We've got another thin week for new movie releases — unless you're excited about the latest Narnia film, which I'm not. Even the new Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie thriller — which I was initially eager to check out despite the warning sign its studio raised by not screening it in advance for critics — is getting thoroughly trashed by those unlucky enough to have seen it. That leaves Wild Target, another film its distributor (the indie outfit Freestyle) didn't screen in advance, as the lone possible saving grace. No pressure.
On the bright side, MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine) has started screening “rockumentaries, live concerts, movies about Rock & Roll, etc.” every Sunday from 3 p.m. to midnight. This week it's Paul Rachman's American Hardcore, an illuminating (especially for those of us who were too young to witness it first hand) and entertaining documentary about the history of American Hardcore Punk Rock from 1980-1986. For those in the dark, that means Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, the Dead Kennedys and a host of other subversive, hell-raising bands whose impact and influence remain vital 30 years on.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA — For the third Narnia franchise installment, veteran director Michael Apted, the filmmaker famous for the hugely influential 7Up documentary series, is confined by a script that is a mere sketch of C.S. Lewis's original novel. The result is a disposable children's adventure story that wears its well-worn primary narrative device like an afterthought. (Read full-length review here.) (Opens wide today.) — Cole Smithey (Rated PG.) Grade: C
THE TOURIST — Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the verbosely named German director behind the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others, returns with this Venice-set thriller about a fussy American tourist (Johnny Depp) who is smitten by a sexy, mysterious woman (Angelina Jolie) who might have nefarious motives. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tt stern-enzi (Rated PG-13.) D-plus
WILD TARGET — Ace character actor Bill Nighy is front and center as English assassin Victor Maynard in director Jonathan Lynn's remake of a French crime comedy from 1993. Lynn, still best known as the director of My Cousin Vinny, guides a cast that also includes Emily Blunt, who plays a thief that catches Maynard's eye, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett and Martin Freeman. (Opens today at Mariemont Theatre.) — JG (Rated PG-13.) Review coming soon.