Movies » Opening in Orlando

On Screens in Orlando: Aladdin, BookSmart and more

by

comment

Opening this week: Aladdin When Disney's animated Aladdin premiered in 1992, a publicist called me to breathlessly extol its many virtues – except for one element not even she herself could countenance: "The parrot is played by that incredibly annoying comedian, Gilbert Gottfried." I was amazed that somebody who was being paid to talk up a movie would slip in that kind of a dig. When I responded that I myself actually love Gilbert, the line went dead for a good few moments. So while everybody else is focusing on what an inferior substitute Will Smith is going to make for Robin Williams in this week's apparently unnecessary live-action remake, I myself am toeing a different line: No Gilbert, no peace. I mean, Alan Tudyk is fine and all, but can't we just get him into a second Firefly feature and leave the legacy of Iago unsullied? I'm sure that bird has some thoughts about the late Hugh Hefner your kids would benefit greatly from hearing. (To learn our Cameron Meier's thoughts on these and other pressing issues, read his review of the new Aladdin at orlandoweekly.com.) (PG)

Booksmart Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut with a comedic portrait of two high-school goody-goodies who regret all the fun they missed out on and resolve to make it up to themselves – in a single night. Critics like The New Yorker's Anthony Lane are already praising the movie for subverting our expectations of such an adventure. But doesn't a statement like that betray a fundamental misremembering of the high school experience? As a teenager in New Jersey, I had no expectations of anything whatsoever – whether it was a good time on graduation night, a rosy professional future or a 10-year reunion to be held anywhere nicer than family court. So you do you, Olivia and Anthony, but if you think "fun" should even be on the table, I wanna see your yearbook. (R)

Brightburn Brightburn is being referred to as a James Gunn film. But he merely co-produced it, leaving the directing to David Yarovesky and the writing to his brothers, Brian and Mark Gunn. I'd say this picture has more Gunns than a Florida elementary school, but ol' James doesn't need my help losing another gig. Anyway, the movie is a sinister riff on a certain American pop-cultural legend, with an alien child landing in the life of a receptive surrogate mother, who gradually discovers her adopted son is not a Superman but something far more toxic. ("There's something more toxic?" – Zack Snyder.) Oh, and the mother is played by Elizabeth Banks. Remember her high-profile role at the 2016 Democratic National Convention? Seems she knows a bit about wanting something desperately and getting an apocalyptically inclined man-child instead. (R)

Also playing: The White Crow Ralph Fiennes directed this biopic about ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev and his defection to the West. When you think about it, that was kind of a good argument for merit-based migration, because it got us a perfectly fine episode of The Muppet Show. (R; playing at Regal Winter Park Village & RPX)