New films in theaters this week:
— “Adventures of Power” (rated PG-13), an air-drumming comedy starring and directed by Ari Gold.
— “Amelia” (rated PG), a biographical drama starring Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart.
— “Astro Boy” (rated PG), an animated feature based on the popular Japanese comics series.
— “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” (rated PG-13), a comic horror-fantasy based on the best-selling novels.
— “Saw VI” (rated R), the latest installment in the hit “torture-porn” film series.
— “A Serious Man” (rated R), the Coen brothers’ latest, a drama inspired by their father.
Unsurprisingly, the new “Saw” movie is not being pre-screened for critics. And because of its last-minute booking in Salt Lake City, “A Serious Man” was not screened in time for many media outlets.
Poster art courtesy Summit Entertainment
Actually, it’s a fairly bleak week for quality films.
Despite a good production design, “Astro Boy” borrows too free from other, better movies. (Among those it shameless rips off are “Pinocchio,” “Iron Man” and “The Iron Giant.”)
And only John C. Reilly — cast against type as an action star and romantic semi-lead — makes the confused “Cirque du Freak” watchable.
Poster art courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures
Speaking of performances that elevate films, Swank’s vulnerable turn as the famed aviator Earhart is the one redeeming feature of the otherwise blase “Amelia.”
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing plans?