Puss in Boots


Puss in Boots

Some cats are just cooler than others.

(2011) Animated Feature (DreamWorks) Starring the voices of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro, Ryan Crego, Tom Wheeler, Conrad Vernon, Nina Barry. Directed by Chris Miller

Some characters are larger than life. Others are life-sized. Some are one size fits all. However, there are those characters, rare as they might be, that leave such an indelible impression that it doesn’t matter what size the canvas is, they seem to dominate it large or small.

Puss in Boots (Banderas) is a kitty raised in an orphanage in the tiny town of San Ricardo under the loving guidance of Imelda (Marie). He befriends Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Galifianakis), an egg who endures constant humiliation at the hands of his fellow orphans. Humpty longs to go on adventures, particularly finding the magic beans that will grow a beanstalk that will take them to a castle where the goose that lays the golden eggs resides. Such a goose would make him wealthy beyond imagining.

Humpty proves to have few scruples and ends up robbing a bank which the felicitous feline is framed for. Puss goes on the run, becoming an accomplished cat burglar, the finest in all of Spain. When he hears about the magic beans turning up in the hands of a couple of unsavory sorts named Jack (Thornton) and Jill (Sedaris), he runs into another party who is interested in the same merchandise – Kitty Softpaws (Hayek), a competitor of like skills.

It turns out Kitty has been meant to bring Puss aboard a more elaborate attempt to capture the beans, one masterminded by Humpty. Puss trusts the egg about as far as he can fry him but Humpty proves persuasive and the quest begins. Can Puss redeem himself and give up the outlaw life?

This is meant to be a prequel to the events of the Shrek movies and to the credit of the writers and filmmakers they take it far away from the landscape dominated by the jolly green ogre and place the action in what is identified as Spain but looks more like the California of the Zorro series (there are many allusions to Zorro, a nice touch as Banderas famously played the part in two hit movies). That reminds me a little bit of Rango, but there is definitely more of an Old California feel to it.

The Puss character that Banderas has brought to life is a compelling one. He is in many ways a stereotypical Latin hero – brave, loyal, honorable and irresistible to the ladies. He’s no different than Zorro in that regard.  However, he has the feline cockiness that is absent in the masked hero, plus a hint of a sophisticated cat thief a la David Niven in Pink Panther.

He has an able adversary in Hayek, who has worked with Banderas extensively in the El Mariachi series from Robert Rodriguez, among other films. She gives Kitty a certain sauciness (sorry, couldn’t resist) and a bit of a sexual tension (as sexual as tension can get in a family animated film anyway). They make a fine duo.

Humpty is not a terrific character, although Galifianakis gives it a good go. Unfortunately, he’s too much like the Syndrome character from The Incredibles as voiced by Jason Lee for my comfort. He’s just…a rotten egg (I’m having trouble resisting today).

This is a good looking movie that has some of the sass of the Shrek series but not enough of it, although it distances itself wisely in other ways. Puss could certainly carry a franchise all by his lonesome and I don’t doubt given the opening weekend success that a sequel that might bridge the gap between this movie and Puss’ first appearance in Shrek 2 might not be unwelcome.

I liked the movie and it has a good shot at a Best Animated Feature Oscar next February, with this being an off-year for animated features in terms of quality. However, this seriously doesn’t measure up with the best of the Shrek series let alone any of the Pixar gems; it’s kind of upper middle of the pack in that regard. Hopefully the next one will be better; until then, good enough will have to suffice.

REASONS TO GO: Puss is a compelling character and taking him completely out of the Shrek landscape was a smart move.

REASONS TO STAY: The plot is nothing much to write home about. Nothing really got a huge laugh.

FAMILY VALUES: There are a few jokes that are on the rude side.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: The movie was originally meant to be a direct-to-DVD release but DreamWorks decided because of home video market conditions to make it as a theatrical release instead. It is the first film in the Shrek franchise not to be set in Far Far Away, Duloc or Shrek’s swamp.

HOME OR THEATER: If you have kids you’re going to see it in a theater sooner or later. Might as well make it sooner.

FINAL RATING: 7/10

TOMORROW: Daredevil

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New Releases for the Week of October 28, 2011


PUSS IN BOOTS

(DreamWorks) Starring the voices of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro, Ryan Crego. Directed by Chris Miller

Everyone’s favorite swashbuckling feline from the Shrek series gets a film of his own as we get to see his humble origin story. Here he teams up with cat burglar Kitty Softpaws and the legendary Humpty Dumpty to save the town. I’m wondering when all the king’s horses show up.

