Weekend Movies: Good reviews for “Avengers,” better ones for “Madding Crowd”

avengers-logoThe enthusiasm for the “Avengers” franchise has waned a bit. At least among critics, perhaps even among cast and crew. Not that they so much show it, but you can sort of feel a “do my bit, do it well, collect a check” ethos in the performances.

The reviews aren’t bad (mine, 2.5 stars, is here). But the glee that arrived with Josh Wheedon’s first installment of the series has evaporated. The novelty has worn off.

Not that audiences will be discouraged. This thing will make a mint, and has already exploded in other countries where it opened first. If that crap “Furious 7” can clear $1 billion worldwide, “Avengers” is sure to make bank.

“Welcome to Me” is earning decent, but not uniformly positive reviews, a Kristen Wiig comedy that seems overly indulgent, cutesie and just…off. A mentally ill woman wins the LOTTO, gets a TV show and becomes a viral sensation? You kind of feel you’ve seen it, even if you haven’t.

The romantic period piece “Far from the Madding Crowd” was far more to my liking, and earns the best reviews of all the films opening reasonably wide this weekend. CArey Mulligan, Mathias Schoenarts, Michael Sheen, a Thomas Hardy novel. Lovely 19th century period recreations.

The documentary “Iris” is about a fashion icon few outside of New York have ever heard of, a little old rich lady who dresses gaudily and collects (hoards) couture accessories. And has for decades. Cute, one of the last films of Albert Maysles.

I rather liked “Soul Boys of the Western World,” too. Spandau Ballet? Who knew?

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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