Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Great Gatsby
Director: Baz Lurhmann
PG-13; 142 mins
“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without of the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles. (Synopsis by Warner Bros)
Lurhmann bestows his typical treatment on the classic story, with mostly disastrous effects. The film has plenty of sparkle and dance steps, but lacks humanity. Though the actors carry the majority of the load, it feels like a hollow rendition.
Tyler Perry Present’s Peeples
Director: Tina Gordon Chism
PG-13, 95 mins
Sparks fly in the Hamptons when “regular guy” Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) crashes the preppy Peeples family reunion to ask for their precious daughter Grace’s (Kerry Washington) hand in marriage. Wade might be a fish out of water among this picture-perfect East Coast clan always trying to keep up appearances, but he’s not about to let himself sink. Instead, in a wild weekend of fun, dysfunction and hilarious surprises, Wade is about to discover there’s room for all kinds of Peeples in this family, no matter their differences. Writer and first-time director Tina Gordon Chism (writer of DRUMLINE) joins forces with Tyler Perry to present a laugh-out-loud look at the family ties that freak us out . . . but bind us together with love. (Synopsis by Lionsgate)
Tyler Perry should have taken his name off of this film, a cheap knock off of “Meet the Parents” with carefully controlled humor to give the illusion of craziness. Too predictable and not funny enough.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Andres Muschietti and Andrés Muschietti
Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home. (Synopsis by Universal)
Keeping with the theme of producers who should have removed their name from films– del Toro, what were you thinking? The multiple characters split the plot into a disjointed mess and the scares border on silly. “Mama” is atmospheric and carries some actual emotion—just not enough to save it.
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
PG-13; 130 mins
Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. He knows this shooter-a trained military sniper who never should have missed a shot. Reacher is certain something is not right-and soon the slam-dunk case explodes. Now Reacher is teamed with a beautiful young defense lawyer, moving closer to the unseen enemy who is pulling the strings. Reacher knows that no two opponents are created equal. This one has come to the heartland from his own kind of hell. And Reacher knows that the only way to take him down is to match his ruthlessness and cunning-and then beat him shot for shot. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
Fans of the books will enjoy this adaptation. The rest of us will wonder if the character is even supposed to be played straight, as the dialogue borders on comically ridiculous at points and the action borders on the impossible. As Cruise action flicks goes, this is about average.
Director: Lasse Hallström
PG-13; 115 mins
An affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman’s struggle to love again, Safe Haven is based on the novel from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author behind the hit films The Notebook and Dear John. When a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
Unwatchable. The book might have been able to convey the convoluted plot adequately, but the film cannot—the dialogue is laughably juvenile. The Nicholas Sparks writing machine has broken, please do not load more paper.