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Reviews for March 18th, 2016


Directed by Can Evrenol


Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by IFC Midnight.
Opens at IFC Center.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Directed by Zack Snyder Schwentke


Number of times I checked my watch: 7
Released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Opens nationwide.


Directed by Tripp Rhame


Number of times I checked my watch: 4
Released by Gravitas Ventures.
Opens in select theaters.

Born to Be Blue

Directed by Robert Budreau


Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by IFC Films.
Opens at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Directed by Kirk Jones

      Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett)'s 17-year-old daughter, Paris (newcomer Elena Kampouris), is about to graduate high school and head off to college, but doesn't know if she should pick a college around town or far away. Her overbearing mother who hasn't learned yet to let go of her daughter prefers that she were to stay close to home. After Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan), Toula's parents, discover that their marriage license is nullified because the priest didn't sign it back in Greece, they plan for a wedding to get officially married. Meanwhile, Toula and Ian attempt to re-ignite the passionate spark that made them fall in love with one another in the first movie.

      Lazy, repetitive, underdeveloped and bland, the screenplay by Nia Vardalos has a few heartfelt moments, but it fails to generate any laughs or any genuine poignancy. Instead, many scenes feel so schmaltzy that they'll make you roll your eyes more often than not. The Windex and "root of the word is Greek" jokes were funny in My Big Fat Greek Wedding; here they're less fresh and funny while they get repeat over and over and over. Colorful Aunt Voula (scene-stealing Andrea Martin) shows up again with her offbeat humor, but like the rest of the film's attempt at humor attempts, it feels forced. Vardalos crams so many subplots with so many character arcs together that it turns the film into a mess by the third act---a mess that can only be untangled by oversimplified, "Hollywood" solutions.

      Yes, it's nice to see all these characters again after such a long time, but if only they were to have a funny, fresher and sharper screenplay to sink their teeth into this time around. The first film was laugh-out-loud funny, quotable, refreshing and even re-watchable with all the memorable scenes. This one has no particularly memorable scenes and the jokes, sadly, fall flat, i.e. the "pull my neck" gags. Toula's family seems more loud and annoying this time around as they follow Toula around practically everywhere. Even though the film is 94 minutes, it feels much longer and overstays its welcome long before the end credits roll. If you're a big fan of the first film, prepare to be very disappointed.

Number of times I checked my watch: 6
Released by Universal Pictures.
Opens nationwide.

Spirits' Homecoming

Directed by Cho Jung-Rae


Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by Pan Media & Entertainment.
Opens at AMC Empire, AMC Starplex Ridgefield Park and Edgewater Multiplex Cinemas.
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