Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Guillermo del Toro
PG-13; 131 mins
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
Check out my review on The Dagger later this week.
Grown Ups 2
Director: Dennis Dugan
PG-13; 100 mins
The all-star comedy cast from Grown Ups returns (with some exciting new additions) for more summertime laughs. Lenny (Adam Sandler) has relocated his family back to the small town where he and his friends grew up. This time around, the grown ups are the ones learning lessons from their kids on a day notoriously full of surprises: the last day of school. (Synopsis by Sony)
A movie for those who didn’t have enough after the first movie. Those people exist right? Everyone involved in this should be doing better things. This only serves to remind us of how much talent is being wasted.
The Way Way Back
Director: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
PG-13; 103 mins
THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finallyfind his place in the world – all during a summer he will never forget. (Synopsis by Fox Searchlight)
A film that’s full of terrific performances, and which takes the rare step of showing the importance of fathers. While the plot is rather conventional, it makes up the difference with truly engaging characters.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Paul Weitz
PG-13; 107 mins.
Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Paul Rudd (This is 40) are paired for the first time on-screen in Admission, the new comedy/drama directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz (About a Boy, In Good Company), about the surprising detours we encounter on the road to happiness. Every spring, high school seniors anxiously await letters of college admission that will affirm and encourage their potential. At Princeton University, admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is a gatekeeper evaluating thousands of applicants. Year in and year out, Portia has lived her life by the book, at work as well as at the home she shares with Princeton professor Mark (Michael Sheen). When Clarence (Wallace Shawn), the Dean of Admissions, announces his impending retirement, the likeliest candidates to succeed him are Portia and her office rival Corinne (Gloria Reuben). For Portia, however, it’s business as usual as she hits the road on her annual recruiting trip. (Synopsis by Focus)
Fey and Rudd leave their comfort zone of wacky humor for a fairly generic rom-com. There are a few laughs, but not enough to get past the poorly-acted serious notes. Fey would have benefited from sitting this one out, as she does not have the acting chops this role requires.
Director: Andrew Niccol
PG-13; 126 mins.
When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world. (Synopsis by IMDB)
The best thing you can say about this film is that it is a poor man’s “Twilight.” Too slow, too stupid, and not enough passion to make anyone care about this.
Tyler Perry’s Temptation
Director: Tyler Perry
PG-13; 111 mins.
A bold exploration of the intrigue and perils of infidelity, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is a compelling love story that dives straight into the heart of obsessive passion. “It’s about a woman who starts to get restless in her relationship and her choice to be with another man has a huge effect on the rest of her life,” explains screenwriter/producer/director Tyler Perry. “She goes on a journey – in her career and in her marriage – and she ends up in a very different place than she expected.” In a departure from his previous dramas, this explosive film finds Perry exploring the nature of desire – and just how powerful and dangerous a taste of the forbidden can be. “This is definitely one of the most provocative movies – sexually and otherwise – that I’ve made,” says the director. “There are a lot of people who struggle in their relationships. They make bad choices about their marriages. They get divorced. And so many of them don’t step out of their situation and really think about the consequences of what they’re doing. This movie asks, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ It sends up a flag.” (Synopsis by Liongate)
Speaking of stupid: yet another “super serious” Tyler Perry movie. Skip the in-depth criticism of the film: it sucks. The real criticism is why Perry can’t get over himself and realize that he hasn’t grown at all as a filmmaker.
Director: Harmony Korine
R; 92 mins.
Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine) and Faith (Selena Gomez) have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper “Alien” (James Franco) promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their newfriend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
Corny and campy though it appears on the surface, there is a dark underbelly to the writing. An exposé on today’s youth coupled with neon-bright imagery. As a film, it is a rough offering, but it succeeds more than misses.