See the trailer and featurettes here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard, 3D, IMAX 3D

Genre: Animated Feature

Rating: PG (for some adventure action and mild rude humor)

All’s Faire in Love

(Patriot Pictures) Christina Ricci, Matthew Lillard, Ann-Margaret, Cedric the Entertainer. A football star working off non-attendance at his Renaissance literature class and an investment banker who really wants to be an actress join a theatrical troupe at a Renaissance Faire. They must fend off a rival troupe in order to win the coveted Shakespearean stage spot and perhaps even fall in love.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG-13 (for some sexual content including references)

Anonymous

(Columbia) Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis. There are scholars who contend that Shakespeare didn’t write the plays he is credited with. Director Roland Emmerich of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow contends that Shakespeare was a front for a member of the royal court for whom anonymity was a necessity.

See the trailer, clips and an interview here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Historical Drama

Rating: PG-13 (for some violence and sexual content)

In Time

(20th Century Fox) Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Alex Pettyfer. In the not-too-distant future, people stop aging at 25 and time has become the new currency. When you run out of time, you run out of life. When Will Salas, who lives minute to minute, gets an unexpected windfall, it upsets the balance of things and triggers some very desperate people to do some very dangerous things.

See the trailer and clips here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: PG-13 (for violence, some sexuality and partial nudity, and brief strong language)

RA.One

(EROS International Worldwide) Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Sanjay Dutt. This is the prequel to the enormously popular found footage horror series. It depicts, in the 80s, how the supernatural forces that beset Katie and Kristi came into their lives as young girls.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Superhero Sci-Fi Action

Rating: NR

The Rum Diary

(FilmDistrict) Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins. From Hunter S. Thompson’s first novel, this is the story of a rumpled American journalist from the 1950s who leaves behind the New York City beat for a more laid-back lifestyle in Puerto Rico. There he discovers shady land developers, disreputable newspapermen, sexy Connecticut debutantes and perhaps a vestige of his own dignity.

See the trailer, clips and a promo here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Drama

Rating: R (for language, brief drug use and sexuality)

Four-Warned October 2011


October 2011

Every month I’m going to look at every movie on the release schedule and try to assign them a numerical value corresponding to how anxious I am to see it. The lower the number, the more I want to see it. A one means I would walk through hell and high water to see it; a four means there’s no interest whatsoever. The numbers are not arrived at scientifically but they aren’t arbitrary either.
The numbers aren’t a reflection of the artistic merit of any of these films, but merely a reflection of my willingness to go to a movie theater and see it. The top four scores will be gathered as a means of reflecting the movies I’m anticipating the most; you may use that as a guide or not.

Each entry is broken down as follows:

NAME OF FILM (Studio) Genre A brief description of the plot. Release plans: Wide = Everywhere, Limited = In selected markets. RATING A brief comment

Keep in mind that release dates are extremely subject to change, even at this late date.

FOUR TO SEE
1. THE THING (1.4)
2. THE IDES OF MARCH (1.6)
3. IN TIME (1.7)
4. PUSS IN BOOTS (1.8)
TIE. THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1.8)

FOUR TO SEEK OUT (FILMS NOT IN WIDE RELEASE)
1. HELL AND BACK AGAIN (1.3)
2. FIREFLIES IN THE GARDEN (1.4)
3. MARGIN CALL (1.6)
4. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (1.7)

RATING SYSTEM: 1) Must-see, 2) Should-see, 3) Perhaps-see, 4) Don’t-see

OCTOBER 5, 2011

HELL AND BACK AGAIN (Docurama) Genre: Documentary. An American soldier copes with civilian life after a brutal tour in Afghanistan. Release Strategy: New York City (opening in Los Angeles October 14). RATING: 1.3 If the movie is anything like the trailer, this is an amazing and affecting documentary.

