New films this week:
— “I’ve Loved You For So Long” (rated R), a dramatic mystery starring Kristin Scott Thomas. (French with subtitles)
— “JCVD” (rated R), a fictional comedy-thriller starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as himself. (French with subtitles)
— “Seven Pounds” (rated PG-13), a redemption tale reuniting the makers of “The Pursuit of Happyness” and Will Smith.
— “The Tale of Despereaux” (rated G), an animated feature based on the popular children’s book.
— “Yes Man” (rated PG-13), a comedy starring Jim Carrey as a man who can’t say no to anything.
The studio behind “Seven Pounds” has urged critics not to reveal any of the film’s secrets. But it’s ridiculously contrived and manipulative, and is one of Smith’s worst — ranking right down there with “Hancock.”
And Carrey is simply regurgitating material from earlier, better comedies he starred in — such as 1997’s “Liar Liar.” He’s capable of much better than this.
And both of the French-language films end with a thud. Scott Thomas’s performance is the best part of “I’ve Loved You For So Long,” while Van Damme shows a rarely seen vulnerability in “JCVD.” It’s worthwhile just for that.
Arguably, the week’s best film is “The Tale of Despereaux,” which is getting mixed reviews nationally. However, it’s handsomely animated and it features no crude, low-brow humor. It also has an excellent voice cast, which includes Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson and Sigourney Weaver, who narrates.
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing?