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Save the Date, Richard III, Dragon

Cinefiles

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Save the Date (R)

IFC Films

After Bridesmaids' success, I guess producers believe they've found a new comedy trope to thoroughly exploit, in impending marriage. The latest is the absolutely grating Save the Date, starring every single one-note "it" actor possible, including Mean Girls' Lizzy Caplan, whose faux-sardonic, chip-on-the-shoulder, disaffected-snowflake character is getting really old. Here, she's Sarah, who breaks up with her overeager boyfriend when he proposes to her at a gig for his ultra-shitty band. Her sister Beth is the one getting married and Sarah wants what's best for her, but all that is kind of thrown by the wayside when Sarah finds herself impregnated by a lithe hipster. Unfortunately, as much as this would-be counter-cultural collective strives to be different, it lacks the creativity. Not only could Save the Date have starred Sandra Bullock, it likely would've been better for it. — Louis Fowler

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Richard III (NR) (Blu-ray)

Criterion

No other Middle Ages English king has had a hotter year than Richard III, the schemer immortalized by William Shakespeare over 400 years ago and further popularized by Laurence Olivier more than 50 years ago. Not only were the real-life royal's remains recently discovered underneath a parking lot, but the resulting facial reconstruction actually resembled Olivier's take on him. And what a mug it is to behold in this eye-popping Blu-ray debut of the 1955 film, which features insightful audio commentary by Shakespearean scholars and a crystal-clear transfer of one of cinema's finest moments. Olivier's Richard maintains his dignity throughout all the backstabbing and intrigue, daring to flirt with the idea of King Richard as an anti-hero. It's truly impressive, how crafty a balance Olivier struck between VistaVision spectacle and theater-seasoned intimacy and humanity. — Justin Strout

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Dragon (R) (Blu-ray)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

What's the deal with American distributors naming every single Asian martial arts film Dragon? Seriously, what was wrong with the original title of this, Wu Xia? Well, either way, this Dragon features international action stars Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro, as well as a guest appearance from kung fu legend Jimmy Wang Yu, in a period tale about a family man with a secret past that comes back to haunt him. Yen plays a quiet village craftsman who, when he defends himself against two trained killers, brings the attention of the police and an inquisitive forensics detective who notices little things that cause him to believe Yen's not who he claims to be. Wonderfully complicated fight sequences, brilliant anatomy lessons and a truly intriguing tale makes this martial arts variation of A History of Violence one of the best recent Asian films, unimaginative title aside. — Louis Fowler

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