OCTOBER 7, 2011

1911 (Well Go USA/Variance) Genre: Period War Drama. The citizens of China rebel against a despotic dowager empress and the 7-year-old son in whose name she rules. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 Jackie Chan in an epic war movie? I’m so there…
BLACKTHORN (Magnolia) Genre: Western. Butch Cassidy survives the Bolivian shoot-out to live a quiet life under an assumed name in South America but gets drawn in to one last adventure. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.8 Looks like an awesome Western with Sam Sheppard as Cassidy.
DIRTY GIRL (Weinstein) Genre: Comedy. A young girl living in Norman, Oklahoma in 1987 persuades a young overweight outcast to drive her to California to find her dad. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.8 Looks like a quirky indie comedy that’s been done to death.
EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: THE STORY OF FISHBONE (Pale Griot) Genre: Musical Documentary. One of the most innovative and exciting bands to come out of Los Angeles in the ’80s gets their due here. Release Strategy: New York City (opening in Los Angeles October 21). RATING: 3.3 Although I never fully got into the band, they definitely had their own unique sound.
THE HEIR APPARENT: LARGO WINCH (Music Box) Genre: Action Adventure. The heir to a billionaire’s fortune takes over his father’s multinational corporation with unexpected results. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 Has almost a video game feel to it.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: (FULL SEQUENCE) (IFC Midnight) Genre: Horror. A sexual deviant obsessed with the previous film in the series decides to create a human centipede of his own, this time utilizing twelve people instead of three. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 One of the most twisted films of recent years gets an equally twisted sequel.
THE IDES OF MARCH (Columbia) Genre: Thriller. A presidential candidate’s press secretary becomes embroiled in a scandal on the eve of the primary. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.6 An all-star cast headed by Ryan Gosling and George Clooney make this quite intriguing.
INCENDIARY: THE WILLINGHAM CASE (Truly Indie) Genre: Documentary. An examination into a case of a potentially innocent man executed for a heinous crime with political overtones. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 Casts doubt on the death penalty as well as the presidential candidacy of Rick Perry.
REAL STEEL (DreamWorks) Genre: Science Fiction. A down on his luck ex-prizefighter tries to make a comeback in the new sport of robot boxing in order to bond with his estranged son. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, IMAX). RATING: 1.9 Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots from the look of it.
THE SONS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (First Run) Genre: Documentary. The story of the gay Mardi Gras and the earliest attempts to assert gay rights in New Orleans. Release Strategy: New York City (opening in Los Angeles October 15). RATING: 2.2 A study in courage that is inspiring to gay and straight audiences alike.
THE SWELLSEASON (SeventhArt) Genre: Musical Documentary. A look at the band The Swell Season whose principles won Oscars for Once and whose romance rose and fell through the rigors of touring. Release Strategy: Los Angeles (opening in New York City October 21). RATING: 2.4 We get to see the reality of a terrific band we thought we knew through a movie.
THE WAY (ARC Entertainment) Genre: Drama. After his son dies on a pilgrimage on the Way of St. James, his father decides to complete the journey in memory of his boy and in doing so, gains a greater understanding of who he was. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.3 Emilio Estevez directs his dad Martin Sheen on what looks to be an interesting film from the trailer.
THE WOMAN ON THE 6TH FLOOR (Strand) Genre: Comedy. A Parisian stockbroker circa 1960 has his world turned upside-down by a group of Spanish maids. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 A French class comedy; the trailer looks intriguing.

OCTOBER 12, 2011

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL II: THE THIN COMMANDMENTS (PMK*BNC) Genre: Documentary. America’s unhealthy obsession with dieting and body image gets a look under the microscope. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles (expands on October 21). RATING: 3.8 The forces behind weight loss and body image turn out to be more insidious than you’d think.

OCTOBER 14, 2011

THE BIG YEAR (20th Century Fox) Genre: Comedy. Three men whose lives are in a tailspin decide to make this year their best yet particular in regards to bird watching. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.5 You’d expect a cast with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson would be intriguing but the trailer left me a bit flat.
BOMBAY BEACH (Boaz Yakin) Genre: Documentary. A former resort community on the Salton Sea becomes a haven for hippies and outsiders. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.3 I’m sure that this is what a lot of people think all of California is like.
CHALET GIRL (IFC) Genre: Romantic Comedy. A young skateboarder turned burger flipper gets a chance to cater in an exclusive Alpine resort where she discovers snowboarding and possibly love. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 The trailer made the movie look like a mediocre rom-com with a British accent and lots of snow.
FATHER OF INVENTION (Anchor Bay) Genre: Comedy. An entrepreneur whose invention turns out to be dangerous gets a second chance at success. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 The trailer looked good and the part looks like a good fit for Kevin Spacey.
FIREFLIES IN THE GARDEN (FSI) Genre: Drama. A family is torn apart when the mother, the glue who held them together, dies suddenly. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.4 An amazing cast includes Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds and Willem Dafoe.
FOOTLOOSE (Paramount) Genre: Musical. When a small town bans dancing after a tragedy, a lone newcomer challenges the law. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 4.0 Why did this need to be remade? And why make it look like part of the Step Up franchise?
THE SKIN I LIVE IN (Sony Classics) Genre: Drama. A brilliant plastic surgeon tries to create an artificial skin that might have saved his wife, a victim of a horrible car accident. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 Director Pedro Almodovar is known for creating movies that push the boundaries.
TEXAS KILLING FIELDS (Anchor Bay) Genre: Mystery. A pair of small town detectives hunt for a sadistic serial killer who dumps his victim’s bodies in a nearby swamp. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.2 Stars Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; the trailer looked intriguing.
THE THING (Universal) Genre: Sci-Fi Horror. A team of Antarctic researchers find a spacecraft in the ice…and something in it. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.4 A prequel to John Carpenter’s version of the story is the third movie of the same name based on the same material.
TRESPASS (Millennium) Genre: Thriller. A wealthy family having their house renovated are the victims of a well-thought out home invasion by a gang of vicious criminals. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Despite a cast that includes Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage looks like a retread of movies we’ve seen before.
THE WOMAN (Bloody Disgusting Selects) Genre: Horror. A country lawyer finds a feral woman in the woods and attempts to civilize her, bringing her home to a family that grows more savage as their attempts fail. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.2 With a graphic rape, this had people walking out on the film at Sundance.

