If you have men (or soccer enthusiast women) in your life, chances are you’re going to want to escape from the constant World Cup noise. There’s no better escape from the heat, yelling, and ball-pinging than an air-conditioned movie theater. But for some reason, instead of releasing a bunch of chick flicks to compensate, half of this weekend’s movie releases are also packed full of machismo. Fortunately, Sundance winner “Winter’s Bone” is on limited release and looks pretty fantastic. Plus, there’s a Joan Rivers documentary that I had no idea existed until now but am weirdly glad that it does. “The A-Team” and “The Karate Kid” both look decent if you’re in one of those set-stuff-on-fire and beat-people-up kind of moods. Or are nostalgic for the ’80s.
The Movie: “The A-Team”
The Trailer: A year ago, an elite crime-fighting unit was sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. Now they’re bad*ss (but still good guy) soldiers for hire.
B.A. Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) joins group leader Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), pretty boy hotshot Face (Bradley Cooper) and Murdock (Sharlto Copley) to create the A-Team. There are lots of explosions, lots of one-liners, and lots of throwbacks to the ’80s TV series.
The Hitch: As if the World Cup isn’t making this weekend testosteroni enough, this wham, bam shoot-em up, “go America” movie should make everyone sprout a little chest hair. But if there had to be a movie about a ragged team of misfit soldiers, I’m really glad they decided to put a topless Bradley Cooper in it.
The Movie: “The Karate Kid”
The Trailer: Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) is stuck moving to Beijing when his single mom (Taraji P. Henson) gets transferred. He gets beat up by bullies and falls for a teenage violinist, but then Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) teaches him kung fu and Dre fights his bully and is probably victorious.
The Hitch: Boy, is Jaden Smith adorable! He looks like a miniature of his dad, Will Smith. I’m looking forward to fun stereotypes (does every Chinese youth excel at the violin?) and re-imagined moments from the 1984 original (wax-on/wax-off vs. jacket on/jacket off). It almost makes me wish I had a kid to go with, because I’m sure the magic would be brand-new for them.
The Movie: “Winter’s Bone”
The Trailer: Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is a poor Southern teenager, forced to take care of her siblings and mentally ill mother, while her father runs from the cops for cooking meth. Their father used their house in Missouri’s Ozarks as collateral for his bail bond and Ree has to track down the deadbeat to make sure their home isn’t seized.
The Hitch: I’m obsessed with the South and appreciate the fact that many of the supporting actors are non-pro locals and the deteriorating structures and misty forests are so striking. “Winter’s Bone” took home the Sundance Festival’s Grand Jury Prize and Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. And it paints a realistic, unglamorous picture of the poverty and local criminal underworld.
The Movie: “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”
The Trailer: At 75 years old, Joan Rivers has been working constantly for decades. Apparently, she will take any job that is offered to her. She’s self-deprecating but not self-pitying and has a million stories to tell and won’t pause to censor them before spewing out truths.
The Hitch: Who knew they were making a Joan Rivers documentary? I used to hate Joan Rivers for being so mean to celebrities on the red carpet, but then I saw her on the street once. Now, I fear her. She is a miniature firecracker of a woman and, though I wish she’d slow down on the plastic surgery, I don’t mind that she has a mouth that won’t stop.