Weekend Movie Preview: May 19, 2012

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Three new films arrive this weekend and they could not be more different. Will any of them topple The Avengers from its firm box office perch? Time will tell, but the one with the best chance has to be Battleship. Peter Berg’s naval epic takes the board game and brings it to the big screen while Sacha Baron Cohen returns to his comic character roots in The Dictator, and an all-star cast tells us What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Also, in limited release is a delightful film called Hysteria starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The Dictator: Cohen is back to his Borat greatness in a film that is ripe for our times while simultaneously so outrageously silly that it may even need to be witnessed a second time. The comic is Admiral General Aladeen, a tyrant from a fictional North African country. When he heads to New York to address the U.N., comic mayhem ensues and it is an utter delight, as we state in our The Dictator review.


What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick and Elizabeth Banks lead an all-star cast that brings the famous self-help book to the big screen. It is funny. The film’s romantic. And overall, as we explain further in our What to Expect When You’re Expecting review, it is one welcome surprise delivery.


Battleship: Berg has officially joined the ranks of the Michael Bays of the world with his effort to bring a Hasbro board game to the screen. Unlike Bay, Berg manages to capture uncanny action and pull our heartstrings in a film that is as big explosively as it is emotionally. Check out our Battleship review for more.


Hysteria: Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy star in a film that is both romantic comedy and historical chronicle while being a perfect piece of counter-programming to all the blockbuster films at the movie theater these days. Our don’t-miss Hysteria review delves deeper.



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Battleship Review

Let’s start by saying that no one goes to see Battleship expecting anything more than a summer popcorn movie with all the trimmings. In...

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