Hitting Screens, Week of May 2

MV5BMjQ0MTgyNjAxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzMDkyODE@._V1_SX214_AL_The big screen debut of the week is Captain America: Civil War, opening May 6 and hoping to knock The Jungle Book out of first place (Jungle Book is not likely to be unseated this weekend, according to box office prognosticators).

USA Today gives the Captain 3.5 stars out of 4. Entertainment Weekly gives it a strong A- saying it offers “a sense of fun and joy missing from that other recent superhero smackdown” and goes on to comment that what is “essentially a third Avengers movie [is] the best one yet.”

Comic Book Resources agrees, “it’s not just breathtaking in its visuals, it’s heartbreaking in its content, making [it] one of the best Marvel movies yet.” The Guardian rounds up the praise with a 4 out of 5 starred review.

There are some doubters in the mix however, as typified by Indiewire‘s pointed C grade. They say “The Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t get much better than this — and that’s a big problem.”

Tie-ins include a re-print of the graphic novel Civil War Movie Edition, Mark Millar and illustrated by Steve McNiven (Hachette/Marvel) and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; in paperback as well).

The Family FangMV5BMjA5ODk5NTY3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzI4Mjg1ODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_ opens on May 6 too. While based on the librarian-favorite novel by Kevin Wilson (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2011), it unfortunately has all the hallmarks of being a minor film for the studios, opening in a limited number of theaters on April 29, followed by a simultaneous VOD release and a wider, but not very wide, theatrical roll-out.

Entertainment Weekly gives it a B, saying director Jason Bateman provides a “sensitivity that the story’s sour whimsy doesn’t quite deserve” while People magazine makes it one of their picks of the week, saying, “Nicole Kidman delivers a strong turn … The Surprise is Batemen … Best known for his dry wit, he can also deliver the tears.”

A tie-in has not been announced, but the paperback edition carries a “Now major motion picture” sticker.

MV5BMjExNjMyMDk3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTg4MzgxMw@@._V1_UY268_CR3,0,182,268_AL_The final season of Wallander begins airing on May 8 and will run until the 22nd on PBS stations. Starring Kenneth Branagh the show is based on Henning Mankell’s Swedish crime series. New to the cast this year is Harry Hadden-Paton, who viewers last saw as Edith’s fiancé, Bertie Pelham, on Downton Abbey.

Mankell died last year. At that time Branagh told the BBC:

In life and in art Henning Mankell was a man of passionate commitment. I will miss his provocative intelligence and his great personal generosity. Aside from his stringent political activism, and his decades of work in Africa, he also leaves an immense contribution to Scandinavian literature. His loving family, and those privileged to know him, together with readers from all over the world, will mourn a fine writer and a fine man.

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