Friday May 3, 2013

BARBARA (PG-13). This German import begins in 1980 with an East German doctor from Berlin (Nina Hoss) who, after an unspecified offense, has been recently banished to the boonies. There, in between hospital rounds and harassment from the secret police, she waits and she burns. Almost as soon as Barbara appears she's being watched by another East German. Her watcher is a young doctor, Andre (Ronald Zehrfeld), a friendly looking teddy bear who peers at her from an upper-story window. Review, D2

42 (PG-13). Straightforward and purposeful as a home run trot, this drama tracing Jackie Robinson's color-barrier breaking 1947 season as second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers is one of the all-time great sports movies primarily because it's one of the all-time great sports stories. With Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford. HHH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 4/12). 2:08.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (PG-13). COBRA may have been down for the count in the first "Joe" movie, but they have an impostor in the White House and all manner of evil henchmen and ingenious gadgets to wipe out the G.I. Joes. It's up to team members Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) -- with maybe an assist from masked marvel Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and the fetching fury Jinx (Elodie Yung) -- to foil the evil masked COBRA commander and his sidekick, Firefly (Ray Stevenson). There is really no place for acting in this live-action version of an ‘80s cartoon that was designed to sell toys. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service-- 3/28). 1:50.

IRON MAN 3 (PG-13). As ths sequel begins, the climactic alien melee in last year's all-star reunion "The Avengers" has left Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark nerve-racked and an insomniac workaholic. A new global terrorist, very much in the Bin Laden mold, has oozed onto the scene; fire-breathing mutants are wreaking havoc; and, if all that weren't enough, unfinished business from the past resurfaces. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall. Review, D7

JURASSIC PARK 3D (PG-13). On its 20th anniversary, director Steven Spielberg has remastered his horror classic about genetically engineered prehistoric creatures who run amok in an island theme park designed for them into a polished new 3D version. The 3D is good. But when a movie is this near-flawless, nothing is needed to make it better. With Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough. HHH1/2 (Bentley, The Fresno Bee -- 4/6). 2:06.

MUD (PG-13). Matthew McConaughey stars as a drifter hiding out in an abandoned cabin cruiser jammed high in a tree on a mid-river island in Arkansas, who enlists the help of two boys who have the run of the river and live and breathe boats to help him fix up his boat and "court" a dishy woman he's had his eye on for some time. With Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Ray McKinnon, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard. Review, D2

OBLIVION (PG-13). Tom Cruise stars as a repairman fixing machines in the wastelands of Earth after an alien attack. Familiar and generic. With Morgan Freeman. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 4/20). 2:04.

PAIN & GAIN (R). Comedy-action-thriller based on a true story about three Miami body builders who scheme to kidnap, extort and torture a wealthy man who frequents the gym where they work out. Director Michael Bay pumps it up in his signature overblown style. If that chaos-on-steroids quality is what you love about this guy, his latest will wallop your involuntary nervous system in the manner you enjoy. For everyone else, it will be death by aggravation. With Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Cordrry. H1/2 (Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune -- 4/29). 2:09.

SCARY MOVIE 5 (PG-13). The latest in this horror movie parody franchise. The broad swipes this sketch comedy takes at horror films, reality TV, sci-fi films and real-life personalities produce barely a single laugh. H (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 4/16). 1:25.

THE BIG WEDDING (R). A divorced couple poses as a still-married pair for the sake of their about-to-be-married adopted son in this adaptation of a French film farce about a family wedding that defines chaos and dysfunction. In order to pull off all this sort of business, the pace should be breakneck, there shouldn't be an extra second tom contemplate the moral lapses and betrayals. Alas, "The Big Wedding," which inches along like a stoned snail, gives us all the time in the world. With Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes. HH (Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer -- 4/29). 1:29.

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (R). Robert Redford directed and stars in this present-day drama about a progressive public interest lawyer who is determined to clear his name when a cub reporter exposes him as a ‘60s radical wanted for murder. With Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Stanley Tucci, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Elliott, Chris Cooper, Brit Marling.

THE CROODS (PG). For all the riffs on innovation in this nutty-Neanderthals comedy about a stone-age family trying to adapt to tectonic changes in the world and themselves, the CGI ‘toon ultimately has few original ideas behind its gently sloping forehead. Although "The Croods" has lazy patches throughout, the conclusion is exciting and, lo and behold, surprising. With the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman. HH (Daly, Tampa Bay Times -- 3/26).1:38.

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (R). Three overlapping stories that center on the legacies -- voluntary or not -- fathers leave their sons, and the split-second decisions that can shape them. With more than 50 speaking roles, this film could easily have spiraled out of control into a predictable epic. But it holds enough intimacy -- and surprise -- to satisy. With Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta. HHH (Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune -- 4/13). 2:20.