We'll see if Disney-Pixar's Cars franchise has anything left in its tank this weekend, after a 2011 sequel that skidded off-track. Cars 3 (G) continues the Hollywood fallacy that every successful idea deserves a trilogy.
Owen Wilson, at least his voice, returns as Lightning McQueen, the popular, profitable Dale Jr. of animated racing in the homestretch of his career. A new generation of anthropomorphic race cars is taking over, led by musclehead car Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). Lightning must prove he still has what it takes to win.
The vocal cast includes returning scene-stealer Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), Lightning's third antique mentor (Chris Cooper) and a posthumous cameo by his first (Paul Newman).
What happens in Miami stays dead in Rough Night (R), a comedy starring Scarlett Johansson as a bride-to-be sharing a wild bachelorette party with college pals. Things go great until their male stripper is accidentally killed and things go all Weekend at Bernie's.
Rough Night co-stars SNL standout Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell and Ilana Glazer of Broad City, whose director Lucia Aniello makes her feature debut here.
ALL EYEZ ON ME
Rap music legend, poet, actor and activist Tupac Shakur gets the biopic treatment in All Eyez on Me (R) starring dead ringer Demetrius Shipp Jr. From his hard-knock childhood to deadly record label beefs, Shakur's story is the stuff of Straight Outta Compton importance. Jamal Woolard reprises his Notorious role as Biggie Smalls and Dominic L. Santana plays Suge Knight.
Demetri Martin's spirit animal is the lobster from Annie Hall judging by his filmmaking debut Dean (PG-13), a dramedy that won top honors at last year's Tribeca Film Festival. Dean offers similarly tender insights into love and loss, tinged with absurdity. If Martin isn't Woody Allen at least he's a more likable Zach Braff.
Martin's stand-up comedy (coming to the Straz Center on Nov. 5) uses cartoons he draws, illustrating out-there points. The talent is central to the title role, minimalist doodles reflecting Dean's mindset with split-screen clarity. Lately the cartoons feature grim reapers after the death of Dean's mother and a broken engagement.
His father, Robert (Kevin Kline, excellent again), fumbles with grief; Dean avoids it and him as much as possible. When Robert plans to sell the family home, Dean's memories also go on the block. He takes an uneasy flight out to Los Angeles — another Annie Hall link — where he meets Nicky (Gillian Jacobs), who gets him, really gets him.
On the other coast, Robert warms up to his real estate agent, Carol, which isn't hard when she's played by Mary Steenburgen. Martin's screenplay charts the father and son's parallel attempts to start over, a heavy subject delivered with a light touch thanks to Martin's and Kline's performances.
Martin's screenplay is cleverly worded, especially Dean and Nicky's neo-screwball banter and the older couple's more traditional interplay. There's good support from Rory Scovel and Veep's Reid Scott as the hero's impatient support system.
Martin breathes enough freshness into the mopey echo boomer genre to make his next project worth anticipating. Dean leaves a charming first impression. (Opens Friday at Veterans 24 in Tampa, Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar, Regency 20 in Brandon) B
THE BOOK OF HENRY
Room's Jacob Tremblay returns in The Book of Henry (PG-13), a family drama directed by Colin Trevorrow, taking a creative breather between Jurassic World and Star Wars: Episode IX.
Tremblay plays the younger brother of Henry (Jaeden Lieberher), sons of a working-class single mother (Naomi Watts). Henry's friendship with the girl next door (Maddie Ziegler) uncovers a dangerous situation in her home. Henry devises a rescue plan his family will enact.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot, right, and director Patty Jenkins show boys how it's done.
2 My Cousin Rachel: Rachel Weisz keeps us guessing in a Victorian mystery.
3 Megan Leavey: True love story of a U.S. Marine (Kate Mara) and her K9 dog.
4 Dean: Demetri Martin amuses with his filmmaking debut.
5 The Mummy: You know you want to see Tom Cruise get kicked around again.
(Dates subject to change)
June 21: Transformers: The Last Knight
June 28: Baby Driver
June 30: The Beguiled; The House; Despicable Me 3
July 7: Spider-Man: Homecoming
July 14: War for the Planet of the Apes