New films in theaters this week:
— “Departures” (rated PG-13), a comedy-drama about “encoffiners.” Japanese with subtitles.
— “Easy Virtue” (rated PG-13), an adaptation of the Noel Coward comedy, starring Jessica Biel.
— “Outrage” (not rated), a documentary feature about gay politics and agendas.
— “The Proposal” (rated PG-13), a screwball romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
— “Tyson” (rated R), James Toback’s documentary profile of Mike Tyson.
— “Year One” (rated PG-13), a primitive-man comedy starring Jack Black and Michael Cera.
The very contemporary-looking Biel is all wrong for the Coward material, and she can’t hold her own with the British cast of “Easy Virtue.”
Both documentaries are based on controversial material or figures, and are sure to divide audiences. Both of them are very well-done, though Meanwhile, the Oscar-winning “Departures” is slowly paced but is also rewarding for patient audiences.
The same can’t be said of the noxious “Year One,” which tries to coast on the supposed “comic” stylings of its stars. It’s low-brow and is pretty witless.
Poster art courtesy Touchstone Pictures
The week’s best major release is “The Proposal,” in which Bullock returns to her slapstick roots. And she’s well-paired with the wisecracking Reynolds, who plays her younger personal assistant.
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing plans?