Theatrical Releases This Week
Snow White and the Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
PG-13; 126 min
In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Charlize Theron) out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training
in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power. (Synopsis by Universal Pictures)
What is supposed to be another take on the Grimms’ tale amounts to a visual spectacle that leaves little room for the actual storytelling. Reminicescent of “Twilight,” the film makers are shooting for an obvious target here. While early reviews are largely positive for a contrasting
potrait of the classic story, there might not be enough substance under all the effects to make this worthwhile.
Director: Tanya Wexler
R; 95 mins
Hysteria is a romantic comedy with an accomplished cast led by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones and Rupert Everett, that tells an untold tale of discovery – the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator at the very peak of Victorian prudishness. (Synopsis by Sony Pictures Classic)
You read that right. A romantic comedy about a vibrator. The cast manages to make it watchable, but largely the film has no idea what to do with the subject matter. A few “giggle behind your hand” naughty jokes and a creative take on “history” makes for an average film. Just don’t go in expecting anything ground breaking and you won’t be disappointed.
DVD Releases This Week
Man on a Ledge
Director: Asger Leth
PG-13; 102 min.
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 Summit Entertainment )
A particularly bad thriller that manages to recognize its own inherent campy-ness and run with it at times. It inherently has too many ridiculous storylines and too few thrills to make it enojyable. Casting Sam Worthington as the lead was one of the bigger mistakes.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Director: Lynne Ramsay
R; 112 min.
A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva’s own culpability is measured against Kevin’s innate evilness. (SYNOPSIS BY Oscilloscope)
The source material makes it difficult to flesh out a script, but the careful directions of Ramsay manages to mostly accomplish the task. Swinton shines as a mother coping with the emotional torture of psycological distress. The film is largely uncomfortable to watch due to the subject matter and extreme emotions, but it is worth the experience.
Director: Ralph Fiennes
R; 122 min.
Caius Martius ‘Coriolanus’ (Ralph Fiennes), a revered and feared Roman General is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to
ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus’s anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city. (SYNOPSIS BY Weinstein Co)
This modern take on Shakespeare’s poetic warfare and politics play makes the most of the source narrative even when it is lacking at times in the action. A strong directorial deput for Fiennes almost creates a new genre of intellignet action film. Even the chaos of the technical side
of the film doesn’t distract too much from the strong core. A definite must see.