New films in theaters this week:
— “2012” (rated PG-13), an end-of-the-world thriller starring John Cusack.
— “Pirate Radio” (rated R), a British comedy about illegal radio broadcasters, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
— “Play the Game” (rated PG-13), a romantic comedy, with an elderly bent and starring Andy Griffith.
— “The Yes Men Fix the World” (not rated), a documentary feature about two corporate pranksters.
Despite the talents of Griffith and television actress Doris Roberts (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and Liza Sheridan (“Seinfeld”), “Play the Game” is too formulaic and is too sex-obsessed.
And the “Yes Men” sequel is more noteworthy for the pranks and publicity stunts its subjects pull rather than quality filmmaking.
Poster art courtesy Sony Pictures Releasing
As for “2012,” it is at least a half-hour too long and its plotting and character development are negligible. Yet it’s dopey fun, and filmmakers like Michael Bay should take notes about how to shoot actiong scenes.
Poster art courtesy Focus Features
The week’s best film, though, is “Pirate Radio.” Like the other movies by screenwriter/director Richard Curtis (“Love Actually”), it’s messy and probably too ambitious. It’s also rocking and features great performances. (Hoffman and Bill Nighy are the obvious standouts.)
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing plans?