Film Caps

When bite-sized summaries are all you need

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (PG) — This mildly entertaining but ultimately forgettable sequel picks up with Red Riding Hood, Granny, and Big Bad Wolf as new members of the elite Happily Ever After Agency. Once again, the CGI is mediocre, but it's the movie's smug tone that brings it down, with way too many winking lines about sequels and special effects. Still, Bill Hader and Amy Poehler's heavily accented Hansel and Gretel are fun. (Ben Gifford) Arthur (PG-13) — Russell Brand's drunken, druggy past served him well in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. So he was a natural choice for this remake of Dudley Moore's 1981 hit about a drunken libertine forced to change his lifestyle to avoid losing an inheritance. A surprising level of creativity has gone into this remodel. The script is fairly nimble, with a good deal of Brand's characteristic wit, so it's easy to forgive the broad physical humor and the fact that Brand's angular dishevelment makes him an unlikely object of affection. (Pamela Zoslov)

Hop (PG) — It's the story of two slackers with overbearing fathers. One (James Marsden) is a jobless human; the other (voiced by Russell Brand) is the future Easter Bunny, who'd rather play drums than deliver baskets. Their worlds collide when Fred the human hits E.B. the rabbit with his car and reluctantly agrees to take him in. This live-action/animation hybrid features a typically restless performance by Brand and a few clever visual gags. (Michael Gallucci)

Of Gods and Men (R) — In 1996, seven French monks were beheaded in Algeria, ending two months as hostages of an armed Muslim group during that country's decade-long civil war. But it's barely a footnote of a story that is almost impossible to grasp in a country where true faith is a fleeting concept. Things start to go bad around Christmas 1995, when rebel forces reach the monks' rural mountain valley home. After their demands for medicine and help are rejected out of principles of peace, the extremists vow to return under different terms. The monks are faced with a choice to leave the valley and return to France or wait out the inevitable. It's this deliberation that makes up the soul of this powerful movie, whose empathy resides not just with the monks, but villagers and fundamentalists too. (Michael Byrne)

Rio (PG) — The latest 3D CGI talking-animal movie is about a rare and pampered pet macaw named Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisensberg) who goes to Rio to breed with Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and save his species. But he ends up separated from his owner. It's standard fish-out-of-water stuff, with sassy sidekicks (Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, and Tracy Morgan), an evil cockatoo, and a major obstacle for the hero to overcome. (Gallucci)

Scream 4 (R) — Director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson swore that 2000's Scream 3 concluded the self-referential horror series, but — surprise! — here's another one. On the 10th anniversary of the original's massacre, Sidney (Neve Campbell) returns to her hometown as a best-selling memoirist. Smartass dialogue and plot twists once again rely on in-jokes, a movie-within-the-movie-within-the-movie, and a media-aware popscape of smartphones, remakes, and webcasts — everything but reality TV. Which they're doubtlessly saving for Scream 5. (Charles Cassady Jr.)

Super (NR) — When his drug-addicted wife leaves him, lifelong-loser Frank (Rainn Wilson of The Office) takes matters into his own hands: He makes an ill-fitting costume, calls himself the Crimson Bolt, and heads out to fight crime. There's plenty of dark comedy here, but Super goes deeper and plays with more emotions than other no-hero superhero movies like Kick-Ass. (Gallucci)

Water for Elephants (PG-13) — Depression-era Jacob (Twilight's Robert Pattinson) hops the train of a traveling circus, where he shovels manure until August (Inglourious Basterds' Christoph Waltz) enlists him as vet and trainer for his latest attraction, Rosie the elephant. As Jacob tries to protect the animals from vicious beatings, he ends up falling for the circus' star performer (Reese Witherspoon), who also happens to be the boss' bullied wife. While the movie reflects the sleazy glamour and base cruelty of 1930s circus life — animals worked to death, workers thrown off moving trains to avoid paying them — the story's hokey tone recalls vintage Disney. Still, it's presented with some style. And Pattinson is surprisingly effective. (Zoslov)

Your Highness (R) — This stoner comedy — about two medieval princes on a quest to rescue a beautiful princess — would utterly suck if Danny McBride and James Franco weren't so amiable and Zooey Deschanel didn't make such a fetching princess. Fabious and Thadeous battle traitorous knights, a five-headed beast, and topless female warriors to retrieve the stolen princess. Crass, bloody, obvious, and occasionally funny, Your Highness plays more like a series of in-jokes than an actual story. (Gallucci)

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