the drama chops from Half Nelson were no fluke.  Three years later, the writer/director and his star reunite for The Place Beyond the Pines, in which Gosling plays a stunt biker who starts robbing banks to provide for the son he didn’t know he had.  Eva Mendes plays his baby mama and Bradley Cooper follows up his Silver Linings Playbook turn as the cop who’ll stop at nothing to apprehend his perp.  The 140 minute runtime is somewhat of a concern, but all other fronts are promising.

42 (Warner Bros.)
(Warner Bros.)

Now that the Major League Baseball season is underway, it’s a good time for the Jackie Robinson biopic 42.  TV actor Chadwick Boseman gets his first leading part as the revered man who broke the sport’s color barrier.  Robinson’s name is likely the only household one in the film, but baseball fans will recognize the likes of Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), manager Leo Durocher (Christopher Meloni), and players such as Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black).  Considering Robinson’s legacy, there’s a lot riding on how Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale; Payback ) handles such an important story.  It’s been nearly two years since Moneyball, so another quality baseball film would be welcome.  And that’s it for new releases this week!

Scary Movie 5 (The Weinstein Company)
Scary Movie 5
(The Weinstein Company)

OK, fine…there’s also Scary Movie 5.  Since nearly every horror film within six degrees of Paranormal Activity and Insidious feels the need to tout those connections, it’s only fitting that the two serve as the basis for this latest horror spoof.  Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan drop by to poke fun at themselves while the likes of Heather Locklear, Molly Shannon, Bow Wow (!?!?), and Mike Tyson also contribute in some hopefully comedic manner.  Yikes.  One positive sign is that David Zucker (Airplane!The Naked Gun) co-wrote the screenplay…and that he has only one other co-writer (frequent Zucker collaborator Pat Proft).  What a fine way to kick off Friday at the movies!

Fleeing the Scene

I will miss you, On The Road and Admission.  Hopefully you each found your audiences.

And to The Host: good…no, wait…phenomenal riddance!


The pedigree choice is allegedly Hyde Park on Hudson, the Bill Murray as FDR film gone strangely wrong.  Other options on this sparse week are  Jet Li’s The Sorcerer and the White Snake and the ensemble comedy The Kitchen (though the only faces I recognize from this ensemble are The 70’s Show‘s Laura Prepon and Compliance‘s Dreama Walker).

On Netflix Instant

While we were sleeping, The Hunger Games snuck past security and into the wires.  The admittance of Scream 4 means that the entirety of Wes Craven’s franchise is up for streaming.  Lastly is Lay the Favorite, a Vegas sports bookie comedy with Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, and Vince Vaughn.  I swear a trailer for this played once last fall at The Carolina, but along with For A Good Time, Call and InAPPropriate Comedy, it didn’t make the cut.


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