Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (pictured) is something of a prequel to Ong Bak, the Thai sensation from a few years ago. Tony Jaa, whose multi-discipline fighting skills are beyond impressive, plays a guy who fights a lot. Cinematical's Todd Gilchrist sums up the way many of us felt when we first caught the film at South By Southwest: The fight scenes are spectacular; unfortunately, the plot that holds them together is incomprehensible and takes itself too seriously. At Rotten Tomatoes, the critics are almost evenly split between yea and nay, with the only question being whether the awesomeness of the fights is enough to compensate for the dullness of the rest of it. Playing on 10 screens in New York, L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Antichrist is an art-house horror film from Lars Von Trier, starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a grieving couple to whom some supernatural and terrible things happen. It's been appalling audiences since it premiered at Cannes this spring. The critics all seem to agree that it's repellent, grisly, unsettling, and hard to watch. Where they part company -- about evenly down the middle, so far -- is whether that's good or bad. Playing on one screen each in L.A., New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. It will also be available through some Video On Demand systems starting Oct. 28.
Motherhood stars Uma Thurman as a harried wife and mother trying to keep her sanity while planning her 6-year-old daughter's birthday party. Only 26% of critics so far speak approvingly of it, with many calling out the screenplay for being misguided and unfunny; Thurman generally wins praise, though. Playing on about 50 screens in the Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco areas.
(Untitled) is a comedy satirizing the current state of modern art, focusing on the romance between a New York gallery owner (Marley Shelton) and a pretentious composer (Adam Goldberg). Once again, the critics are about evenly split, with half saying it turns artists into meaningless caricatures and the other half finding the satirical portrayals funny. Playing in New York and L.A.
The Wedding Song is a drama, in French and Arabic, about two teenage girls in Tunisia -- one Jewish and one Muslim -- who become friends during the Nazi occupation of the 1940s. Every review so far is overwhelmingly positive, calling the film bold, memorable, intelligently written, and very well acted. Playing in New York for now, but watch for an expansion if it continues to get rave reviews.