The race towards Oscar intensifies this week as the weekend movie preview highlights Tom Hanks' sizzling performance in Captain Phillips. Hanks and the film itself are surefire Oscar nominees, but they aren't alone on the weekend release schedule. The Machete sequel, Machete Kills, also arrives, as does the latest version of a Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet.
Captain Phillips: Hanks is astounding, as we report in our five-star Captain Phillips review, as the real-life cargo ship captain who lured Somali pirates away from his ship and his crew and spent days on end stuck in a stuffy lifeboat, clinging to life. Paul Greengrass is the perfect helmer to direct the thriller that chronicles his rescue by the U.S. Navy and the Navy SEALs. As we stated, if you want to start getting some Oscar nominees under your belt before the season gets busy, check out Captain Phillips, it is simply incredible.
Machete Kills: Danny Trejo is back as Machete, and this time out, he is joined by some Hollywood heavyweights. Jessica Alba returns, as does Michelle Rodriguez, but it is newbies Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Lady Gaga and Sofia Vergara who rise to the challenge of taking the adventure of Machete to a whole new level. Robert Rodriguez's passion for Mex-ploitation continues, and as we reported in our Machete Kills review, the film is so bad... it's brilliant!
Romeo and Juliet: The man who brought us Downton Abbey has turned his sights on William Shakespeare and brought what is widely considered his most popular play to life onscreen. Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth are the leads and they are terrific. But, the person who steals the movie from both of them is Paul Giamatti as the Friar who has the best of intentions to heal the rift between the families. Of course, we all know how well that turns out. For more, check out our Romeo and Juliet review.