In the grisly, over-the-top vampire comedy “Renfield,” Nicholas Cage plays Dracula and gets to chew the scenery as well as a lot of jugular veins. Nicholas Hoult plays his reluctant servant Renfield who gets some help from cop Aquafina to try to take down the blood sucker. It’s often clever but doesn’t quite live up to its promise. While “Renfield” may be a little anemic, it doesn’t suck.
Here’s an offer you CAN refuse…watching the awful gangster comedy, “Mafia Mamma.” Toni Collette stars as an uptight, sexually repressed American woman who travels to Italy for her grandfather’s funeral, there she discovers she’s the new head of a mob family that’s at war with a rival gang. The humor is labored and the cultural cliches are embarrassing. Director Catharine Hardwicke is best known for the movie “Twilight,” but with “Mafia Mamma,” she’s completely in the dark. Leave the movie. Take the cannoli.
The anime offering “Suzume” is a colorful sci-fi fantasy from Japan about a teenage girl who tries to avert disasters by closing dangerous portals to another dimension. While it’s overlong and the narrative gets a bit cumbersome, older kids and fans of anime will savor “Suzume’s” spirit and vibrant workmanship.
“How to Blow Up a Pipeline” is a dramatic feature based on the controversial nonfiction screed by Andreas Malm that argued that sabotage is an acceptable form of climate activism. The movie dramatization plays like an intricate heist film. Sasha Lane stars as one of a group of activists who plot the destruction of an oil conduit in the Texas desert. It’s a gritty and realistic ensemble piece that should spark some interesting political debate.