Girl Most Likely
(PG-13, 103 minutes, Lionsgate): Kristen Wiig delivers another spaced-out star turn in Girl Most Likely, a picaresque romance of self-discovery that delivers a near-constant flow of small delights until veering too far into screwball preposterousness.
Wiig plays Imogene, whos introduced in a prologue as a precocious young actress who, when shes uttering the line Theres no place like home in The Wizard of Oz, turns to the director to say, This just isnt working for me.
Flash forward 20 years and the grown-up Imogene is an aspiring playwright whose early ambition has been thwarted by the comfort and distraction offered by her wealthy boyfriend.
In its bravura opening sequence filmed entirely from Imogenes point of view we hear only Wiigs voice as her character leaves a series of voicemails for her errant beau as she makes her way into a snooty Manhattan fundraiser. By the time the camera finally reveals Wiigs face in a powder-room mirror, her carefully made-up expression of self-deception and defeat speaks volumes.
Eventually, events transpire to send Imogene back home to Ocean City, N.J., a place she has been running from all her adult life and where shes now forced to live with her mother, Zelda (Annette Bening), a compulsive gambler; her troubled but sweet brother, Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald); and her moms boyfriend, George (Matt Dillon), who insists hes in the CIA and has a coffee mug to prove it.
Contains sexual content and profanity. Extras: Making-of featurette, deleted scenes, gag reel and Life in the Human Shell featurette.
White House Down
(PG-13, 129 minutes, Sony): A riotous display of serial explosions, helicopter crashes, car smash-ups, sniper attacks and at least one slap on the face of a winsome little girl, White House Down is the kind of celebration of rampant mayhem in which everyone seems to have a rocket launcher at the ready, just in case they need to dispatch a scrum of vile and cruel villains.
But White House Down also clearly wants to be a lighthearted comedy. At least that seems to be the aim in a film that, in the midst of sadistic violence, throws in jokes and bits of buddy humor as blithely as its protagonists toss those grenades.
If cognitive dissonance ensues for an audience unsure whether to laugh or wince, thats nothing compared to the level of sheer volume and preposterousness the film inevitably reaches for with its we-can-top-that finale.
Contains prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some profanity and a brief sexual image. Extras: A Dynamic Duo, a look at the chemistry between co-stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx and their dynamic on-screen presence; featurette on Tatums stunt work; a look a director Roland Emmerichs vision for the film; and Meet the Insiders supporting cast featurette. On Blu-ray: gag reel and nine more featurettes.
Grown Ups 2
(PG-13, 101 minutes, Sony): Adam Sandler is capable of portraying nuanced characters, as he did in Funny People and Punch-Drunk Love, but hes clearly happy to settle for his go-to routine of acting like a child and spewing lazy jokes that include his comic holy trinity: bodily fluids, flatulence and ogling scantily-clad women.
Grown Ups 2 revisits the group of longtime friends that made Grown Ups a hit in 2010. But the sequel isnt merely mindless; it wastes a talented cast of Saturday Night Live alums who are capable of being much smarter and so much funnier.
Contains crude material, language and bare backsides.