“Something for everyone” may be a cliché, but that’s exactly what’s new in local discount theaters if you’re willing to look around. ---
For the manly men, there’s Fast Five, with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and company headed to Rio to rip off a local crime lord. And since when has this ever happened: The fifth installment in a series is finally the one where they get it right, even if that means bringing characters back from the dead for a high-octane spin on Ocean’s Eleven. Popcorn is almost a requirement here.
For the ladies, there’s the romantic comedy Something Borrowed—although really, nobody should be subjected to this ridiculous chick-lit adaptation with Ginnifer Goodwin as a doormat who begins an affair with the fiancé of her alpha-female best-pal-since-childhood (Kate Hudson). Like the book, it has the fundamental problem of asking you to sympathize with people—insecure, annoying people—doing a fundamentally indefensible thing.
For the kids, there’s the animated adventure Rio, about a neurotic rare bird (Jesse Eisenberg) taken to Brazil to mate with the last female of his species (Anne Hathaway). In a way, it’s a throwback to the style of hand-drawn Disney animation from the 101 Dalmatians era, which means both simple, satisfying storytelling and little in the way of real emotional connection.
There’s even something for the Sundance aficionado, at the Cinemark Sugar House and Cinemark Valley Fair: Win Win, writer/director Tom McCarthy’s winning comedy-drama about a down-on-his-luck accountant/high school wrestling coach (Paul Giamatti) who takes in a troubled teen with mad wrestling skills. Some of the plot mechanics feel fairly familiar, but McCarthy and his talented cast make them feel fresh and satisfying.
And heck, here’s The Beaver (Cinemark Valley Fair only), which I guess is for … someone. Maybe just for those who are still wondering if Mel Gibson—once one of the biggest stars on the planet—is convincing as a guy whose emotional breakdown leads him to talk to people through a beaver puppet.