What a perfect storm of new releases this weekend:
—Wendy and Lucy, a terribly timely and terribly depressing slice-of-life about a broke 20-something with a dead car and a lost dog. Starring Michelle Williams and her Dorothy Hamill-meets-No Country for Old Men hair.
—Taken, a thriller co-written by Luc Besson that stars Liam Neeson as a retired Jason Bourne. The setup’s a little clunky. (It goes something like: “Daddy, can I go to Paris for the summer?” “No, it’s too dangerous.” “Please?” “You’ll be in danger!” “Pretty please?” “Oh OK, but call me every five minutes.” Then, who could have guessed it, the girl and her friend are in France not an hour before getting kidnapped.) But really, it’s all about the action anyway, and that part’s surprisingly entertaining. Who knew Neeson had an inner badass?
—New in Town, a romantic comedy that makes Renee Zellweger unlikeable and Minnesotans look like idiots. Strained “comedy” ensues when Zellweger’s uptight Miami businesswoman travels to a small Northern town where people talk funny and care about obviously retarded things such as scrapbooks and Jesus. She’s there to downsize its lifeblood manufacturing plant and act condescending and rude as hell. So what a shock when she warms up to them and — plot twist! — falls in love! Harry Connick Jr. is the only tolerable part of the movie, which is all you really need to know.
—The Uninvited, a remake of the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters, which means it’s probably dumbed-down but still doesn’t totally make sense. I missed it, but it’s got a 43 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which in the horror world is pretty much equivalent to Oscar-worthy.
Have fun fighting on date night.