OCTOBER 19, 2011

THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM (IFC) Genre: Comedy. An eccentric pastor is suspended for telling inappropriate parables to his flock; he goes for a bonding fishing trip with his high school friend, a former metal guitarist and the two find things get really weird really fast. Release Strategy: New York City (opening in Los Angeles November 4). RATING: 3.1 Looks like it could be an acquired taste.
PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE (Zeitgeist) Genre: Documentary. Goodman, one of the counterculture’s most influential thinkers, is profiled as a renaissance man of his time. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.0 Most Americans are unaware of him or his landmark novel “Growing Up Absurd” but he was a crusader for gay rights and pacifism before nearly anyone.

OCTOBER 21, 2011

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY (Submarine Deluxe) Genre: Documentary. Kevin Clash creates a beloved icon but starts out as a fan of Jim Henson. Release Strategy: New York City (opening in Los Angeles November 4). RATING: 3.2 A must-see for Muppet fans.
CARGO (Persona) Genre: Drama. A young Russian woman hoping for a modeling career enters the U.S. illegally, crossing paths with an Egyptian human trafficker. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.3 A gritty look at the human toll of human trafficking.
JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN (Universal) Genre: Spy Spoof. Rowan Atkinson stars as a British superspy brought out of retirement in order to prevent a global catastrophe. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 3.7 It wasn’t funny the first time.
KLITSCHKO (Corinth) Genre: Sports Documentary. The story of the Klitschko brothers who rose from the Soviet Union to dominate boxing – and Ukrainian politics. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.1 A surprisingly interesting boxing documentary.
LE HAVRE (Janus) Genre: Dramedy. A bohemian shoe shiner in the French port city stands up for an immigrant boy about to be deported. Release Strategy: Los Angeles only. RATING: 2.9 Looks awfully heartwarming in a non-schmaltzy way.
MARGIN CALL (Roadside Attractions) Genre: Drama. Employees at a financial firm in the beginning stages of the 2008 crash grapple with financial, ethical and moral issues. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.6 Great cast and what appears to be a thrilling plotline.
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (Fox Searchlight) Genre: Thriller. A young woman who escaped from a cult has the line between reality and fantasy blurred by her paranoia. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 1.7 A Sundance sensation that has a fantastic-looking trailer.
THE MIGHTY MACS (Freestyle Releasing) Genre: True Sports Drama. A tiny Catholic girls school becomes an NCAA women’s basketball powerhouse. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.8 Looks interesting but I’m a bit burned out on the genre.
NORMAN (AMC Independent) Genre: Drama. A high school senior whose mother recently passed away and whose father is dying starts to exhibit his father’s symptoms in order to maintain the fiction that he is dying himself. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.3 Looks very intriguing from the trailer and with the great Richard Jenkins in the cast and Andrew Bird writing the music, color me interested.
ORANGES AND SUNSHINE (Cohen Media Group) Genre: Drama. A courageous social worker in England discovers the illegal deportation of children to Australia. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.7 Incredibly, this is based on a true story.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (Paramount) Genre: Supernatural Horror. Sisters Kate and Christine have their first encounter with the evil force that plagued them in the first two movies. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.2 The first two films in the series have been as scary as the first two films in any horror franchise – maybe more so.
RETREAT (Goldwyn) Genre: Thriller. A couple recuperating from a personal tragedy on a remote island retreat find a man washed up on the shore who tells them Europe is in the grip of a plague. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 This looks like one of those paranoia-inducing thrillers with a biohazard edge; could be good.
THE REUNION (Goldwyn) Genre: Action. A trio of dysfunctional brothers join forces as bail bondsmen in order to cash in on a large inheritance. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Another WWE film that doesn’t look particularly impressive.
REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CARS (WestMidWest/Area23A) Genre: Documentary. Ten years after Who Killed the Electric Cars, the status of four carmakers – including GM – seeking to set the market for electric cars is examined. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 The original documentary is a classic; will this one live up to it?
SNOWMEN (ARC Entertainment) Genre: Family Drama. A young boy with cancer wants to set the world record for most snowmen built in 24 hours. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 Saw this at the Florida Film Festival earlier this year; read the review here.
THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Summit) Genre: Adventure. D’Artagnan and the legendary three musketeers must take on wicked Cardinal Richelieu and his killers to prevent a devastating war between England and France. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D). RATING: 1.8 A little swashbuckling can be good for the soul.

