This week’s movie releases
'Dredd' looks to banish the specter of Sly Stallone
Sam Raimi presents exorcism movie 'The Possession'
Trying to banish the specter of 1995’s ropy Judge Dredd — which alienated fans by having Sly Stallone’s title character remove his helmet — Dredd is director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) and The Beach author Alex Garland’s fresh attempt to transfer the futuristic lawman from the pages of British comic book 2000 AD to the big screen. Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings) is the fascist cop with powers of judge, jury and executioner in the urban sprawl of Mega City One. Hooking up with a clairvoyant new recruit, he’s forced to battle up and out of a 200-story slum ruled over by drug kingpin Lena Headey (Game of Thrones).
If there’s one thing the horror genre really doesn’t need, it’s another exorcism movie, but The Possession, produced by Evil Dead and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, is just that. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick play the parents of a little girl taken over by a spirit she unleashes from a small box she picks up at a yard sale. Purportedly based on a story related to a real eBay auction, it’s directed by Denmark’s Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch).
From Forgetting Sarah Marshall writer-actor Jason Segel and director Nicholas Stoller, The Five-Year Engagement is a romantic comedy starring Segel and Emily Blunt as a couple whose relationship is strained as circumstances conspire to keep pushing back their wedding date.
Minding their language
After Alatriste, Viggo Mortensen shows off his Spanish-language skills once more in Argentinean thriller Todos tenemos un plan (Everybody has a plan). The star of A History of Violence plays a man who sees a way out of his frustrating existence by assuming the identity of his recently deceased twin. Needless to say, it doesn’t work out all that well.
Also displaying his linguistic prowess is detective Sherlock Holmes in Holmes & Watson: Madrid Days. Directed by José Luis Garcí, who won Spain’s first Foreign Film Oscar with Begin the Beguine in 1982, this Spanish mystery imagines the master investigator (Gary Piquer) and his trusty sidekick Watson (José Luis García Pérez) on the trail of Jack the Ripper in Madrid. Watch out for a cameo by Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardón as his composer ancestor Isaac Albéniz.
Completing the new releases this week is Shanghai, which stars John Cusack as a Naval Intelligence agent investigating the death of his friend in World War II-era China; Step Up Revolution, the fourth entry in the street dance series; and The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Davies’ adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play about the young wife of a judge (Rachel Weisz) who embarks on an affair with a troubled RAF pilot in postwar London.