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Review Revue: 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK, HOPE SPRINGS, THE BOURNE LEGACY

Going to the movies should never, ever be stressful (unless, of course, you’re planning on seeing the latest Lars von Trier flick). You want to see something new and relevant so that you can talk it up with your know-it-all friends. But you don’t want to sit through the one film that everyone thought would be great but… isn’t. So here is our formula, simplifying the should-you-see-it conundrum:
5 new releases x 2 critical samplings = what you should go see.

Simple enough, right? This week we have a young and harried French-American couple, an aging and passionless married couple, spies, presidential hopefuls and… ghosts!

2 DAYS IN NEW YORK

Synopsis: Julie Delpy is back, following up the funny, tender 2 DAYS IN PARIS with a loudmouthed domestic version, sans Adam Goldberg but avec Chris Rock, that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Most typical critique: David Fear, Time Out:

Both Rock and Delpy the actor invest so much in their respectively harried, recognizably human urbanites that you wonder why Delpy the director keeps undermining things by engaging in easy Gallic caricatures and generically Gotham-ming it up at every opportunity.

The quote not to miss: Justin Chang, Variety:

The French are smelly, vulgar, racist and oversexed, or so it would seem based on 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK, a scattershot culture-clash comedy that goes down like yesterday’s foie gras.

Should you go see it?

Mais oui. As long as you’re not expecting a sensitive, probing dissection of the Franco-American cultural divide, this is a farcical and garishly entertaining sequel that won’t overly disappoint.

HOPE SPRINGS

Synopsis: Streep fans rejoice! The three-time Queen of Oscar isn’t slowing down at all, serving up her standard Streepyness in HOPE SPRINGS, with Tommy Lee Jones!
Most typical critique: Dan Heching, Next Magazine:

Only once does the script intimate that maybe the husband might have some sensitivities and desires that have been long forgotten as well. But the film is ultimately winning due to these actors’ seasoned and subtle talents.

The quote not to miss: David Edelstein, NPR:

Boy is it vanilla.

Should you go see it?

What do you think? Meryl Streep. Tommy Lee Jones. This is one to see.

THE BOURNE LEGACY

Synopsis: Wait, where’s Matt Damon? THE HURT LOCKER‘s Jeremy Renner takes on the international intrigue and hushed confusion of the BOURNE films in this fourth installment in the franchise.

Most typical critique: Kate Erbland, Boxoffice Magazine:

The Bourne Legacy doesn’t reach the heights of the previous three films, but a guns-blazing final act and strong performances from its entire cast might give it the juice to try for a fifth sequel.

The quote not to miss: Michael Atkinson, Village Voice:

Though [Renner] is a likable enough pug-nosed action figure, the Damonlessness is sorely felt.

Should you go see it?

How much of a Matt Damon fan are you? If you’re hardcore, you’ll probably miss him too much in this first try without him.

THE CAMPAIGN

Synopsis: Zach Galifianakis teams with old comic stalwart Will Ferrell in this sendup of the politics of campaigning and the campaign trail (we bet this film isn’t nearly as ludicrous as the real thing).

Most typical critique: Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.com:

Timely, occasionally funny, but seldom witty, THE CAMPAIGN is an exercise in a uniquely American brand of lowbrow comedy.

The quote not to miss: Dominic Corry, Flicks.co.nz:

They could’ve called it RON BURGUNDY RUNS FOR CONGRESS.

Should you go see it?

If you can’t possibly wait any longer for ANCHORMAN 2, then go to it. Hopefully November won’t be as farcical as this movie…

THE AWAKENING

Synopsis: Rebecca Hall (the Vicky of VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA) stars as a “professional ghost-debunker” in this period ghost story set in post WWI England. Sounds positively creepy.

Most typical critique: Adam Smith, Radio Times:

This is no classic of a notoriously difficult genre, but if you can forgive the silly conclusion, it’s still satisfyingly scary.

The quote not to miss: Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly:

Dominic West personifies the melancholia of a country overwhelmed by death… Imelda Staunton embodies the spirit of lady thespians always up for a role requiring hair in a bun.

Should you go see it?

It looks better than you think! This is like a period version of (the far less successful) RED LIGHTS from a few weeks back, which featured Sigourney Weaver as a professional hoax exposer, mixed with a little bit from the world of Guillermo del Toro, auteur of THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE.