Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Lego Movie
Director: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
PG; 94 mins.
“The LEGO (R) Movie” is the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO (R) adventure. The original 3D computer animated story follows Emmet (Chris Pratt) an ordinary, rules- following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
For a film about toys, this is very funny and surprisingly clever. The comedic elements are there for both kids and adults. It will almost make up for painful memories of stepping on one of the blocks in the middle of the night.
Director: George Clooney
PG-13; 119 mins.
Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys – seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 – possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements. (Synopsis by Sony)
This very Clooney production ends up being more average than exceptional. While it is an interesting take on a war film, it ends up playing more like a sentimental version of “Night at the Museum.” Too tame and plodding to ever get you hooked. Rent it.
Director: Asghar Farhadi
PG-13; 130 mins.
An Iranian man deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife’s request for a divorce. (Synopsis by IMDB)
This gripping film works in the same vein as Farhadi’s previous “A Separation.” The emotions of human relations and the complications they create are masterfully crafted into a complex drama. See it.
Director: Mark Waters
PG-13; 104 mins.
Rose Hathaway (Deutch) is a Dhampir: half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story. (Synopsis by Weinstein)
Will this be the film that finally puts a stake in the vampire craze? Probably not, but one can hope. Since it isn’t available for early reviews it is almost guaranteed to be a horrendous mess. Nonetheless, the Hot Topic crowd will still clamor for tickets. Stay home and save your eyeliner. Skip it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Dallas Buyers Club
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
R; 117 mins.
Matthew McConaughey stars in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB as real-life Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, whose free-wheeling life was overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. These were the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and the U.S. was divided over how to combat the virus. Ron, now shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, and bereft of government-approved effective medicines, decided to take matters in his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Bypassing the establishment, the entrepreneurial Woodroof joined forces with an unlikely band of renegades and outcasts – who he once would have shunned – and established a hugely successful “buyers’ club.” Their shared struggle for dignity and acceptance is a uniquely American story of the transformative power of resilience. (Synopsis by Focus Features)
It got nominated for Best Picture for a reason. This is a film that does just about everything right. In the few times it stumbles, McConaughey and Leto carry through with ease. See it.