The Last Song
Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Greg Kinnear | PG |
REVIEWED BY SARA VILKOMERSON
Kiss Hannah Montana goodbye! In author Nicholas Sparks’ latest tearjerker, pop princess Cyrus convincingly channels her inner angsty teen as troubled Ronnie, a former piano prodigy who sulks, throws tantrums and makes out with cute boys. After Ronnie is sent to her father’s beach house for the summer, she falls in love with Will (Hemsworth) and starts to repair her relationship with her divorced dad (Kinnear). Kelly Preston puts in a touching, brief turn as her mom, but with so many competing story lines (everything from terminal illness to sea turtle eggs), the film gets muddled. Still, it’ll deliver a good cry.
Hot Tub Time Machine
John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson | R |
REVIEWED BY KRISTEN MASCIA
If Back to the Future and The Hangover were to get tipsy on Bartles & Jaymes and accidentally procreate, Hot Tub would be the demented, hilarious result. A raunch-tinged spoof on the Reagan era, Tub takes off when a group of buddies (including Cusack, having fun with his ’80s past, and The Daily Show’s Corddry) find themselves in their ski-lodge Jacuzzi one minute, 1986 the next. Watch for a cameo by a Karate Kid star. Hint: It’s not Ralph Macchio.
Leaves of Grass
Edward Norton, Keri Russell, Susan Sarandon | R |
What’s better than one terrific Edward Norton performance? Try two! Norton does double duty playing an uptight Ivy League professor and his pot-dealing identical brother in this zany comedy that poses the age-old question, What does it take to lead a happy life? Unfortunately, excellent turns by Norton, Sarandon and Russell (playing a catfish-wrestling poet!) are overshadowed by the twisty turns of this caper-written and directed by actor Tim Blake Nelson-that go beyond wacky into plain absurd.