Welcome to Annotate This, where we gather reviews, trailers, and annotate the posters for movies coming out this week. It will help you decide what to avoid, what to see, and what to pretend to see. Click on the image above to add your comments to the mix.
The World's End
Under Edgar Wright's direction, British actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost head up this sci-fi comedy about five childhood friends reuniting to do a pub crawl in their hometown, only to find that robots are overtaking the earth. The trio worked together for 2004's Shaun of the Dead and this one is even better. Like maybe the most entertaining movie of the year.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Lily Collins plays a girl who everyone thinks is boring and normal but then she's a demon-slayer. Lena Headey and Jonathan Rhys Meyers along with "an overabundance of main characters" are in this—so many people, so many potential sequels! It's a "random collection of sexy-supernatural teen signifiers." Two reviews mention the amount of pleather.
A meet-cute with a problem—the crushing couple are both already dating people! They all go on a weekend trip together. Everyone is adorable: Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston. From mumblecore-dude Joe Swanberg, it's got a classic Hollywood vibe with "deep melancholy," though it's also improv-y. A contradiction!
This Wong Kar Wai directed action biopic is inspired by the life of real king fu champion Ip Man. One of Wong's most used actors, Tony Leung, has been cast as the master. His first movie in six years, the auteur is keeping up the style flourishes, as per usual, though the story-telling is atypically straight-forward for him.
A fresh twist of the knife for home-invasion horror. A bunch of killers show up at a family reunion, but then someone in the family is also super talented at murdering. Someone wrote that it gets better after a bunch of the cast is killed off. Read Rich Juzwiak's review here.
The Frozen Ground
This is "a solid if unmemorable true-crime drama" about an Alaska State Trooper who tries to halt a violent serial killer who has been undetected for 13 years. It seems very Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but in Alaska and with Nicolas Cage. Also John Cusack is the bad guy (?!?).
Director Claude Miller's last movie, Therese shows the difficult life of the extremely rich in 1920s France. While this premise is a little Gatsby-ish, Audrey Tautou is compelling as a depressed and churlish young woman.
Three teens attempt to flee Cuba and head to Miami in this intimate and interesting film from writer/director Lucy Mulloy. Much of it seems like a frantic thriller, like last year's amazing Barbara, about a woman trying to flee East Germany. A New York documentary filmmaker, Mulloy's portrayal of Havana as well as the characters is vital.
Short Term 12
Destin Daniel Cretton, the director of I Am Not a Hipster, expanded his 2008 short film of the same name, about do-gooder twenty-somethings (Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr.) working for a home of at-risk teens. It's affecting, with "wondrously energized" dialogue and a plot that evoked comparisons to The Wire "sounds agonizingly depressing on paper but mesmerizes onscreen."
Two longtime friends (Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler) are taking a little road trip when their car breaks down in Death Valley—so they proceed to tear each other's souls apart. Though it ends up being "less harrowing than it intends to be."