Fertile comedy premise: Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn in “The Babymakers.”
Updated: August 7, 2012 9:12AM
Rated: Rated R for crude and sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use
Stars: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan
Desperate to impregnate his baby-crazed wife (Munn), a man who believes he is now infertile (Schneider) asks friends to help him rob a sperm bank where he made a deposit years ago. Jay Chandrasekhar (“Supertroopers”) directed the comedy.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS
Rated: PG for some rude humor
Stars: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick
School’s out, but all of wimpy kid Greg’s (Gordon) dreams for summer vacation are not coming true. David Bowers (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules”) returns as director.
Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity, and language.
Stars: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston
A working man (Farrell) on a virtual vacation as a super-spy on Mars becomes a hunted man in reality after something goes wrong with his program. Len Wiseman (“Underworld”) directed the remake of the 1990 sci-fi action hit starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
★ ★ ★
Rated: Rated R for language including some sexual references, and for some drug use
Stars: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina
A charming but by no means reassuring love story, this second feature by the directors of “Little Miss Sunshine” muses on the ephemeral nature of romantic relationships — particularly their tendency to go painfully awry. Even when literally made to order. Lonely, isolated, aging wunderkind author Calvin (Dano), breaks through a serious creative block by writing about dream girl Ruby (screenwriter Kazan, also Dano’s girlfriend), who magically comes to life and moves in. Calvin can make Ruby do whatever he wants, just by writing it, but swears not to — until Ruby starts to get tired of him. Then the honeymoon starts to turn to hell on Earth.
★ ★ 1/2
Rated: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane
Be careful what you wish for, little boys. Decades after a Christmas miracle brings his beloved stuffed animal to life, grown up little Johnny (Wahlberg) still lives with his foul-mouthed, dope-smoking, sex fiend of a Teddy bear — much to the annoyance of Johnny’s girlfriend Lori (Kunis). The feature debut of “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane (who wrote, directed and gave himself the best lines as the bear), “Ted” is clunky, crude (take away flatulence and half the jokes would be gone) and very, very strange — especially with Giovanni Ribisi lurking as a psycho who wants to give Ted to his son. Every now and then, though, a semi-inspired moment makes it almost worthwhile.
Rated: Rated R for some strong sexual content including references, pervasive language and violent images
Stars: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade
Not just witless and pointless, but almost unrelentingly mirthless as well, “The Watch” is definitely one to watch out for — and avoid. Despite a promising premise for a summer action-comedy (small-town doofuses save the world from space aliens) and a fairly impressive comedy pedigree, “The Watch” never gets properly started. Partially because it can’t make up its mind whether to go for raunchy comedy, heartfelt male bonding or sci-fi action thrills. Mainly, though, because of sheer laziness. The humor is low-grade crude and almost entirely genital-obsessed and the big, gun-crazy finale fizzles entirely except for one surprisingly brutal moment when Stiller and Vaughn pump a dozen or so rounds at close range into an already-dead alien. Hilarious.
Rated: Rated NC-17 for graphic disturbing content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Hayden Church, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon
When a gambling debt puts his life in danger, a young man (Hirsch) hires a hit man (McConaughey) to kill his evil mother (Gershon) for her insurance money. William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”) directed the crime drama.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
★ ★ ★ 1/2
Rated: PG-13 for sequences of action and violence
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
Though the recent, spectacularly successful series of “Spider-Man” adventures directed by Sam Raimi is still fresh in moviegoer memory, this compete reboot of the spider-saga by director Marc Webb quickly establishes itself as a worthy successor by telling the same story in a different — and in some ways superior — manner. Webb doesn’t score quite as high as Raimi in terms of visual dazzle, but he delivers plenty of adrenaline-pumping action. And he generates a surprising level of gravitas by taking the heavy-duty dramatic elements in the story very seriously. Best of all, the remarkable chemistry between Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Stone as his high-school girlfriend Gwen ups the romantic ante in a way that improves on the comics, as well as Raimi’s Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst match-up.