Theatrical Releases This Week
Director: James McTeigue
R; 110 mins
The macabre and lurid tales of Edgar Allan Poe are vividly brought to life – and death – in this stylish, gothic thriller starring John Cusack as the infamous author. When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Poe’s darkest works, a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) joins forces with Poe in a quest to get inside the killer’s mind in order to stop him from making every one of Poe’s brutal stories a blood chilling reality. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, which escalates when Poe’s love (Alice Eve) becomes the next target. (Synopsis by Relativity)
An extremely poor attempt at weaving together multiple Poe tales which doesn’t make enough sense to be compelling, much less enjoyable. Cusack does his best to try to save the film, but is ultimately dragged down by the plot. Apparently Robert Downey, Jr. wasn’t available to reprise his goth Sherlock Holmes. Think of this as a poor adaptation of “Se7en” meets a 19th-century period piece.
The Five-Year Engagement
Director: Nicholas Stoller
R; 124 mins
The director and writer/star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall reteam for the irreverent comedy The Five-Year Engagement. Beginning where most romantic comedies end, the new film from director Nicholas Stoller, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Rodney Rothman (Get Him to the Greek) looks at what happens when an engaged couple, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle. (Synopsis by Universal)
Parts of this film are really good–but those parts are buried beneath disengaged and artificial situations used to push for laughs. Segel and Blunt have enough chemistry on screen to make the film enjoyable. Still, it tries too hard to be “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” at points.
Director: Boaz Yakin
R; 95 mins
A second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, Luke Wright lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change…until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever, leaving Luke to wander the streets of New York destitute, haunted by guilt, and tormented by the knowledge that he will always be watched, and anyone he develops a relationship with will also be killed. But when he witnesses a frightened twelve-year-old Chinese girl, Mei, being pursued by the same gangsters who killed his wife, Luke impulsively jumps to action…and straight into the heart of a deadly high-stakes war. (Synopsis by Lionsgate)
The perfect movie for fans of Jason Statham films, since it runs on the same idea as every Statham film – kill, maim, and fight everything in sight and don’t worry about having a script that actually makes sense. Lots of energy and action, but also a lot of action-movie clichés.
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Director: Peter Lord
PG; 1 hr. 27 min.
In The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure! (Synopsis by Sony)
A family comedy that’s not just for the kids, the celebrated Aardman studio (“Arthur Christmas,” “Wallace and Gromit”) produces another winner. Even with a tendency toward British humor, there are enough running gags to keep the film engaging to an American audience–and maybe make up for the last two “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.
DVD Releases This Week
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
R, 1 hr. 49 min.
Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best- running contraband-to settle Andy’s debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), for one final run to Panama and back, hoping to return with millions in counterfeit bills. Things quickly fall apart and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must use his rusty skills to successfully navigate a treacherous criminal network of brutal drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and sons become their target. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
A B-level action caper that feels overly familiar. Wahlberg has outgrown this type of film, and it shows, as does little more than cash a check as he wanders through the role. While there are exciting individual scenes, they never mesh together to make anything palatable.