This week’s movie releases
Spain's answer to Indiana Jones gets his own animated feature
An ax-wielding Abraham Lincoln goes vampire hunting
Aspiring Indiana Jones-style adventurer Tadeo Jones made his debut in a couple of Goya-winning animated shorts. But now he’s been given his own 3D feature, Las Aventuras de Tadeo Jones, which sees the construction worker mistaken for a famous archeologist and whisked to Peru. With the help of his faithful hound Jeff and friends, he must fight to save a lost Inca city from a nefarious corporation of treasure hunters. Set to be known as Tad, the Lost Explorer internationally, the film was shot in English and is already set to be distributed in China, Russia, the UK and across Latin America, among other places.
The secret life of the 16th president of the United States is revealed in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Adapted by Seth Grahame-Smith from his own novel, it posits that the author of the Gettysburg Address not only abolished slavery and led the country through the Civil War, but was also one of the best vampire hunters in the business, dispatching bloodsuckers with an ax in revenge for the death of his mother. This film adaptation of a “mash-up” book — a branch of fiction in which classic narratives are overlaid with modern genre elements (see also: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and Android Karenina) — stars Benjamin Walker as Lincoln, while Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) directs.
Also out this week is comedy-drama Your Sister’s Sister, in which Mark Duplass stars as a man struggling to come to terms with the death of his brother. On the prompting of his bro’s old girlfriend (Emily Blunt), he heads to her family’s cabin to get his head straight, but discovers her sister (Rosemarie DeWitt), who has just broken up with her partner, also hiding out there.
Another comedy, That’s My Boy, stars Adam Sandler as a former teenage single dad trying to bond with his estranged son (Andy Samberg) in the run-up to the latter’s wedding, much to the annoyance of his future bride.
Arguably more high-minded, Under the Hawthorn Tree, from Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero), is the turbulent love story of a man and woman from different backgrounds during Mao’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.
Meanwhile, Aurora is the first feature from the Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu since 2005’s superb The Death of Mr Lazarescu, while Basque movie El cazador de dragones concerns a former ETA anti-Francoist fighter who crosses paths with a Christian nurse and an indigenous guerrilla in war-torn 1980s Central America.