What should I see this weekend?, 3/17-3/19

ScreenerBlog

Let the FJI team recommend some good movies to check out this weekend while you're desperately waiting for Spring to arrive.

(SR)=Specialty Release

The Good

Frantz (SR): “That this intriguing and deceptively straightforward period melodrama set right after World War I and featuring those mourning a German soldier’s death is nominated for 11 César Awards is just one signal it’s another major achievement from François Ozon.”

After the Storm (SR): “A disillusioned father tries to pull his family back together in another simple but powerful drama from the Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda.”

Tickling Giants (SR): “The tale of ‘Egypt’s Jon Stewart’ makes for an engaging modern-history lesson.”

In Search of Israeli Cuisine (SR): “You don’t have to be a foodie to find Roger Sherman’s documentary In Search of Israeli Cuisine unexpectedly interesting.”

Betting on Zero (SR): “Despite a couple of shortcomings, most notably cheesy graphics and an overbearing score that scream ‘reality show’ rather than ‘serious and responsible financial documentary,’ Betting on Zero is an interesting look at financial machinations most of us never know about—and fair warning not to get involved with Herbalife.”

The Blah

Beauty and the Beast: “The effort to recapture the magic of Disney’s 1991 animated version shows, but this live-action 'Beauty and the Beast' will still be a box-office force.”

T2 Trainspotting: “Twenty years on, the lads from Leith get up to new scams in Danny Boyle’s ramshackle and occasionally poignant sequel.”

Song to Song (SR): “Newly prolific writer-director Terrence Malick returns to familiar themes with Song to Song, an Austin-set drama with an A-list cast. Despite Oscar winners and a trendy SXSW backdrop, Malick's allusive, love-it-or-hate-it style is the main focus here.”

All Nighter (SR): “A winning performance by J.K. Simmons almost saves Gavin Wiesen’s lightweight, heavy-handed L.A. romp.”

The Show About the Show (SR): “Caveh Zahedi’s funny stoner sex comedy mostly works as a single feature as it does as an episodic web series, though at times it feels a little long-winded.”

Atomica (SR): “This sci-fi suspense thriller produced by SyFy would look better than average on television, but in a theatrical environment its low-budget effects and small cast put it at a disadvantage.”

A Woman, A Part (SR): “This is competently handled indie fare which is ultimately much more zeitgeisty than distinctive.”

They Call Me Jeeg (SR): “A passable but underwhelming Italian take on the dominant American genre.”

The Ugly

Mean Dreams (SR): “’We’re inventing the wheel!’ should have been the motto of the team which put forth this dreary, predictable saga of challenged young lovers on the run.”

The Devil’s Candy (SR): “Lots of blood and blasting metal but no narrative viscera.”