Opening this week: Fantastic Four, The Gift, Ricki and the Flash and The Wolfpack

Opening this week: Fantastic Four, The Gift, Ricki and the Flash and The Wolfpack

Fantastic Four Rumors persist that Marvel Comics canceled its Fantastic Four title to avoid association with Fox's cinematic reboot of the characters. If that's true, it sends quite the message, because killing off your beloved progeny to make a moral statement is the stuff of classic tragedy, like Medea or Escape From the Planet of the Apes. (OK, Zira didn't really kill her baby, but YOU GET THE POINT.) Little we've seen or heard about the new FF movie makes it look like something a parent company would want to embrace, especially so soon after Fox's previous Craptastic Four farragoes of just 10 years ago. Oh, and an open message to all boardroom proponents of "nontraditional casting": It would be easier for a spiritual ally like me to proclaim that Johnny Storm doesn't necessarily have to be black if you weren't keeping his goddamn sister white. WTF(F)? (PG-13)

The Gift I'm probably one of the few rational people on Earth for whom the tagline "from the producer of The Purge" qualifies as an inducement. But even I don't know how I feel about The Gift, in which a husband (Jason Bateman) finds his adult life threatened by the reappearance of an old friend with whom he shares a dark secret. I don't know how I feel about it because I saw Chuck & Buck, and I was so freaked out by it that I still don't accept Facebook friend requests from people I knew more than 30 years ago. Quick, how long ago was Silver Spoons? (R)

Ricki and the Flash The movie industry gave us Al Pacino as an aging rocker, and what did we do? We went on a shooting rampage at Trainwreck instead. Now we have to pay for our mistakes by watching Meryl Effin' Streep try to emulate a guitar-wielding rock queen – a scenario that could only make sense to people who don't mind admitting that they own Bonnie Raitt records. Me, I'm staying home until Rose McGowan gets to play Nina Hagen. (PG-13)

The Wolfpack A documentary about six brothers who have to navigate the real world after having been raised with movies as their only companions. Guaranteed to go over big with people who spend their lives watching movies! (R)


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