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Weekend Movies: An ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Reunion

Plus: Jesse Eisenberg Channels Woody Allen in ‘Café Society’

Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) perfectly channels Woody Allen in the comedy Café Society, the director’s newest — and 47th! — film. We asked Eisenberg if it’s difficult not to do that when you’re reading Woody’s words and following Woody’s direction. His reply: It’s not difficult — it’s merely impossible!

Jennifer Saunders as

David Appleby

Jennifer Saunders as Edina and Joanna Lumley as Patsy in the film "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie"

Can a cult British TV series that’s been off the air for four years become a smash hit stateside? We don’t understand it either, but from the instant in late April when we posted the trailer for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie on the Movies for Grownups Facebook page, it’s been getting thousands of views each week. So … what’s the appeal of two appallingly self-centered middle-aged London party girls? Of her character, the chain-smoking, vodka-swigging Patsy, 70-year-old Joanna Lumley told London’s Independent, “Patsy doesn’t care about anything. Sometimes you think, What a relief that would be!

New in Theaters

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

*Café Society

Woody Allen’s latest, the story of a young New York man (Jesse Eisenberg) trying to remake himself in 1930s Los Angeles, starts out as a love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood, then morphs into a meditation on life choices and regrets. Steve Carell is blustery at first, then appealingly melancholy as the hero’s talent-agent uncle. FULL REVIEW

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return for a big-screen sequel to their long-running British sitcom, starring as a pair of hard-drinking, bad-mannered publicists. On the run after apparently killing Kate Moss (it was an accident!), they encounter dozens of star cameos — mostly of Brit celebs little-known to us colonists, but including the likes of Joan Collins, Jon Hamm, Jerry Hall, Perez Hilton and…wait for it…the singer Lulu who, 49 years after To Sir With Love, is still beloved in Britain.

Star Trek Beyond

You’d think by now they would have run out of places “where no man has gone before,” but in the 13th big-screen adaptation of the 1960s TV series, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and company find themselves stranded on an unknown planet. There are, of course, bad guys hiding up there in the rocks.

New at Home

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

* Elvis & Nixon

Michael Shannon is the King; Kevin Spacey is the Prez. Both are pitch perfect in this delightful fly-on-the-wall look at Elvis’ impromptu 1970 Oval Office visit. FULL REVIEW

Miles Ahead

Producer-director-writer-star Don Cheadle’s heartfelt bio of Miles Davis follows the drug-addled trumpeter through a night-long quest to recover a stolen session tape. It’s a jumble out there, but Cheadle is brilliant. FULL REVIEW 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The first two hours are spent setting up the unique conditions under which superhuman Superman and mere mortal Batman can fight on equal terms. By that time, they (and we) have forgotten what they were mad about. FULL REVIEW


An intense performance by Jake Gyllenhaal nearly saves this convoluted drama about a man oddly unaffected by his wife’s sudden death. FULL REVIEW

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Still Out There

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

* The BFG

Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) brings a ton of heart to the titular character, a Big Friendly Giant. Director Steven Spielberg expertly balances his appetite for sentiment with author Roald Dahl’s rascally sense of delightful danger. FULL REVIEW

Captain Fantastic

Viggo Mortensen is splendid as a latter-day Thoreau who raises six children in a Pacific Northwest forest, hectoring them about the superiority of their lifestyle compared with us space-age softies. After a while, though, the backwoods boasting starts to chafe like wood chips in your hiking boots. FULL REVIEW 

* Finding Dory

Ellen DeGeneres leads an A-list of veteran stars — including Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy — giving voice to the endearing aquatic characters in Pixar’s latest animated masterpiece. There are laughs aplenty, but also — as in every Pixar epic — moments of poignance and beauty. FULL REVIEW

* Ghostbusters

Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) remakes the Gone With the Wind of supernatural comedies, this time with an all-female cast of ghost hunters: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. Look for appearances by original stars Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. FULL REVIEW

* The Infiltrator

Bryan Cranston disappears into yet another character — this time a U.S. customs official who goes undercover in 1980s Miami to trap Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. John Leguizamo costars as his streetwise partner. FULL REVIEW

The Jungle Book

This live-action version of the 1967 Disney cartoon is about as close to Kipling’s literary classic as Angry Birds is to Audubon’s Birds of America. Still, the computer animation is jaw-dropping, and Bill Murray enjoys himself as the voice of Baloo the Bear.

The Legend of Tarzan

After 98 years of movie Tarzans, they’re still coming up with new stories for the original swinger. Alexander Skarsgård plays Tarzan this time, returning from his adopted home of London to set things right in his old jungle digs. Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson costar.

* The Nice Guys

This slam-bang buddy-cop flick harks back to the best of them (think Lethal Weapon or 48 Hrs.). In 1977 L.A., Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are mismatched detectives searching for an MIA porn star. The jokes are just one form of the rapid-fire killers here. FULL REVIEW

The Purge: Election Year

No, silly, it’s not about America’s current presidential campaign — it’s a horror movie.

The Secret Life of Pets

Albert Brooks, Laraine Newman, Louis C.K. and Dana Carvey are among the familiar voices in this animated tale of how the critters will play when the master’s away.

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