THE WEEKLY STANDARD's own Kelly Jane Torrance reviews three new films for The Washington Examiner.
First up, is the sci-fi thriller Source Code:
Duncan Jones made a name for himself in movieland with his 2009 debut, "Moon." Of course, Jones' name itself is something of a story. The son of David Bowie was known, infamously, as Zowie Bowie at his birth in 1971. He might not have completely chosen his own name -- he was born Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones -- but he has certainly become his own man. While he acquired his interest in science fiction from his father, he's developing his own brand of smart sci-fi -- as evidenced by "Moon" and now his sophomore effort, "Source Code."
And Torrance had mixed feelings about the new comedy Super:
What to do about a movie that's alternately sweet, hilarious and grotesque?
Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute from "The Office") is Frank, a man who married out of his league. The beautiful but damaged Sarah makes him happy for a few years before reverting to her old ways and running off with her dealer, the drug kingpin Jacques (Bacon). Frank makes some pathetic attempts to get her back -- "This is the guy who stole my wife. Can you arrest him?" he asks a cop -- before realizing he's facing not just a homewrecker, but someone truly evil. And what better way to fight evil than by becoming a superhero with a stock of weapons and a costume? Frank turns himself into the Crimson Bolt, practicing on small-time dealers and purse snatchers to warm up for the challenge of Jacques and his henchmen. He even gets the traditional sidekick when comic store cashier Libby (Ellen Page) admires Frank's work and decides to become Boltie.
The stage is set for some cartoonish fun -- but the graphic violence in which Frank engages looks all too real.
Finally, there's the enjoyable indie flick Happythankyoumoreplease:
Sitcom star-turned-auteur? It doesn't seem very likely, does it? It's doubtful even Ron Howard aspires to the role. But just on the strength of his first film, Josh Radnor seems destined to confound expectations.
The star of "How I Met Your Mother" spent years pursuing financing for his debut, which he wrote during the first seasons of the show. His cast, not huge stars but still recognizable names, worked for scale. This independent film was clearly a labor of love. Don't mistake it for a vanity project by a young actor who is desperate to be taken more seriously, though. "Happythankyoumoreplease" is a film that embraces all of our complicated humanity.