Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Director: Andy Fickman
PG; 1 hr. 34 min.
After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers. (Synopsis by Sony)
This is really bad. No one put any effort into their role and it painfully shows. Couple that with a lead character that should be little more than a background reference, and this is as close to unwatchable as you can get. Skip it.
Director: Levan Gabriadze
R; 1 hr. 22 min.
Unfriended unfolds over a teenager’s computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure who seeks vengeance for a shaming video that led a vicious bully to kill herself a year earlier. (Synopsis by Universal)
Obviously gunning for a younger audience, this plays more silly than scary. Even without the scares, this is a surprisingly decent film. There is a decent message behind the horror trope and it doesn’t stray outside of its premise. See it.
Director: Rupert Goold
R; 1 hr. 40 min.
When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) meets accused killer Christian Longo (James Franco) – who has taken on Finkel’s identity – his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat-and-mouse. Based on actual events, Finkel’s relentless pursuit of Longo’s true story encompasses murder, love, deceit and redemption. (Synopsis by Fox)
Even with a well-written script, something feels perpetually off. Too much “film drama” and not enough truth do damage to the premise. Hill and Franco are excellent, but enjoyment of this film will hinge on whether the audience can suspend their analysis of the plot. Rent it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Jennifer Kent
Unrated; 1 hr. 34 min.
Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real. (Synopsis by IFC)
Very rarely does a horror genre film come along that is a qualified candidate for best film of the year. This is as sufficiently scary, smart, well-written, and original a piece as you will find. A simple premise that is executed nearly flawlessly. See it.