Fast & Furious posterAt last I get some time to preview this week’s new releases and, frankly, it hardly seems worth it. I’ve just got in from two of the most dispiriting experiences I’ve had in a cinema in some time. Full reviews will come when I’ve had a chance to find the right kind of language to describe precisely how unambitious Fast & Furious and 17 Again are, a challenge I must rise to before Capital Times deadline on Monday night. Fast & Furious is the fourth in the series of petrol-head thrillers and original stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are both back. That fact might mean something to someone, somewhere.

Meanwhile, High School Musical star Zac Efron gets a vehicle of his own as the young version of depressed 37 year old failure Matthew Perry. Some not quite explained magic gives him his young body back and the chance to put things right. Both Readings and Sky City Queensgate.

[The rest of this week’s new releases after the jump]

If you really must go to the cinema to see something new this weekend, maybe the two Asian contenders will be more your style: Hong Kong thriller Sniper is a Readings exclusive and Ong bak 2 means martial arts nut-job Tony Jaa is back – he also directs this time around. That’s an Embassy exclusive. Finally, I’m trying to keep my schedule clear for Monday night’s Film Society screening of the arthouse classic Diva (in 35mm at the Paramount).

The commercial releases will be reviewed in next week’s Capital Times (and online at Funerals & Snakes soon after). If you’ve seen any of these (or just want to talk about how deep the piles of rubbish get after a Fast & Furious screening), add your thoughts to the comments.