Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: John Requa and Glenn Ficarra
R; 1 hr. 45 min.
In the midst of veteran con man Nicky’s latest scheme, a woman from his past – now an accomplished femme fatale – shows up and throws his plans for a loop. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
Enjoyable enough, even if it strains to be as clever as it intends. Generally untrustworthy and unlikable characters don’t help, and the sheer ridiculousness of much of the plot finishes off this one. Fun in a mindless way. Rent it.
The Lazarus Effect
Director: David Gelb
PG-13; 1 hr. 23 min.
From masters of horror Blumhouse Productions- producer of THE PURGE, INSIDIOUS and SINISTER franchises- THE LAZARUS EFFECT follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde,) who’ve achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated. (Synopsis by Relativity)
Not available for critical review.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Big Hero 6
Director: Don Hall (VI) and Chris Williams (IX)
PG; 1 hr. 33 min.
With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius-thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion-a robot named Baymax-and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery. (Synopsis by Disney)
“Big Hero 6” is now the third-highest grossing Disney film of all time, with good reason. Not many films or studios could effectively handle the subtle intricacy of grief and adventure the way Disney can. A well-crafted blend of old animation storytelling and modern special effects. This is a good one. See it.
Horrible Bosses 2
Director: Sean Anders
R; 1 hr. 48 min.
The follow-up to the 2011 hit comedy “Horrible Bosses” reunites Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as everyone’s favorite working stiffs: Nick, Dale and Kurt. Jennifer Aniston (“We’re the Millers”), and Oscar (R) winners Jamie Foxx (“Ray”) and Kevin Spacey (“American Beauty,” “The Usual Suspects”) also reprise their “Horrible Bosses” starring roles, while Chris Pine (“Star Trek: Into Darkness”) and Oscar (R) winner Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained,” “Inglourious Basterds”) star as new adversaries standing between the guys and their dreams of success. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
There is less of a plot present than a grouping of individual scenes about comedian friends riffing. In other words, this is a mess. It is funny, but there are too many distractions to make it good. Rent it.
Director: Damien Chazelle
R; 1 hr. 46 min.
Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability-and his sanity. (Synopsis by Sony Classics)
One of the best films of last year, with J.K. Simmons recently winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. This is an intelligent film, intensely acted, with a focus on an intimate relationship. Compelling filmmaking at its best. See it.