Reviews won’t hurt “Dumb and Dumber To.” The college crowd I caught it with ate it up. Granted, they weren’t Ivy Leaguers, but I dare say a generation that grew up with the original semi-raunchy Two Stooges Throwback are going to be all over the AARP qualified Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
But the reviews have been pretty brutal. A few fell for its sentimental streak, and underwear stains. But not many. Watching “Horrible Bosses 2” last night I was struck again by how dated the Farrelly Brothers’ PG-13 grossout slapstick seems now. Their style may come back, but the Carrey and Mike Myers style of character farce — broad, cartoonish, unreal — has given way to believable dopes played by Will Ferrell, Ed Helms, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis.
The good reviews this weekend go to Jon Stewart’s directing debut, “Rosewater.” A good film telling the story of a journalist not exactly beaten to the edge of death in an Iranian prison. He was famous enough to have Stewart and Hilary Clinton, among others, rattling Iranian mullahs for his release. So his suffering seems pale by what the movies normally show us. But it’s realistic and commonplace, Stewart and the film’s subject prisoner told me.
The better reviews roll in for Tommy Lee Jones’ “The Homesman.” Hilary Swank leans into another Oscar worthy turn as a spinster who, with an old rascal (Jones) escorts three crazy women from the desolate prairie to Back East. Very good, I thought.
“Beyond the Lights” is a simple “Bodyguard” style take on music, the music biz, stardom’s cost today — but it stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and critics such as myself are totally smitten. Very good reviews for a genre piece.
Then there’s “Foxcatcher,” the best reviewed release opening this weekend. OK, limited release.VERY limited release. Wider soon. Steve Carell, Chaning Tatum and Mark Ruffalo also transform themselves for this (somewhat) true story about the rich DuPont heir who murdered a wrestler.