Well, well, well, the weekend's finally here, and with it comes a few new movies and our Cinematical reviews for each of them. Actually, for most, it's just one new release -- 'Saw 3D' -- but there are some on-demand options and limited releases that will surely end up in your neck of the woods in due time.
-'Saw 3D': Eric D. Snider checked out Jigsaw's latest (and reportedly last) trap-a-palooza and had this to say: "Part 7 takes us back to the beginning in many ways, wrapping up some loose ends and reminding us of how goofy the whole thing has become. Even better, you get to pay extra for your ticket and wear dark glasses while you watch it!" (You can read his whole review here.)
-'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest': Jenni Miller caught up with the last entry in the Millennium Trilogy and felt that the story served its striking heroine poorly: "Lisbeth is the most interesting character in the series, and [Noomi] Rapace is the most dynamic actor in the cast. The movie tries to give her more face time, but that doesn't make up for the sluggish pace. [...] Watching the magazine editors squabble or elderly government gents discuss paperwork is just not as exciting as watching Rapace do, well, anything. Her performance makes even the most outlandish parts of the story, like her courthouse outfit, forgivable." (You can check out her full take here.)
-'Monsters': Per Magnolia's distribution model, Gareth Edwards' remarkable low-budget sci-fi debut has been available on demand and iTunes for the past month and is just now hitting theaters. Peter Hall saw it at SXSW and rightfully tempered expectations of non-stop creature carnage while championing the film: "That's not to say that 'Monsters' is without its spectacle. It's there, always looming on the horizon, ready to be showcased in incredibly clever, budget-conscious ways, but what's so impressive about Edwards' film is actually what he doesn't show the audience. The lovely, organic relationship that forms between Andrew and Sam in the midst of all the mayhem is just as rewarding as the restrained, resourceful encounters with the visitors from beyond the stars."
-'Welcome to the Rileys': Erik Childress caught this James Gandolfini-Kristen Stewart drama at Sundance and liked the former's performance but not the latter's: "Grasping onto surrogate family figures is not a new method of psychological healing in the cinema and 'Rileys' certainly doesn't cover any new territory. But thanks to an earnest performance by James Gandolfini anchoring it, we can almost forget the weight of Kristen Stewart dragging it down with every hair flip and tug."
-'Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields': I saw this doc about the aforementioned band during this year's Florida Film Festival and had this to report: "For those of us unfamiliar with the music of the Magnetic Fields (apparently just me), this documentary gives a comprehensive glimpse into the formation and popularity of the band, with rare footage from their early concerts and candid interviews from its members, as well as a glimpse into the particularly shy and sardonic life of its front man."
-'Wild Target': We never formally reviewed this hitman comedy starring Emily Blunt, Bill Nighy and Rupert Grint, but Brian Orndorf's review aligns with my own feelings about how spastic and unfunny the end result was: "...comes across as painfully slapdash, with screenwriter Lucinda Coxon struggling to maintain a sense of whimsy to a plot that contains a pool of abhorrent characters. ... Instead, [director Jonathan Lynn] aches to be more sympathetic, playing wiffle ball with violent events, making sure the viewer is in a position to embrace these characters at any cost..."
-'Waste Land': Christopher Campbell shone his Doc Talk spotlight on this film, calling it "what 'Born Into Brothels' should have been, a documentary that focuses on another subject trying to make a difference for select poor people of the Third World rather than trying to be that involved rescuer itself."
-'Inspector Bellamy': The final film by the late Claude Chabrol (his 50th at that), this mystery stars Gerard Depardieu and is currently available on demand through IFC. At the moment, it stands at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes.