Kind of a mixed bag to choose from this week, there’s the excellent pairing of Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in "Identity Thief" and the not so perfect pairing of Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters." And with us being in the midst of the Cannes Film Festival, we also have a few titles from previous years that you can watch right now.
In a pairing that could have only been concocted by the comedy Gods, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy cross paths in this improv-heavy laugher from director Seth Gordon ("Horrible Bosses"). Bateman plays Sandy, a business man who goes in search of the woman (McCarthy) who has stolen his identity and been sucking his bank account dry.
Why Watch It: Bateman and McCarthy are great together and make the movie.
'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters'
If you’re in the mood one evening for a mindless action movie, this is for you. Yes, this CGI’d up playful take on the famous fairy tale characters starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton was slaughtered by critics when it opened in theaters, but it’s fun sometimes to watch a movie and not have to think.
Why Watch It: Think the above pretty much sums it up.
If you’re looking for a different kind of fairy tale, check out this indie by the Zellner brothers. In it Sydney Aguirre plays Annie, a young girl with little parent supervision, but after hearing the voice of a woman in distress coming out of a well near her house Annie must grow up and make choices. [In Theaters 5/24]
Why Watch It: With a few more good roles Aguirre could become the next indie sensation.
'The ABCs of Death'
If you call yourself a horror fan then you have to see "The ABCs of Death" (and if you have already—see it again). Directed by some of the top horror filmmakers from around the globe—Ben Wheatley, Jorge Michel Grau, Ti West, Adam Wingard, Nacho Vigalondo, Jason Eisener to name a few—each takes on a letter from the alphabet and creates a disturbing short.
Why Watch It: If you think the "V/H/S" franchise is too tame then try this on for size.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES (Cannes Edition)
We’re coming in on the home stretch of the Cannes Film Festival. Here’s some past entries that are worth seeing again.
Robert Altman’s satirical look at Hollywood premiered at Cannes in 1992 and won Best Director for Altman and Best Actor for Tim Robbins’ portrayal of a sleazy studio exec who is being blackmailed by a disgruntled screenwriter. Filled with Hollwood inside jokes and tons of cameos, you’ll think you’re walking the Croisette.
'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly'
Winner of the Best Director prize for Julian Schnabel at 2007 Cannes, this moving adaptation of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby’s book of his life living paralyzed for the exception of his left eye after suffering a stroke is a marvel in cinematography.
Michael Fassbender became an international star at 2008 Cannes playing Irish republican Bobby Sands as he withers away during a hunger strike in prison. With Steve McQueen at the helm, the film became one of the most talked about films of the year for Fassbender’s performance and the slow-burn intimacy of McQueen’s structure that makes you feel you’re right there with Sands.
The Coen brother’s second trip to the South of France ended with them winning the Palme d’Or, Best Director for Joel and Best Actor for John Turturro in this classic Coen work that follows playwright Barton Fink as he can’t resist the enticing glow of Hollywood and becomes a screenwriter only to find himself in the depths of hell.