Theatrical Releases This Week
Man on a Ledge
Director: Asger Leth
An ex-cop and now wanted fugitive (Sam Worthington) stands on the ledge of a high-rise building while a hard-living New York Police Department negotiator (Elizabeth Banks)tries to talk him down. The longer they are on the ledge, the more she realizes that he might have an ulterior objective. (Synopsis by the Summit Entertainment)
Take “Ocean’s 11” and “Phone Booth” and then remove everything worth watching. This is getting universally hammered in early reviews for being simultaneously contrived, boring, and significantly less exciting than its poster would lead you to believe.
One for the Money
Director: Julie Anne Robinson
A proud, born-and-bred Jersey girl, Stephanie Plum’s got plenty of attitude, even if she’s been out of work for the last six months and just lost her car to a debt collector. Desperate for some fast cash, Stephanie turns to her last resort: convincing her sleazy cousin to give her a job at his bail bonding company…as a recovery agent. True, she doesn’t even own a pair of handcuffs and her weapon of choice is pepper spray, but that doesn’t stop Stephanie from taking on Vinny’s biggest bail-jumper: former vice cop and murder suspect Joe Morelli – yup, the same sexy, irresistible Joe Morelli who seduced and dumped her back in high school. (Synopsis by Lionsgate)
This week’s edition of “movies that aren’t getting screened because they are so terrible.” You would be better served getting the book of the same name. Once you are done reading it, feel free to throw it at director Julie Anne Robinson before she makes another film. We already had “Two for the Money,” anyone want to go for three?
Director: Joe Carnahan
In The Grey, Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements – and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt – before their time runs out. (Synopsis by Open Road Films)
Who knew that this might actually be the cerebral film of the weekend? What is being painted as a survival-horror film in fact has the underpinnings of philosophical musings on life. But more importantly, Lian Neeson punches a wolf in the face with what looks like broken travel-size bottles of Smirnoff. Look in the mirror and convince yourself you don’t want to see that.
DVD Releases This Week
Director: Jonathan Levine
Inspired by a true story, 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humor in unlikely places. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen star as best friends whose lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis in this new comedy directed by Jonathan Levine from a script by Will Reiser. 50/50 is the story of a guy’s transformative and, yes, sometimes funny journey to health – drawing its emotional core from Will Reiser’s own experience with cancer and reminding us that friendship and love, no matter what bizarre turns they take, are the greatest healers. (Synopsis by Summit Entertainment)
Previously reviewed by The Dagger.
Director: Shawn Levy
A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback. (Synopsis by Dreamworks)
Go into this with low expectations and you might be okay. Admittedly corny with an elementary script, it somehow still manages to be more satisfying than the last two “Transformers” films. The hardest thing to figure out is why this film needs 127 minutes to get to the pretty obvious conclusion.