It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s “The Avengers!” Er, no, it’s “Justice League.” The DC cinematic universe plays catch up with Marvel by finally getting its superhero coalition to the big screen. Thankfully, it’s a competent offering, written and partially directed by Joss Whedon, the man who gave us the big screen version of The Avengers. While offering little that’s original, “Justice League” is a reliably familiar franchise entry, a marked improvement from “Batman v Superman” and Ezra Miller adds a welcome spark as The Flash.
Greta Gerwig has been making an impression for the last few years for her acting work in low-budget art house indie flicks. With “Lady Bird,” she proves her greatest talent lies behind the camera. Saorise Ronan stars as Christine, a Sacramento girl loosely based on Gerwig during her teenage years. Christine faces adolescent challenges in the early 2000s and acts out against her mother, brilliantly played by Laurie Metcalf. The cast is terrific and the dialogue is sharp and realistic. “Lady Bird” is a funny, insightful and fresh take on the coming-of-age genre.
If you decide to see “Wonder,” the big screen adaptation of the bestselling children’s novel, be sure to take along the Kleenex. Young Jacob Tremblay is solid as Augie, a boy born with a serious facial deformity. His parents, played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, home school him to protect him from the cold, cruel world. Augie has some tough challenges when his folks finally decide to send him to public school, While the movie is emotionally manipulative, it’s so well made and acted that you probably won’t mind. It gently promotes its message of kindness and is a welcome relief from Hollywood cynicism.
Also opening this week, “I Remember You” is an Icelandic supernatural thriller based on the novel, “Queen of Icelandic Crime.”