Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Chris Sanders
PG; 92 mins
The Croods tells the story of the world’s first family road trip. When their cave is destroyed, the Crood family must embark on a comedy adventure into strange and spectacular territory in search of a new home. As if patriarch Grug (Cage) didn’t already have enough to handle, it goes from bad to worse when they encounter an imaginative nomad named Guy (Reynolds) With Guy’s help the Croods conquer their fear of the outside world and discover that they have exactly what it takes to survive – each other. (Synopsis by Paramount)
State of the art animation does not make up for a lack of personality in the characters. Still, it is a simple, funny adventure that the kids will enjoy.
Olympus Has Fallen
Director: Antoine Fuqua
R; 118 mins
When the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning’s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger crisis. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) directs an all-star cast featuring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd and Rick Yune. (Synopsis by Film District)
About as goofy an action movie as you can find. The over-the-top, tacky, cartoon nature of the story is somewhat lacking with Butler in the lead. Fans of 90’s action romps will find it enjoyable.
Director: Paul Weitz
PG-13; 110 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 Features)
Both Fey and Rudd can do better than this. They should be in a film that is more risqué in the comedy and more engaging in the drama. Slightly above the straight-to-DVD level is not going to help Fey’s post-30 Rock career.
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 new friend, 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)
Like a sunburn that just won’t stop itching, this one sticks with you. What looks on the surface to be a typical teen horror flick morphs into something much more enjoyable. It’s extremely trashy, but enjoyable.
Upcoming DVD Releases
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Director: Peter Jackson
PG-13; 170 mins
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths ofguile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” …a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know. (Synopsis by Warner Bros)
It’s tempting to like this movie based on the success of the other Lord of the Rings films—until you realize there is not enough source material to make this into a trilogy. There’s way too much detail from Jackson, making this more of a tedious journey.
Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
R; 157 mins
For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
One of the best films of last year, combining the drama and the action into a single force without any fluff. Hopefully the same critical lens will be applied to the war veterans who really made it possible.