New films in theaters this week:
— “8: The Mormon Proposition” (rated R), a documentary about the controversial California Marriage Protection Act.
— “Exit Through the Gift Shop” (rated R),
— “Jonah Hex” (rated PG-13), a supernatural Western based on the popular DC Comics character. Josh Brolin stars.
— “Please Give” (rated R), a comedy-drama about guilt and redemption, from screenwriter/director Nicole Holofcener (“Friends With Money”).
— “Toy Story 3” (rated G), the third installment in the blockbuster series of digitally animated comedy adventures. Shown in 2-D, 3-D and large-screen 3-D.
Due to other commitments, I was unable to see “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” National reviews for the film have been mostly favorable.
As for “8,” the film is rambling and unfocused, and its one-sided and too-obvious agenda almost makes film propagandist Michael Moore seem subtle by comparison.
The week’s other “art-house” release, “Please Give,” has some genuinely effective moments, though. It’s a good vehicle for talented actresses Rebecca Hall and Catherine Keener. They’re part of a terrific ensemble that includes Oliver Platt and Amanda Peet.
Poster art courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
The makers of “Jonah Hex” apparently didn’t trust in the original premise of its source material. So they added story elements from “The Crow” and “The Sixth Sense,” among other things. The resulting, cinematic mess closely resembles the disastrous, 1999 movie version of “Wild Wild West.”
Poster art courtesy Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Luckily, the other major studio release more than makes up for that. The animated “three-quel” “Toy Story 3” is funny, thrilling, smart and is even a little touching. Easily the best film of the summer so far — if not the entire year — it should delight audiences of all ages.
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing plans?