Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Seth Gordon
R; 111 mins
Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There’s only one glitch: The ID she’s using to finance these sprees reads “Sandy Bigelow Patterson”….and it belongs to an accounts rep (Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S. With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life. And as he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her the 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
As to be expected from Seth Gordon’s last outing, the humor falls firmly in the raunchy category. There are no real surprises to be found with Jason Bateman doing his “Arrested Development” deadpan routine and Melissa McCarthy being over-the-top vulgar. If that isn’t your thing, then there isn’t much to enjoy.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
R; 106 mins
Side Effects is a provocative thriller about Emily and Martin (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum), a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law) – intended to treat anxiety – has unexpected side effects. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
This complex suspense film is pure Soderbergh. While the story has enough plot twists to keep you interested, the overarching theme is a meditation on the failures of our social systems. For fans of the director, this is allegedly his final theatrical film.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer
R; 106 mins
Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the stories move through time. (Synopsis by Warner Bros)
The film is a disconnected take on a better book. It is visually stunning, but suffers from gag-inducing sappiness and a disorienting multi-point storyline. Probably not a film for the average audience, but fans of art films like “Tree of Life” will find something to take away.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
R; 106 mins
In this action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane? (Synopsis by the Official Site)
The emphasis of the script seems to be placed more heavily on symbolism than on the plot. It plays as a human disaster piece that only works with Washington taking the lead. If nothing else, it is a return to the genre of old-fashioned human morality plays.
Here Comes The Boom
Director: Frank Coraci
R; 106 mins
In the comedy Here Comes the Boom, former collegiate wrestler Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a 42-year-old apathetic biology teacher in a failing high school. When cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher (Henry Winkler,) Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy – most of all the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek) – but in his quest, Scott gains something he never expected as he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
I really want to like Kevin James, but I always feel like I’m getting a dose of Curly Joe when I just wanted Curly. This plays out like every other James film – a likable underdog performs slapstick comedy and somehow wins the day. Good for a TV movie, but lacking for a theatrical release.
Director: Rob Cohen
R; 106 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)
You can appreciate that Perry is trying to branch out of his niche genre. But this offering is so bad that it’s hard to tell if it’s the script or Perry that sucks. He should have chosen better than this generic cop-chasing-a-killer flick—especially if he ever wants to get out of that dress.