The Pirates! Band of Misfits, rated PG
There’s absolutely no reason that The Pirates! Bands of Misfits, the latest animated work from Aardman Animations (the creators of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run), will be anything less than the funniest and most original animated feature since last year’s wonderful, Oscar-winning Rango. With Hugh Grant providing the voice of Pirate Captain, who aims to win the Pirate of the Year Award with his crew of oddballs, I count Pirates among my most eagerly anticipated movies of the spring.
Darling Companion, rated PG
Lawrence Kasdan (the enormously talented director of The Big Chill, Silverado and The Accidental Tourist) is back with this drama about a distant married couple (Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline) who reconnect while searching for their lost dog. With an incredible ensemble cast that includes Annette Bening, Richard Jenkins, Dianne Wiest, Sam Shepard, Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss, Darling Companion should be a welcome spring treat for dog-lovers, as well as those looking for entertainment not geared primarily at teenagers.
Bernie, rated PG-13
Austinite Richard Linklater, one of the best working directors today, is back with his first feature since 2009’s Me and Orson Welles. Bernie stars Linklater regulars Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey, along with Shirley MacLaine, in the true story of a mortician (Black) in East Texas, who was put on trial for killing an older woman (MacLaine). Based on an article published in Texas Monthly and filmed in and around Austin, Bernie is a welcome new movie from a filmmaker whose work (ranging from School of Rock to Dazed and Confused) makes Austin proud.
Jack Kyser is a graduate of Austin High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.