November 14, 2014

Opening in Athens: Dumb and Dumber To, Birdman and More



Here's what's new on the big screen in Athens this week:

DUMB AND DUMBER TO (PG-13; showtimes): I do not recall the Farrelly Brothers’ popular first comedy as dotingly as most other people. Kingpin is funnier, and no recent comedy transcended genre like There’s Something about Mary, which should have been nominated for Best Picture. But here we are, 20 years later, preparing for a road trip with Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels). The nominal plot involves Harry’s search for a daughter he did not know he had. Carrey’s still funny, and Daniels has proven to be much, much more. Worst-case scenario? The Farrellys demolish everyone’s nostalgic fondness for the original.

SAVING CHRISTMAS (PG; showtimes): I prefer the longer title, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, which could be a statement or imply authorship. Who’s willing to venture out to the theater to check? Christmas, which has already begun ringing its commercial bells, is probably one of the least threatened things in existence. Is a former teen idol really the best person to ensure Christ is put back in Christmas? Is a silly holiday comedic romp the platform for what seems to be a serious, conservative Christian concern? Did they have to name his Scrooge-ing brother-in-law Christian? Finally, how did this made-for-TV movie make it to theaters?

BIRDMAN (R; showtimes): If you see one new movie this weekend, make it the acclaimed Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful) has hopefully provided Michael Keaton his Oscar moment. Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, the star of three mega-successful blockbusters in the Birdman franchise. Now, he’s trying to reclaim relevance via a Broadway show. He also seems to be dealing with some serious, stress-induced delusions, which look awesome on the big screen. Keaton is joined by Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. It’s opening at Cine this weekend; go see it.