Al Pacino Alison Brie

Some Movies to See This Weekend, March 27, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015 Rob Samuelson

This weekend is packed with new releases or somewhat new movies going wide across America. We've got your teen drama thingie! We've got your all-star adult comedy! We've got your animated family blockbuster starring cute things! And we've got your crowd pleasing redemption dramedy!

A Girl Like Her
Director: Amy S. Weber
Writer: Amy S. Weber
Starring: Lexi Ainsworth, Hunter King, Jimmy Bennett

Teenagers deal with bullying a lot. This movie looks to explore that. Based on the trailer, the entire thing is shot on smartphones and spy cameras, which sounds like an iffy proposition. It's unnecessarily limiting to the storytelling, but maybe it works. I haven't seen it yet.

The story centers around a group of teen girls doing the Mean Girls thing around school, all “I'm better than you” and whatnot, minus the comedy. They bully and belittle their way to the top, and two of the more “normal” kids at school look to expose it, I guess? It seems like there are some sort of stakes involved, with the sharp, scary music heightening as the trailer goes on, and the, “What if she finds out?” and, “It's too risky,” stuff being said. I hope that means some crazy thriller stuff awaits those who see it.

Get Hard
Director: Etan Cohen
Writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts, Etan Cohen, Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Craig T. Nelson, Alison Brie

Will Ferrell is a Wall Street-y executive who has committed a no-no, legally speaking. He has some downtime before his prison sentence begins, so, in a panic, he hires an employee, played by Kevin Hart, to coach him on prison life. The thing is, Hart has never been to prison and Ferrell is being racist. Comedy ensues.

But there is more reason for hope than that remedial-sounding premise. Director-cowriter Etan Cohen was one of the masterminds behind Tropic Thunder, which probably holds the distinction of being the best comedy of the last decade, plus he wrote the return-to-form third Men In Black movie. The guy understands humor, and there are some hints in this trailer that some goofy world building will happen, with a prison wonderland being constructed in Ferrell's backyard.

Director: Tim Johnson
Writers: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember
Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez

Dreamworks made the Shrek movies. The Shrek movies are not very good. Dreamworks also made How to Train Your Dragon. How to Train Your Dragon is terrific. So, Home could fall on that scale. It's about an alien who finds his way to Earth after not fitting in on his home planet. He befriends a fat kitty and a young girl. Could be fun, could be migraine-inducing.

Danny Collins
Director: Dan Fogelman
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale

Al Pacino stars as the eponymous character, a Neil Diamond-style singer who looks to reconnect with his adult son (Cannavale) after decades of not being in contact. On the side, he tries to write new songs for the first time in years, after doing greatest hits tours to buy nicer mansions. It's a story about redemption, recognizing the things that matter in life, and going about attaining those things that matter. “Heartwarming” is the word that will probably be used most to describe it, which is fine and borderline exciting in an irony-heavy era.

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