OCTOBER 26, 2011

RA.ONE (Eros International) Genre: Science Fiction. A videogame villain is released into the real world, prompting the game’s creator to become a tech-enhanced superhero. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 Sounds a bit like TRON but the trailer looked impressive.

OCTOBER 28, 2011

13 (Anchor Bay) Genre: Action. A young handyman assumes a dead man’s identity and enters a deadly game of chance. Release Strategy: New York only. RATING: 2.2 A remake of the terrific French film 13 Tzameti with a cast that includes Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham and Ray Winstone.
AND THEY’RE OFF… (Kinobild) Genre: Mockumentary. A racehorse trainer with a perennial losing record in desperation hires an ex-girlfriend as jockey, not understanding she’s only doing it to get back together with him. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.5 Despite a decent cast, the trailer did not inspire me to want to see this.
ANONYMOUS (Columbia) Genre: Drama. The question of whether or not William Shakespeare actually authored his own work is examined and a theory presented. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.3 An intriguing idea and the first movie by director Roland Emmerich to lack an epic scope in quite awhile.
THE DOUBLE (Image) Genre: Spy Thriller. The murder of a U.S. Senator appears to be the work of a Soviet assassin, bringing a CIA operative who knew him best out of retirement to track him down. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 Sounds intriguing but with no trailer available as of this writing, can’t really get too excited yet.
IN TIME (20th Century Fox) Genre: Science Fiction. In the future where time is the currency and nobody ages past 25, a young man tries to right a corrupt system in which the wealthy live forever and the poor live on borrowed time. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.7 One of the most interesting concepts to come along in awhile; hopefully they’ll do the idea justice.
JANIE JONES (Tribeca) Genre: Drama. An aging rocker trying for one last comeback is forced to bring his 13 year old daughter on the road while her mom is in rehab. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.6 The trailer looked authentic and the music sounded good and who knew Abigail Breslin could sing?
LIKE CRAZY (Paramount Vantage) Genre: Romance. Two college students meet and fall in love but one is forced to leave the country when she violates the terms of her student visa. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 Teen angst taken to the Nth degree.
MY REINCARNATION (Long Shot Factory) Genre: Documentary. The son of a Tibetan Buddhist Master rejects his status as the reincarnation of a renowned Buddhist teacher and embraces the modern world. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.8 Based on a British movie of the same name.
OKA! (DADA) Genre: Adventure. An ethnomusicologist in the Central African forest studying the music of the Bayaka pygmies fights to protect their land from greedy political interests. Release Strategy: Los Angeles only. RATING: 2.8 The trailer looks promising.
PUSS IN BOOTS (DreamWorks) Genre: Animated Feature. The fabulous feline from the Shrek series gets a movie of his own. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D, IMAX 3D). RATING: 1.8 The last Shrek movie was pretty weak; hopefully the emphasis on Puss will re-energize the franchise.
THE RUM DIARY (FilmDistrict) Genre: Drama. The Hunter S. Thompson novel comes to life with Johnny Depp as a hedonistic reporter in 1950s Puerto Rico. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.3 Depp’s second HST adaptation after Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
SLEEPING BEAUTY (IFC) Genre: Drama. A reckless university student takes a job as a sex worker, allowing old men to have erotic experiences with her as she sleeps; her work eventually commences to bleed into her waking life. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 A very sensuous, intriguing trailer.

SCHEDULED TO BE REVIEWED HERE AS NEW RELEASES
The Ides of March, Real Steel, The Big Year, The Thing, Margin Call, The Three Musketeers, Anonymous, In Time, The Rum Diary