Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: David Dobkin
R; 2 hr. 22 min.
In “The Judge,” Robert Downey Jr. stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
It’s too predictable a story despite the stellar performances. The drama is too ho-hum to keep the audience engaged. Skip it.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Director: Miguel Arteta
PG; 1 hr. 20 min.
Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life-a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one. (Synopsis by Disney)
It’s Disney, and it’s little too sweet and whimsical for the source material, but this is a product solely meant for little kids. The middle school angst runs high and the younger ones will enjoy it much more than their parents. Rent it.
Director: Gary Shore (IV)
PG-13; 2 hr.
Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, Immortals) stars in Dracula Untold, the origin story of the man who became Dracula. Gary Shore directs and Michael De Luca produces the epic action-adventure that co-stars Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, and Diarmaid Murtagh. (Synopsis by Universal)
Notice how there is no actual synopsis put out by the studio. That is because this is so skull-numbingly boring, stupid, and misguided that no one should see it. Ever. Skip it.
Kill the Messenger
Director: Michael Cuesta
R; 1 hr. 52 min.
Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. – and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life. (Synopsis by Focus)
A powerfully relevant film in today’s journalistic environment, where too often sensationalism trumps reporting. Renner turns in a powerful performance, but is hampered by a limited script and weak direction. See it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Director: Seth MacFarlane and Mark Dubeau
R; 1 hr. 56 min.
Seth MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and plays the role of the cowardly sheep farmer Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West. After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test. Starring alongside MacFarlane are Oscar (R) winner Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman and Neil Patrick Harris. MacFarlane reunites many of the filmmakers behind Universal and MRC’s hit film Ted including Scott Stuber (Bluegrass Films) and Jason Clark who produce, and Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin who co-wrote the script. (Synopsis by Universal)
It is amusing, but not necessarily enjoyable. “Million Ways” lacks the consistent laughs of “Ted” and is far more tedious than it should be. Rent it.
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
Director: Doug Liman and Julianne Jordan
PG-13; 1 hr. 53 min.
The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)