It’s the weekend many of us have been waiting for, marking the release of the much-anticipated Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron. Studios seemed to shy away this weekend from competing with what’s sure to be a massive opening, but there’s still plenty more out there to see. So without further ado, here are our staff picks for the must-see movies to see this week!
1. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Much has been said about this one over the last year, but the day is finally here. Joss Whedon’s follow-up effort has arrived, and reviews are generally split on most key factors. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it sitting at a 73% rating, so it’s not like it’s not worth seeing at all. The biggest criticism so far has been that it feels like an inferior sequel to what was a culture-defining superhero movie in the original Avengers. On the other hand though, it still stands head and shoulders above most of its contemporaries and is really only fighting the standards the first installment set back in 2012.
For those unfamiliar but still wanting to get in on the action, the required viewing goes as follows: The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), and the latest season of Marvel’s Agent of SHIELD. This should be enough for at least a crash course in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, highlighting the installments that fundamentally altered the story. For anyone getting dragged to the theater by their enthusiastic friends, getting some background is essential to your own enjoyment. For those of you who are in the “enthusiastic friends dragging reluctant newcomers” category, enjoy the killer robots!
2. Welcome to Me
Kristin Wiig has more than proven her comedic chops in the past, but with her latest starring role, she’s officially shown that she can handle more serious, heavy material just as skillfully. Welcome to Me shows us the exploits of Alice, a woman with borderline personality disorder who won $86 million in the lottery. She uses that money to start her own profoundly bizarre talk show, while the people around her try and find a nice way to tell her she’s absolutely out of her gourd.
It currently is sitting at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, although it’s only tallied 19 reviews total (14 positive). Without a major studio release, it hasn’t got quite the same publicity as movies like The Age of Ultron, but it’s the perfect escape this weekend for anyone looking for something a little quieter and a lot more real. Wiig is very clearly entering into her prime years as a serious actor, and Welcome to Me gives us a front row seat to her proving this firsthand.
It’s always a treat when a compelling new documentary sweeps through movie festivals into a wide release in theaters. Iris Apfel has been a fashion icon since the days of Harry Truman, known for her flamboyant style and sharp wit. Now she’s getting a chance to tell her story to 87 year-old documentarian, Albert Maysles. At a whopping 100% in Rotten Tomatoes, IRIS solidifies itself as a must-see based on this alone. But this documentary is far more than a critical darling.
In it, we get a peek into the inner workings of the New York fashion industry, and the way Apfel has managed to become an icon while doing things entirely her way. Her balancing act between her Great Depression upbringing and the extravagant world of fashion is impressive to say the very least. With her striking blue-dyed hair and witty personality, she dominates the room in each interview, showing us just how far her unique personality can carry a two-hour documentary.