Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Boy Next Door
Director: Neill Fearnley and Rob Cohen
R; 1 hr. 31 min.
Jennifer Lopez leads the cast in The Boy Next Door, a psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction that goes much too far. Directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) and written by Barbara Curry, the film also stars Ryan Guzman, John Corbett and Kristin Chenoweth. (Synopsis by Universal)
A dumb thriller that relies on the characters making horror-film decisions. Too formulaic and simply not believable. Skip it.
Director: David Koepp
R; 1 hr. 46 min.
Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold. (Synopsis by Lionsgate)
If you haven’t heard of this one, you aren’t alone. The deliberate lack of information typically does not bode well. However, this is the type of role that Depp excels at. It may not be a great film, but it should be fun. Rent it.
Director: Mike Leigh
R; 2 hr. 29 min.
This film explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. (Synopsis by Sony Pictures Classics)
An atypical film, in that there isn’t really a plot. However, as a character piece, this is fantastic–a meticulously created biopic that is a celebration of Turner as well as Leigh’s directorial skills. See it.
Director: Gary Rydstrom
PG; 1 hr. 39 min.
“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects. (Synopsis by Disney)
Possibly the worst movie to come out of Disney studios. The set designs got all the attention, but there is no part of this film that will make you want to ever see it again. Characters? Terrible. Music? Terrible. Humor? Would be terrible if there was any. Skip it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Luc Besson
R; 1 hr. 29 min.
From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. (Synopsis by Universal)
This maintains just enough intelligence to scrape by. Not that any part of the premise is validated by actual science–but it is clever enough to be enjoyable. Rent it.