New films this week:
— “Bottle Shock” (rated PG-13), a comedy-drama about the 1970s “Judgment of Paris” wine contest.
— “Death Race” (rated R), a remake of the 1970s cult hit about a dangerous road race.
— “The Errand of Angels” (rated PG), a locally produced drama about “sister missionaries” for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
— “Hamlet 2” (rated R), the irreverent, 2008 Sundance Film Festival hit comedy starring Steve Coogan.
— “The House Bunny” (rated PG-13), a comedy about a Playboy-Bunny-turned-sorority-house-mother.
— “Hell Ride” (rated R), a sleazy, ’70s-era homage about biker gangs.
— “The Longshots” (rated PG), a fact-based football drama starring Ice Cube.
— “The Rocker” (rated PG-13), a music comedy starring Rainn Wilson as a disgraced heavy metal drummer.
— “Tell No One” (not rated), a French thriller about a wrongly accused pediatrician.
Neither “Hell Ride” nor “The Longshots” was pre-screened for local critics. And, given how awful both “Death Race” and “The House Bunny” are, it’s surprising that they were.
“The Rocker” is another of this August’s mid-week openings but does have a couple of chuckles. It’s not nearly as irreverent as “Hamlet 2,” which could offend some with its “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus” musical number.
As far as the independent releases are concerned, “Errand of Angels” is overly earnest but technically competent (especially given its limited budget). The clownish humor ruins “Bottle Shock,” though, and “Tell No One” is pretty overplotted and convoluted. It has a great traffic chase scene, however.
Which, if any, of these movies figure into your weekend plans?