Theatrical Releases This Week
Paranormal Activity 4
Director: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
R; 88 mins
The story takes place in 2011, five years after Katie killed her boyfriend Micah, sister Kristi, her husband Daniel and took their baby, Hunter (now named Robbie). Story focuses on Alice and her mom, experiencing weird stuff since the new neighbors (Katie and Robbie) moved in the town. (Synopsis by IMBD)
At this point, the franchise is down to only its most dedicated fan base. Unfortunately, the installment does not deliver enough to keep even them happy. There’s a few fakeouts to be had, but overall the film is little changed from its predecessors.
PG-13; 102 mins
Alex Cross follows the young homicide detective/psychologist (Tyler Perry), from the worldwide best-selling novels by James Patterson, as he meets his match in a serial killer (Matthew Fox). The two face off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, but when the mission gets personal, Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limits in this taut and exciting action thriller. (Synopsis by Lionsgate)
A largely ordinary action thriller that…wait a minute. Is that Tyler Perry? In an action movie? Not wearing a dress? While this might be remembered as Perry’s…ahem…coming out party into other movie genres, it is largely forgettable as a whole. Spend your money on the more fully conceived action films that opened last week.
War of Buttons
Director: Christophe Barratier
PG-13; 100 mins
Set in occupied WWII France, War of the Buttons tells the tale of pre-teen rebel Lebrac (newcomer Jean Texier) and the “war” he leads between two rival kid gangs from neighboring villages. Once Lebrac falls for Violette (Ilona Bachelier), a young Jewish girl who is new in town and in danger of being exposed by the Nazis, the children are faced with putting their own conflicts aside to protect her and confront the very real war happening around them. (Synopsis by Weinstein)
The fourth film incarnation of Louis Pergaud’s book is in essence a remake of the 1962 version, albeit with modified plot elements. What seems to be most lacking in this version is the shift in the sinister nature of the real and imagined wars. It largely falls down on this “cute” take on the French resistance during the Nazi occupation.
DVD Releases This Week
Director: Wes Anderson
PG-13; 94 mins
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the boy and girl. (Synopsis by Focus Features)
Previously reviewed by The Dagger.
That’s My Boy
Director: Sean Anders and John Morris
R; 114 mins
While still in his teens, Donny (Adam Sandler) fathered a son, Todd (Andy Samberg), and raised him as a single parent up until Todd’s 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd’s world comes crashing down on the eve of his wedding when an uninvited Donny suddenly shows up. Trying desperately to reconnect with his son, Donny is now forced to deal with the repercussions of his bad parenting skills. (Synopsis by Sony)
When at first you don’t succeed at bad comedy – up the ante by just being vulgar and mean. It’s only redeeming value is answering the question, what could be worse than “Jack and Jill?” This will rank high on the list of the worst films released this year, with good reason.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Director: Eric Darnell
PG; 93 mins
Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style. (Synopsis by Dreamworks)
The themes explored are surprisingly refreshing, even if the pacing is not. Divulging into slapstick, Looney Toons-style humor only adds to the sensory overload. All in all, this is largely the same film as the previous installments, for better or worse.
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