Movies playing this week: 'Anna,' 'Child’s Play' and more

Aubrey Plaza and Gabriel Bateman in Child’s Play
Aubrey Plaza and Gabriel Bateman in Child’s Play PHOTO courtesy of United Artists Releasing

Opening this week: Anna All these years later, it's almost endearing that Luc Besson is still fixated on turning ingenues into femmes fatale by equipping them with a black dress and a big gun. This year's model – literally – is Russian supermodel Sasha Luss, cast in her first international leading role as a woman of mystery who gets crafted into an elite assassin. Among her mentors is Helen Mirren – although the latter doesn't get nearly as much play in the advance promo as do the lingering shots of nubile nookie and wall-to-wall ball stomp. Hey, Besson knows his audience. Or maybe he just knows himself and is counting on you not to have changed a bit either. Although I'm kind of hoping for a timely sequence in which the title character infiltrates the organization of one of her marks by trying to set up a meeting about Russian adoptions. It's the perfect cover, because you don't have to tell anyone! (R)

Child's Play I can't decide if those teaser posters of Chucky eviscerating various characters from the Toy Story mythos constitute supreme shade or plain old poor sportsmanship. I guess a guy has to do what he has to do when he's going up against Woody and his pals (see our Toy Story 4 review on page 33) and has Annabelle breathing down his neck (her next flick drops in just a week). And when you think about it, Chucky was owned by a kid named Andy before Buzz Lightyear had ever thought of the idea, so there's a certain amount of bragging rights at stake here. Still, maybe trumped-up external conflicts aren't really what this remake/reboot needs right now, given that franchise creator Don Mancini and his team are still hawking the original formula on the small screen and elsewhere. There's no love lost between them and the bunch who made this new Child's Play, which gives us Mark Hamill in place of Brad Dourif as the voice of the iconic killer doll – here reimagined as not the vessel of a malign spirit but rather a high-tech plaything that attains sentience. And in a movie like this, "sentience" equals "unchecked bloodlust." Meanwhile, the role of Andy's mom is now filled by Aubrey Plaza, who one would assume could lay waste to any lethal toy with a well-timed eyeroll. But these screenwriters always seem to ignore the obvious. (R)

Also playing: 5B By definition, one of our nation's hospital AIDS wards had to be the very first, and this documentary profiles the people of the San Francisco facility that bravely shouldered that mantle back when the disease was the impetus for much paranoia and misinformation. The doc opened across the country last week in tandem with Pride Week celebrations in major communities, but this is the first you're learning of its low-visibility booking here, dear reader. I guess because you let your own community move its Pride Week to October. Now don't you feel silly? (NR; playing at Regal Winter Park Village & RPX)

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