The Edmonton Sun n Friday, May 18, 2012

21 jump street
In 21 Jump Street, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum turn up first as high school enemies. Hill is a nerd; Tatum is the popular jock. Time passes, and both men enrol in the police academy. They’re hopeless as cops. Nonetheless, they get an assignment to catch a drug lord operating out of a high school, and so our bumbling heroes turn back the clock several years to go undercover. The film is rude, speedy and outrageous, and we mean that in the best way. **** her no-good brother (Jonny Lee Miller), his ghost-conscious son (Gully McGrath) and her surly hippie daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz). The result is more old-school fishout-of-water than blazingly original. But it retains that soap opera acting style that is fun to watch. ***

The weekend guide

the deep blue sea
Opens today. In The Dictator Sacha Baron Cohen takes on the character of Admiral General Aladeen of the North African Republic of Wadiya. Aladeen heads to New York, accompanied by his scheming aide Tamir (Ben Kingsley) to address the UN. After a botched assassination attempt, Aladeen is on the streets of Manhattan, beardless, and taken under wing by Zoey, the manager of a feminist organic grocery (Anna Faris). The result is that The Dictator isn’t as outrageous or screamingly funny as Borat. There are laughterfree stretches. And yet, the character of Admiral General Aladeen of the North African Republic of Wadiya, begins to grow on us. ***

the dictator

the avengers
The Avengers has the Marvel superheroes team up to defeat the evil Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his alien army. Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) are brought together by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to battle a threat to Earth. There’s plenty of action in The Avengers, but director Joss Whedon handles it well, mixing it with a sparkling script and humour. ****


Sacha Baron Cohen stars in The Dictator. Critics are saying the flick has a few laughs, but not as funny as Broat.
can dystopia, where the rich, decadent Capitol rules brutally over 12 “districts.” The Hunger Games are a ritual, wherein each district chooses a boy and girl to take part in a mass fight to the death. Katniss steps in to replace her fragile kid sister, and is joined by the local baker Peeta Mell a r k ( Jo s h Hu t c h e r s o n ) . They’re joined by a couple of dubious mentors, including etiquette advisor Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), wardrobe advisor Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), and the drunk and cynical Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson). The Hunger Games is undeniably a rich fantasy adventure. **** In The Lucky One Zac Efron plays a U.S. Mar ine who returns home from a stint in Iraq. Wracked by survivor guilt, Efron goes on a crosscountry journey to find himself and the woman of his broken dreams. The charismatic Taylor Schilling, playing the owner-operator of a Louisiana dog kennel, is Efron’s salvation. And he is hers. Melodrama and sappy music envelope all. Yet, at its core, The Lucky One is compelling and Efron is surprisingly up to the task of conveying this humanity. *** ( John Cusack) life when, ostensibly, a serial killer is using Poe’s tales as a template for his hideous handiwork. The problem is that Cusack is required to portray Poe as a dissolute, pitiable drunken shadow, and in the next second have him spring to action to outwit a killer who’s kidnapped Poe’s fiancée (Alice Eve). The Raven is propulsive, character-thin and plotheavy. **

thinK liKe a man
T h i n k L i ke A Ma n i s a based on an advice manual for women about how men think. Jerry Ferrara as The Non Committer, and Gary Owen as The Happily Married Guy team up with The Mama’s Boy (Terrence J), The Player (Romany Malco), The Dreamer (Michael Ealy) and The Happily Divorced Guy (Kevin Hart) to talk about the women in their lives. Think Like A Man is a light, sometimes-sharply-written, credibly-acted comedy that quickly loses its flavour. **

edWin boyd
Opens today.

Opens today.

the Five-year engagement
Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are Tom and Violet, and The Five-Year Engagement is all about their courtship and their relationship. Various characters turn up to run away with the story, and in a good way: Chris Pratt, as Tom’s idiot coworker; Rhys Ifans as Violet’s professor boss; Dakota Johnson as a younger woman who catches Tom’s eye. The FiveYear Engagement is uneven but mostly funny. ***

the best exotic marigold hotel
Opens today. Tim Burton’s big screen update of the overwrought gothic soap opera Dark Shadows that stars Johnny Depp as Banrabas who runs afoul of a witch (Eva Green) and finds himself turned into a vampire and buried alive. Flash forward to the 1970s and he’s unearthed by construction workers. He finds his family reduced to a dysfunctional few, including an imperious matriarch (Michelle Pfeiffer),

the pirates! band oF misFits
The animated Pirates! Band of Misfits involves a mild-mannered Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) and his quest to win the Pirate Of The Year Award. Trouble is, the Pirate of The Year is chosen for his plunder and his bloodthirsty ways, and the Pirate Captain is somewhat inept at villainy and at robbery on the high seas. But he’s willing to try. Pirates! Band of Misfits will also be of interest to anyone keen on laughing outloud at a charming comedy. ***

T h e Ne w Yo rk t h r i l l e r Safe is Jason Statham with a unique twist or two. In the flick, he’s a second-rate MMA cage fighter who finds himself homeless. Eventually he comes to the aid of a Chinese-American girl who is in distress and soon becomes involved with the New York Russian mafia, some Asian gangs, a gaggle of crooked cops, rancid politicians and a corrupt governmental system. ***

darK shadoWs

the lucKy one

What to expect When you’re expecting
Opens today.
Ratings out of five Reviews by Liz Braun, Bruce Kirkland, Jim Slotek, Kevin Williamson and Steve Tilley

the hunger games
Based on the popular book, The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen who lives in an Ameri-

the raven
The Raven is set in the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s

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