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What's New in Theaters This Weekend: April 13, 2012

(From Left: Krysten Ritter, Chris Hemsworth, Rachel Bilson (Photos by Bauer Griffin, Getty Images).

The Cabin in the Woods

Directed by: Drew Goddard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Connolly

Don't be fooled by the very ordinary title, The Cabin in the Woods is not your typical horror genre film. Director/co-writer Goddard penned the screenplay with the talented Joss Whedon so expect the unexpected. The story does center around a group of friends who head off to a frightening cabin in the woods for a retreat, but the tale is much more than that. The cabin is actually an experiment run by two scientists who put the vacationers through bloody tribulations. Whedon is known for turning genres upside down and shaking them and Goddard once wrote for Lost so Cabin should keep you guessing, perhaps until after the film ends.
See it? Yes.

Directed by: James Mather and Stephen St. Leger
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace

The President's daughter is kidnapped by the inmates of an outer space prison and Guy Pearce is granted his freedom if he can rescue her? Is this He Got Game in space? Well, no, it's more like He Got Game mashed together with Rambo and Taken, since Maggie Grace has, again, gotten herself into trouble and needs to be found. Neither of these directors has done anything yet so Lockout isn't going to blow your mind, but the plot has enough fun action elements that I'm in.
See it? Sure.

The Three Stooges
Directed by: Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Starring: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Sofia Vergara

Once the Farrelly Brothers' tribute to the classic Stooges had Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, and Paul Giamatti attached, but the project devolved into its present state. Starring three mediocre actors in a story about how the Stooges try to save their orphanage while involved in a murder plot on a reality show, this update may end up surprising everyone. Mainly because expectations could not be lower.
See it? No.

Monsieur Lazhar (Limited)
Directed by: Philippe Falardeau
Starring: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nelisse

The Canadian submission for last year's Best Foreign Film Academy Award, Monsieur Lazhar tells the story of a Montreal middle school class in grief over the death of their beloved teacher. When substitute teacher Bachir Lazhar steps in, he finds solace in helping the children heal while accepting his own painful past. Heavy stuff, but critically acclaimed and easily the most introspective film to debut this weekend.
See it? Yes.

Detention (Limited)
Directed by: Joseph Kahn
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Shanley Caswell

If The Cabin in the Woods is setting a new bar for genre-mash up horror, Detention is the J.V. version. A group of students serving detention together must stave off a slasher film killer in time for prom. The trailer tells you all you need to know. The movie thinks it's so much more clever and stylish than it actually is.
See it? No.

Bad Ass (Limited)
Directed by: Craig Moss
Starring: Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman, Charles S. Dutton

Danny Trejo gets another chance to shine in this aptly-titled revenge flick that finds him seeking vigilante justice after his best friend is murdered and the cops don't care. Trejo has long been one of my favorite character actors (mainly due to his multiple prison stints) and this latest leading man phase of his career must be embraced! Trejo forever!
See it? Sure.

L!fe Happens (Limited)
Directed by: Kat Coiro
Starring: Krysten Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson

Released to coincide with Ritter's new TV show, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, L!fe Happens is trying to be a hip, funny indie comedy where girls run the show instead of guys. As much as I like Ritter (who co-wrote the script), this is unfortunately one of those movies where all the best jokes are in the trailer. How do I know this won't be good? Bilson and Bosworth are involved.
See it? No.

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