Barbershop The Next Cut Bill Murray

Some Movies To See This Weekend, April 15, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016 Rob Samuelson

This weekend is another versatile one at the movies, with three options whose only similarities are that they are all American-made movies. Social issues comedy, a high-concept sci-fi thriller, and a live-action update on a Disney classic are on the agenda. Let’s take a look.

Barbershop: The Next Cut
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writers: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver
Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Anthony Anderson, Common

It’s been 12 years since the last installment of the Barbershop series, which puts this newest movie firmly in the the recent trend of decades-old sequels. This time the surrogate and real family that runs Calvin’s Barbershop has grown to include a salon. The affable hangout comedy chops of Ice Cube and his costars this time is put to use for a social message about local businesses giving back to the community via a story about diminishing crime in the neighborhood. Whether that translates to a good movie or not remains to be seen, but new director Malcolm D. Lee comes over from the successful Best Man series, which features a similar good-natured vibe of people who like each other. That’s fun stuff, folks.

Director: Ariel Vromen
Writers: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg
Starring: Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Alice Eve, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman

Ryan Reynolds is making a career out of body-swapping action flicks. This time it’s his brain going into an older actor’s body, after last year’s Self/Less plopped Sir Ben Kingsley’s consciousness into the shredded meat of Reynolds. Kevin Costner, with perhaps the worst onscreen haircut of his career, gets the recently dead Reynolds’s mind drilled into his brain because Reynolds’s bosses need intelligence information. The supporting cast, which includes Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman as possibly villainous government types, is a big reason to show up for this one. The newly minted Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, shows up in a hopefully-not-as-thankless-as-it-looks role as Reynolds’s grieving widow. Here’s hoping she can use some of the charm she displayed in the Fast and Furious movies, which wasn’t put to much use in her recent Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice appearance.

The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Marks
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson

This is the big one for the weekend. Iron Man and Elf director Jon Favreau, whose work has long been marked by heart and spectacle, seems to have found the perfect match of the two in the story of a little boy raised by jungle creatures. Some of Hollywood’s biggest hitters have come out for this one, including one of the most apt pieces of casting ever in Bill Murray as Baloo the bear. The motion capture technology that translates performers’ facial expressions to their onscreen CGI counterparts looks like it has reached another level of approximating realism here. So, to recap, we have Favreau combining all of his talents into a single adventure flick, Bill Murray plays a lovable bear, and there might have been a technological breakthrough along the way to boot. This one is a pretty exciting prospect.

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