Joseph O'Brien 2 p.m., May 25
What is the sound of a thousand fanboys sighing disappointedly? Prometheus, writes David Elliott. "The story is a lurching carnival of budget blasts. The 3-D does not much help stuff such as the storms of metallic dust. This movie could be its own Comic-Con in hell. Characters we never cared about die wretchedly, and in her big scene Rapace grotesquely operates on herself. It may be cinema’s worst anti-abortion scene, or is it pro-abortion? In the kitsch maze of Scott’s mind, the issues tend to fog."
Speaking of films about fighting the ravages of time that feature Charlize Theron as the chilly, beautiful, somewhat evil authority figure, he rather liked Snow White & The Huntsman: "...the movie entertains. Strong effects, good design, and an exciting use of nature help to empower Stewart and Theron, who inject a rich, double dose of feminism."
But the real gem this week is Moonrise Kingdom, for which our man dips into his considerable store of cultural reference points. To wit: At times it is almost a whimsical Yankee cousin of the children’s river trip in The Night of the Hunter, with monster Robert Mitchum replaced by the fussy spirit of Clifton Webb in Mr. Scoutmaster...Moonrise Kingdom seems to evoke James Thurber and Richard Brautigan on a canoe trip, looking for Huck Finn." You could spend a fruitful week tracking all of those down.
And The Intouchables? Well, "I would rather view again [Francois Cluzet's] quadriplegic Philippe in The Intouchables than Hoffman’s gimmicky, autistic Raymond of Rain Man. Based upon real characters, The Intouchables is both credible and contrived."