Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Chris Columbus
PG-13; 1 hr. 46 min.
As kids in the 1980s, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) saved the world thousands of times – at 25 cents a game in the video arcades. Now, they’re going to have to do it for real. In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults — and now-U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede, and Space Invaders. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens. (Synopsis by Sony)
Sometimes it is a good thing when actors are comfortable having fun on camera and don’t feel the need to stick to the script. This is not one of those times. What comes across is a minimal-effort assault on your senses mess that is as ridiculous as it is unnecessary. Skip it.
Director: Jake Schreier
PG-13; 1 hr. 49 min.
Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green (“The Fault in Our Stars”), PAPER TOWNS is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears–leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship–and true love. (Synopsis by Fox)
Schreier does a lot of things right here. This movie is subtly smart, well balanced, and genuinely heartfelt; a well-crafted film that offers everything fans of the genre want without sacrificing integrity. See it.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
R; 2 hr. 3 min.
From acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY) and screenwriters Kurt Sutter (“Sons of Anarchy) and Richard Wenk (THE MECHANIC), SOUTHPAW tells the riveting story of Billy “The Great” Hope, reigning Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World (Academy Award (R) nominee Jake Gyllenhaal). Billy Hope seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife (Rachel McAdams), an adorable daughter (Oona Laurence) and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: Tick Willis (Academy Award (R) winner Forest Whitaker), a retired fighter and trainer to the city’s toughest amateur boxers. With his future riding on Tick’s guidance and tenacity, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves. (Synopsis by Weinstein)
This falls apart on its story, which is a disappointing combination of clichés and conventions. Gyllenhaal is at his best, but even his stellar performance can’t save this film. Rent it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
None of note