Herewith, a brief round-up of this weekend's opening flicks, and the conventional wisdom surrounding them. In descending order of rottentomatoes.com awesomeness.
The Story: A group of college students in Norway discover the existence of real-life trolls, and a man who attempts to poach them.
The Skinny: Half-comedy/half-horror flick, which has proven to be a reliably entertaining combination in the past, André Øvredal's clever romp has earned it high praise from both critics and viewers. But not all are fans. Writes the City Paper's Shaun Brady, the film is "spread over far too long a time … filled by bickering and endless panoramas of snow-capped woods."
Full Review: Trollhunter
Now Playing: Ritz at the Bourse
Complete the Experience: Can't help you with trolls, per se, but if images of fantastical, magic creatures tickle your fancy, might we suggest checking out the volumes of original Maurice Sendak art available for perusing at the Rosenbach?
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%
The Story: The fabled newsroom of the New York Times is revealed during a time of tremendous upheaval in the news media.
The Skinny: Andrew Rossi's fascinating documentary on the old gray lady and the nature of newsgathering in the age of the internet is a record of how things got transformed in the dawn of the internet-era. As interesting as it sounds, however, it might try and take on a bit more than it can really cover: The Inky's Stephen Rea writes, "The paper's motto is "All the News That's Fit to Print." But all that news doesn't necessarily fit neatly into a 90-minute doc."
Full Review: Page One
Now Playing: Ritz Five
Complete the Experience: If the idea of hanging out with journalists and newspeople after hours really appeals to you, check out the action at the venerable Pen & Pencil Club.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%
The Story: A young woman and her two friends are whisked away from Paris to Monte Carlo when she is mistaken for a British heiress.
The Skinny: So we have princes and princesses and yet another case of mistaken identity working here, all in service to trying to make Selena Gomez the next, utterly bankable Disney breakout star. Does it work? Well, according to Gary Thompson at the Daily News, not so much: "The movie has its heart in the right place, but it doesn't have much personality. It's inoffensive but bland, safe but predictable…"
Full Review: Monte Carlo
Now Playing: UA Riverview
Complete the Experience: If you want to drink like royalty, take a trip to the Swann Lounge.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Story: One group of robots discover another kind of robot on the moon, and a third group of robots tries to intervene.
The Skinny: Technically, this movie opened on Wednesday, but the reviews have been so punishing, so vitriolic, that we couldn't pass up this kind of fun. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave it exactly zero stars and wrote: "Watching it makes you die a little inside. Is this the future of movies? God help us!"
Full Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Now Playing: The Pearl
Complete the Experience: Why not experience some actually interesting interplay of science and fun at the Franklin Institute?
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%
The Story: A middle-aged man gets laid off from his job for not having a college degree, and enrolls in a community college, where he falls for one of his professors.
The Skinny: A shapeless, guileless rom-com with an insipid core, made all the more depressing by the fact that Tom Hanks actually helped directed it, and co-wrote it with Nia Vardolos. Hanks and Julia Roberts essentially play their movie star personas -- he sweetly docile and innocent, she charming and giggling -- and very little else happens. Popcorn Biz's Sasha Perl-Raver writes " Like every other terrible film that Vardalos has made us suffer through, "Larry Crowne" fails primarily because of a script where everyone is eccentric, but no one is interesting."
Full Review: Larry Crowne
Now Playing: AMC Franklin Mills 14
Complete the Experience: One of the few things the film actually accomplishes is to make an expressive case for ditching your car and scoring a scooter. Check out Philadelphia Scooters to see why.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%
Screen Grabs: The films you should drop everything to see, and the ones you should avoid like the plague.
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