Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Clint Eastwood
R; 2 hr. 14 min.
From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to this true American hero than his skill with a rifle. U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, becoming emblematic of the SEAL creed to “leave no man behind.” But upon returning home, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
Check out my review on The Dagger later this weekend.
The Wedding Ringer
Director: Jeremy Garelick
R; 1 hr. 41 min.
Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is a loveable but socially awkward groom-to-be with a problem: he has no best man. With less than two weeks to go until he marries the girl of his dreams (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), owner and CEO of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need. What ensues is a hilarious wedding charade as they try to pull off the big con, and an unexpected budding bromance between Doug and his fake best man Jimmy. (Synopsis by Sony)
This little gem is not being screened for the press, which is never a good sign. Kevin Hart looks to be the best thing about this movie, and that isn’t saying much. Skip it.
Director: Michael Mann
R; 2 hr. 13 min.
Set within the world of global cybercrime, Legendary’s Blackhat follows a furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. (Synopsis by Universal)
This is a bit of a mess that mostly comes off as Mann still trying to be relevant. Perhaps he should have released some creative control—especially since it appears he changed the entire musical score without telling his composer. Visually appealing, but lacking in actual merit. Rent it.
Director: Paul King
PG; 1 hr. 35 min.
From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (HARRY POTTER), PADDINGTON tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear (voiced by Firth) who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you,” and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. (Synopsis by Weinstein)
Simplicity is success, especially for kids movies. This is a joy to watch because it never attempts to be more than clean fun. Sure there is a mild lesson on xenophobia stuck in there, but we have to learn something, right? See it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: David Fincher
R; 2 hr. 25 min.
GONE GIRL – directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn – unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? (Synopsis by Fox)
A twisted, moody offering from Fincher that doubles as a thriller and a sharp social commentary. This is a complex film, but is handled deftly, and it’s one of the best films of 2014. See it.
A Walk Among the Tombstones
Director: Scott Frank
R; 1 hr. 54 mins.
“Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, A Walk among the Tombstones stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the PI learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime…nor will it be the last. Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again.” (Synopsis by Universal)
Previously reviewed by The Dagger.