Theatrical Releases This Week
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8
Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D
Director: Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle
PG-13, 88 mins.
The show follows Travis and the Nitro Circus Crew as they travel around the world setting up outrageous stunts and pushing the human body to the limit, constantly looking to innovate the world of action sports. Travis’ compound in Annapolis houses a full motocross course, foam pits and a homemade waterslide carved into a hill creating a self contained extreme sports circus. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
Something for the fanboys, but mostly just a “Jackass”-lite spin off. The most notable part of this will be the local flavor of star Travis Pastrana.
Director: David Frankel
PG-13; 99 mins
Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple’s specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough – the real challenge for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place. (Synopsis by Sony)
A warm comedy-drama for the older set. The most enjoyable parts are watching the actors showcase their mastered art. The downside is any point where things are “spiced up.”
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
The Bourne Legacy
Director: Tony Gilroy
PG-13; 135 mins
The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles. (Synopsis by Universal)
Mixed reviews for a heavily complicated plot with less action than anticipated. What might work with a more dynamic front man falls flat with Jeremy Renner. At least writer Tony Gilroy managed to find a way to expand the “Bourne” legacy in an intelligent manner.
Director: Jay Roach
R; 85 mins
When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but, with the help of his new benefactors’ support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family’s political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other, in this mud-slinging, back-stabbing, home-wrecking comedy. (Synopsis by Warner Brothers)
Shaping up to be a comedy showdown between two of Hollywood’s current heavyweights. It’ll help that both Ferrell and Galifianakis can essentially play themselves as characters – one over the top and one intellectually awkward. It’s been a while since we’ve had a smart political comedy. While this probably isn’t quite going to be what we’ve been waiting for, it is nice to dream.
Director: William Friedkin
NC-17; 102 mins
When 22 year-old drug dealer Chris (Hirsch) has his stash of drugs stolen from him by his mother, he has to come up with six-thousand dollars quick, or he’s dead. Desperate, he goes to the trailer-park to see his father, Ansel (Hayden Church), and he lays out the plan. Chris’s mother, who everyone hates, has a life insurance policy that would clear up his debt and make them all rich. The problem is that Chris’ mother is very much alive. Enter Detective “Killer” Joe Cooper, a hired hit man with the manners of a Southern gentleman, who will do the job – for an upfront fee, that Chris and Ansel can’t pay. Just as Joe is about to leave, he spots Dottie (Temple), Chris’ innocent younger sister. Joe makes Chris an offer, he’ll keep Dottie as sexual collateral until the money is collected and his fee can be paid. (Synopsis by Voltage Pictures)
Immensely dark and violent, it is no surprise that Friedkin has trouble keeping the lid on this out-of-control farce. Mixing dark humor with the violence helps keep the audience entertained, even as they are squirming in their seats. High point: McConaughey’s performance may be his best to date.
DVD Releases This Week
Director: Chris Renaud
PG; 94 mins.
The 3D-CGI feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. (Synopsis by Universal)
A new generation’s take on Dr. Seuss’ story is big on the music and color at the expense of the subtlety of the story. Obviously targeted for the younger viewers, it leaves those of us at a certain age nostalgic for the simple animation (and closer adaptation) of the TV special.