Opening in Orlando: ‘Belle’ and ‘Blended’ 

Movies opening in Orlando theaters this week

click to enlarge 'BELLE'
  • 'BELLE'

Belle In this reality-based indie drama, a mixed-race woman (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of the 1700s is raised by Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson), her elevation to “proper society” playing an important role in the abolition of slavery in England. So maybe the Brits got offended by the Ethan Lane joke in Lincoln and decided to strike back with their own emancipation chronicle? Except that, behind the scenes, what went on appears to have been more 12 Years a Slave, with director Amma Asante failing to secure the sole screenwriting credit that ultimately went to Misan Sigay. Every one of us this side of the pond looks forward to a veddy slooooow finger-clap at the BAFTAs. (PG) – Steve Schneider

Blended When she appeared in the Memento-“inspired” romcom 50 First Dates, Drew Barrymore played a woman whose lack of short-term memory prevented her from remembering that she had already gone out with Adam Sandler. And in a case of life imitating art, the real Drew Barrymore seems to have suffered a similar cranial trauma, since she apparently cannot remember that she has already made a movie with Adam Sandler. Three of ’em, in fact, counting the new Blended, in which the duo play single parents who have to get over their mutual animosity while on a shared safari vacation. Some people never learn from their mistakes, I guess – or maybe they just don’t mind having those mistakes reinforced by audiences who must be pretty ADD themselves, given how eagerly they welcome each fart joke as if it were the first one ever created by man. Wait a sec … what was I saying? (PG-13) – SS

Also playing

Only Lovers Left Alive Writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s vampire story starts out as a haunting, unique addition to the genre: Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are perfect as Adam and Eve, who roam the ruins of Detroit by night and spend their days sleeping, listening to vinyl and embracing the lifestyle of the “suicidally romantic scoundrel.” But the movie eventually collapses under the weight of its own slow pacing, two-hour runtime and almost total lack of energy and plot. (R) – Cameron Meier

Dom HemingwayJude Law plays bad guy Dom Hemingway, a safecracker with a swagger who’s out for payback after spending a decade in jail for refusing to snitch on his boss. This black comedy is genuinely funny and occasionally touching, though some awkward attempts to add too much sentiment to the movie keep it from reaching truly iconic-funny status. – Rob Boylan

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