Ready, Player Two? That could be the motto for Alicia Vikander as the Oscar-winning actress slips into the action shoes worn so well by Angelina Jolie for this week’s biggest release, a reboot of “Tomb Raider.” But will the “Ex Machina” star rival Jolie’s sexy performance as video-game icon Lara Croft? Game on.

Amongst other big-studio releases, “Love, Simon,” is my must-see of the weekend, a rom-com centered around a teen (the starbound Nick Robinson) who falls online for another closeted guy. Neither knows the other’s real identity. And fans of faith-based entertainment should expect to get their spirits boosted from “I Can Only Imagine,” a dramatization of what inspired and influenced Christian music artist Bart Millard to create his incredibly popular song.

If you prefer dramatizations based more on headline-making incidents, turn to “7 Days in Entebbe.” Starring Rosamund Pike and Daniel Bruhl, it revisits the 1976 Air France plane hijacking and the daring mission that ensued. Note: Early buzz is bad.

The indie front
Shinobu Terajima stars as a lonely woman who discovers a new side of herself in “Oh, Lucy!” Matchgirl Pictures

Three newbies demand attention. My personal favorite is the edgy comedy/drama “Oh, Lucy!” Shinobu Terajima is en pointe as an unhappy middle-aged woman in Tokyo who falls for a cute, kooky English instructor (Josh Hartnett, rarely better). It’s quite the find from talented filmmaker Atsuko Hirayanagi. What a debut!

For more serious fare, there’s the wily and audacious “Foxtrot,” from Israel. It landed a spot on the foreign language Oscar shortlist, but ultimately failed to net a nomination. That’s a shame. Samuel Moraz’s unpredictable drama about a family grieving for a soldier son continually pulls the rug out from under you. It’s a very strong, very passionate piece of filmmaking. Don’t miss it.

Finally, there’s “The Death of Stalin,” a zany, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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