Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston in 'The Switch'As the summer winds down, the big blockbuster hopefuls have mostly had their moment. Instead, this weekend offers five (!) less ambitious new wide-release movies that will be content to give you a few chuckles and maybe some screams.

Best Bet: 'The Switch'

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis
Directed by: Will Speck and Josh Gordon
What It's About: Based on Jeffrey Eugenides' short story 'The Baster,' this romantic comedy stars Aniston as a sexy, successful career gal who never got around to having a baby and decides to make one without finding a husband first. Bateman is the milquetoasty pal who accidentally loses the semen of her hunky donor (Wilson) and substitutes his own. Years later, bonding with the boy he apparently sired, Bateman wonders: should he tell Aniston where the little squirt really came from?
Why Should You See It? Because we've all been fascinated for years by Aniston's empty womb? Because Bateman is in awkwardly lovable Michael Bluth mode? Because the two of them display a unique, offbeat chemistry all too rare in today's romantic comedies?
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Juno,' 'Arrested Development,' 'Knocked Up,' The Back-Up Plan' Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston in 'The Switch'As the summer winds down, the big blockbuster hopefuls have mostly had their moment. Instead, this weekend offers five (!) less ambitious new wide-release movies that will be content to give you a few chuckles and maybe some screams.

Best Bet: 'The Switch'

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis
Directed by: Will Speck and Josh Gordon
What It's About: Based on Jeffrey Eugenides' short story 'The Baster,' this romantic comedy stars Aniston as a sexy, successful career gal who never got around to having a baby and decides to make one without finding a husband first. Bateman is the milquetoasty pal who accidentally loses the semen of her hunky donor (Wilson) and substitutes his own. Years later, bonding with the boy he apparently sired, Bateman wonders: Should he tell Aniston where the little squirt really came from?
Why Should You See It? Because we've all been fascinated for years by Aniston's empty womb? Because Bateman is in awkwardly lovable Michael Bluth mode? Because the two of them display a unique, offbeat chemistry all too rare in today's romantic comedies?
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Juno,' 'Arrested Development,' 'Knocked Up,' The Back-Up Plan'

Short on time? Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review of 'The Switch'

Showtimes & Tickets
Unscripted: Video Interview with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman
How true to life is 'The Switch'?
•Reviews: Boston Phoenix | Village Voice | More Critics' Reviews

'The Switch': Trailer No. 1


Ving Rhames in 'Piranha 3D'Also New This Weekend: 'Piranha 3D'

Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, Jerry O'Connell, Adam Scott
Directed by: Alexandre Aja
What It's About: In this remake of the 1978 scarefest, a school of ravenous prehistoric fish attacks a lake resort full of bikini-clad spring-breakers. Thanks to the wonders of 3-D, the flesh eaters (and flesh-flashers) will be literally in your face.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Snakes on a Plane,' 'The Hills Have Eyes,' 'Jaws 3D'

Short on time? Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review of 'Piranha 3D'

Showtimes & Tickets | Red-banded 10-minute clip (NSFW) | Review: Time Out London | More Critics' Reviews

'Vampires Suck'


Starring: Matt Lanter, Chris Riggi, Ken Jeong, Jenn Proske
Directed by: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
What It's About: The latest genre parody for Friedberg and Seltzer ('Disaster Movie,' 'Epic Movie,' et al) sinks its fangs a more focused target: the 'Twilight' movies.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,' 'Date Movie,' 'Meet the Spartans'

Short on time? Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review of 'Vampires Suck'

Showtimes & Tickets | Trailer | Critics' Reviews

'Lottery Ticket'

Starring: Bow Wow, Ice Cube, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Keith David
Directed by: Erik White
What It's About: Bow Wow is a young man from the projects who wins a multimillion-dollar jackpot but can't redeem the ticket until after the holiday weekend. In the meantime, he's beset by golddiggers, loan sharks, and greedy friends and relatives.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Friday,' 'Barbershop,' 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'

Showtimes & Tickets
| Trailer | Critics' Reviews

'Nanny McPhee Returns'

Starring: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Maggie Smith, Asa Butterfield
Directed by: Susanna White
What It's About: Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay) is back as the scary but magical supernanny who whips a new family of unruly children into shape.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'Nanny McPhee,' 'Mary Poppins,' 'Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events'

Short on time? Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review of 'Nanny McPhee Returns'

Showtimes & Tickets | Trailer | Critics' Reviews

Pat Tillman in 'The Tillman Story'In Limited Release

•'The Tillman Story' is a documentary tracing the life and death of Pat Tillman, who gave up pro football to fight in Afghanistan, only to die from friendly fire. It also traces his family's efforts to penetrate the cover-up surrounding his demise.
Showtimes & Tickets | Trailer | Critics' Reviews

•'A Film Unfinished' dissects an hour's worth of footage from a Nazi propaganda project meant to show that the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto were living happy and comfortable lives, comprised of scenes staged to hide the actual intolerable living conditions there.
Showtimes & Tickets | Trailer | Critics' Reviews

'Soul Kitchen' is a comedy from German-Turkish filmmaker Faith Akin ('The Edge of Heaven') about a chaotically-run Greek restaurant.
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

'The Army of Crime' is a thriller starring Simon Akbarian and Virginie Ledoyen as French resistance fighters in the early days of World War II.
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

'Mao's Last Dancer' is a biopic directed by Bruce Beresford ('Driving Miss Daisy') about a Chinese ballet dancer,Li Cunxin, and his plan to defect once he'd performed in the United States and fell in love.
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

'What If...' is an 'It's a Wonderful Life'-type drama starring Kevin Sorbo as a businessman shown by an angelic tow truck driver (John Ratzenberger) what his life would have been like if he'd stuck to his initial life plan and become a preacher.
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

'Hiding Divya,' which stars Madhur Jaffrey as a woman with bipolar illness, examines how the shame surrounding the disease affects her daughter and granddaughter.
Showtimes & Tickets | Critics' Reviews

Julia Roberts in 'Eat Pray Love'Still in Theaters, Still Awesome

'Eat Pray Love' -- Not for everybody, but you already know if you're in the target audience for this international adventure featuring the always incandescent Julia Roberts. Showtimes & Tickets | Interviews with Roberts, Javier Bardem, and Ryan Murphy | The book vs. the movie | Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review | Critics' Reviews

'The Expendables' -- Not for everybody, but you already know if you're in the target audience for this international adventure featuring the always incandescent Eric Roberts. (And Sly Stallone, Jason Statham, and a bunch of other famous tough guys.) Showtimes & Tickets | Cinematical's Stallone-a-Thon | Mr. Moviefone's Six Second Review | Critics' Reviews

'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' -- Not for everybody, but you already know if you're in the target audience for this international (well, Canadian) adventure featuring ... well, no members of the Roberts family, but the always adorable Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Showtimes & Tickets | All of 'Scott Pilgrim's' Video Game and Pop Culture references, annotated | Interview with creator Bryan Lee O'Malley | Critics' Reviews

Miley Cyrus in 'The Last Song'Staying in this Weekend?

New on DVD This Week: Miley Cyrus tries her hand at weepy romantic drama, opposite her real-life beau, in 'The Last Song.' (Buy or rent the DVD) Developer Brendan Fraser takes on a forest-full of angry critters in 'Furry Vengeance' (Buy or rent the DVD)

Also Out This Week: Ricky Gervais co-wrote, directed, and plays a supporting role in 'Cemetery Junction,' a coming-of-age comedy set in 1970s England. (Buy or rent the DVD)

'The City of Your Final Destination,' the first Merchant-Ivory movie since the death of producer Ismail Merchant, is a literary mystery/romance starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney. (Buy or rent the DVD).

Bow Wow isn't the only one hiding from crooks when he comes into a sudden fortune; the same thing happens in the indie 'Ca$h,' starring future 'Thor' Chris Hemsworth and Sean Bean. (Buy or rent the DVD).

'The Good, the Bad, the Weird,' a variation on a Clint Eastwood classic, is reportedly one of the most expensive productions in South Korean history. It comes from horror director Kim Jee-woon. (Buy or rent the DVD). More new DVDs

Movie Homework: As 'Vampires Suck' reminds us, every era gets the vampire spoof it deserves. The '60s saw Roman Polanski's libidinous 'The Fearless Vampire Killers' (Buy or rent the DVD), featuring a famously old-school gag about what happens when you use a crucifix to confront a Jewish vampire. Vampires learned they could get along just fine in the swinging disco '70s in such spoofs as 'Old Dracula' (Buy or rent the DVD) and 'Love at First Bite' (Buy or rent the DVD). At the height of the '80s teen sex comedy years, we got 'Once Bitten' (Buy or rent the DVD), in which a virginal Jim Carrey got more than he bargained for when he hooked up with undead cougar Lauren Hutton. And in the '90s, Mel Brooks and Leslie Nielsen teamed up for 'Dracula: Dead and Loving It' (Buy or rent the DVD), with a throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach that anticipated the Friedberg/Seltzer parodies of the past decade.

On my Netflix Queue: There was a time when 'Nanny McPhee Returns' star/screenwriter Emma Thompson made movies for grown-ups. Watch her in romantic comedy 'The Tall Guy' (1989), in which she plays a British nurse who falls for an American actor ('The Switch's' Jeff Goldblum), leading to one of the most hilarious (and painful-looking) sex scenes ever filmed. (Buy or rent the DVD)


•Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.