OPENING THIS WEEK:
Anthropoid Did you ever notice how, every time we take out a bigwig in some terrorist organization, he's always described as being its second-in-command? I swear, ISIS and Al Qaeda must have more vice presidents than U.S. Steel. The same applies to World War II thrillers, which never seem to run out of top Nazis for their heroes to pursue. In Anthropoid – which, despite its title, is not a direct-to-VHS science fiction flick from 1988, but an assassination drama set in occupied Czechoslovakia – the hunted party is one Reinhard Heydrich, described as Hitler's No. 3 guy and the true architect of the Final Solution. I wish I could tell you whether this is true or if the movie is just padding its résumé, but my personal library is sadly lacking in Time Life books. SPOILER: The Third Reich ends up losing the war. (Or so it seems for 70 years, until their candidate is elected president of the United States in 2016.) (R)
Indignation In this adaptation of Philip Roth's semi-autobiographical novel, a Jewish kid from New Jersey decides that trying to bang a shiksa on the campus of a Midwestern university is a better idea than going off to fight in the Korean War. But with a dean of students played by sicko real-life playwright Tracy Letts, you know our hero is in for some challenges. Oh, and see? My Anthropoid capsule wasn't such a spoiler after all, since the very existence of this movie proves that there were still Jews in 1951. (R)
Pete's Dragon Hey, remember Pete's Dragon, the Disney animated musical from 1977? Well, they've remade it, just minus some of the lesser elements – like being animated and having songs. Instead, the new version is a live-action, all-spoken interpretation that has a human cast interacting with a CGI fire-breather. There's also a new framing sequence that moves the story closer to gender balance. What I want to see next: a reboot of The Rescuers in which the mice are all played by taxidermy samples Wes Anderson picked up at an estate sale. (PG)
Sausage Party No matter what you ended up thinking of Ghostbusters, thank your lucky stars the producers went with the cast they did. Because otherwise, you just know those roles would have been filled by Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco and Craig Robinson. Instead, they've all ended up as voice "talent" in Sausage Party, an animated comedy about anthropomorphized food items that discover what a terrible fate awaits them after they've gone through the supermarket scanner. The flick is the world's first R-rated full-length computer animated comedy (like that's something to brag about), thanks to its apparently copious crude sex jokes and drug references. Maybe they should have called it Low-Hanging Fruit. (R)
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