Theatrical Releases This Week
Director: Andrew Niccol
When Will Salas is falsely accused of murder, he must figure out a way to bring down a system where time is money – literally – enabling the wealthy to live forever while the poor, like Will, have to beg, borrow, and steal enough minutes to make it through another day. (Synopsis by 20th Century Fox)
An interesting concept that is generating significant buzz. Niccol brings enough directing experience, but will Timberlake be able to carry the film? Unfortunately, he is up against stiff competition this week with several high-profile new releases.
The Rum Diary
Director: Bruce Robinson
Based on the debut novel by Hunter S. Thompson. Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local newspaper, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault (Amber Heard), the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). Sanderson is one of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Puerto Rico into a capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy. When Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write favorably about his latest unsavory scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessmen’s financial benefit, or use them to take the bastards down. (Synopsis by FilmDistrict)
Depp reprises his role as, essentially, Thompson–after another Pirates movie, is this a theme for him this year? Unfortunately, his first go-around in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” might be better. The major flaw here seems to be that Robinson treats the material too seriously. Thompson brought a certain “flair” to life that is absent here.
Puss in Boots
Director: Chris Miller
Long before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover and outlaw Puss in Boots becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town. This is the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend…The Boots. (Synopsis by the Dreamworks/Paramount)
Despite being a one-note sidekick to Shrek, this film manages to sweep you off your feet—proof that strong writing and great action will get you far. A must for fans of the series and the under-10 set. Look at the bright side, at least they haven’t tried to spin off a Donkey franchise.
DVD Releases This Week
Captain America: The First Avenger
Director: Joe Johnston
Captain America: The First Avenger will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving.) (Synopsis by Paramont)
An average film that rehashes the same basic origin story we’ve seen over and over. The plot is flawed, but at least the character is interesting. The most redeeming value might be that we’re one step closer to “The Avengers.”
Winnie the Pooh
Director: Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall
Walt Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh. Featuring the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. “Ever have one of those days where you just can’t win, Eeyore?” asks Pooh. Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some honey. Inspired by three stories from A.A. Milne’s books in Disney’s classic, hand-drawn art style. (Synopsis by Disney)
As sweet and innocent as its target audience. Despite what you might think, you know you’re nostalgic for this silly old bear. Disney should be commended for sticking to the story and animation style we know instead of trying to recreate a classic.