This week at the movies, we’ve got a vampire slayer (Priest, starring Paul Bettany and Karl Urban) and nuptial nuttiness (Bridesmaids, starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph). What do the critics have to say?
When the armies of evil are on the march, who you gonna call? A priest should do the trick, especially if his name is Priest, and is more adept at dishing out pain than serving communion. Too bad the critics find Priest to be less than heavenly; instead, they say it’s a middling assemblage of elements from better comic book adaptations that’s visually interesting but never delves any deeper than its slick surface. Paul Bettany stars as the title character, who gained fame as a fearless vampire killer and now lives a monastic existence. He springs into action, however, when his niece is kidnapped by a group of bloodsuckers. The pundits say Priest is a little too grim to be fun, and despite a game performance by Bettany, the actors are given little to do in this genre mashup. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Bettany’s best-reviewed movies.)
Kristen Wiig is a funny lady. Unfortunately for moviegoers, the Saturday Night Live star has largely been limited to a series of sharp cameos on the big screen. Well, now she’s got a vehicle for her comedic chops with Bridesmaids, and the critics say the result is one of the funniest, wildest movies of the year. Wiig stars as Annie, a single woman whose best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) has asked her to be the maid of honor at her forthcoming wedding. Unfortunately for Annie, she and her fellow bridesmaids must brave a series of colorful adventures before Lillian’s big day, and as a result, Annie’s life starts to spin out of control. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Bridesmaids is not just an inventive, raunchy laugh-fest, but also a smart look at the bonds of friendship, and definitive proof that Wiig is the real deal.
City of Life and Death, a period drama about the Japanese massacre of Chinese citizens in Nanking in 1937, is at 91 percent.
Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff, a documentary about the legendary and influential cinematographer, is at 91 percent.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, a documentary portrait of the musical comedy duo who are also gay rights activists, is at 88 percent.
Yves Saint Laurent – L’amour fou, a documentary about the famously private fashion icon, is at 78 percent.
Everything Must Go, starring Will Ferrell and Rebecca Hall in a dramedy about a car salesman whose life is on the rocks, is Certified Fresh at 76 percent.
True Legend, a martial arts film about a man who learns a previously unknown move to defeat his vengeful brother, is at 69 percent.
How to Live Forever, a doc about the possibility of eternal life that includes testimonials from a number of spry nonagenarians, is at 60 percent.
Hesher, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman in a drama about a metalhead who squats in the house of a grieving man, is at 53 percent.
Skateland, an indie coming-of-age drama about a group of friends facing adulthood in 1980s small-town Texas, is at 50 percent.
The First Grader, a drama about an elderly Kenyan man who yearns to get the formal schooling he always lacked, is at 47 percent.
The High Cost of Living, starring Zach Braff in a drama about a woman who forges a connection with her hit-and-run assailant, is at 38 percent.
The Big Bang, starring Antonio Banderas and James Van Der Beek in a mystery about a private eye on the trail of a missing woman and a stash of diamonds, is at zero percent.