Friday, May 29, 2015

In Theaters Now - 5/29/15





(new releases in green)

Let Us Prey       Grade: A  (available on Video on Demand)

Ex Machina        Grade: A

While We're Young        Grade: A-

The Avengers: Age of Ultron        Grade: B+

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared       Grade: B+

Slow West        Grade: B+   (also available on Video on Demand)

Tomorrowland        Grade: C

The Divergent Series: Insurgent        Grade: C

Clouds of Sils Maria        Grade: C

Hot Pursuit        Grade: D

San Andreas        Grade: D

Dark Star:  H.R. Giger's World       Grade: D





Additional Films Not Reviewed:
About Elly
The Age of Adaline
Aloha
The Apu Trilogy
Cinderella
Dior and I
Far From the Madding Crowd
Furious 7
Get Hard
Home
In the Name of My Daughter
Iris
Lambert and Stamp
Mad Max: Fury Road
Monkey Kingdom
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Poltergeist
Pitch Perfect 2
Saint Laurent
Sunshine Superman
Woman in Gold

San Andreas

 

It's been a pretty terrible year for wide theatrical releases.  Three weeks ago I suffered through Hot Pursuit.  Last week I toughed it out through Tomorrowland.  And this week, my valuable time was wasted yet again, and it's San Andreas' fault (pun intended.)  What a disaster ... and not just the natural kind!  (pun intended again.)

Remember all those lame natural disaster movies of the 90's like Twister, Volcano, Dante's Peak, and then a decade later, The Day After Tomorrow?  Yeah, well this one's worse.  Not only do we have to suffer through all the requisite cliche characters, like the flawed hero (Dwayne Johnson) separated from his hot wife (Carla Gugino) and beautiful daughter (Alexandra Daddario), who now live with his wife's new fiance, the ultra rich but of course cowardly Ioan Gruffudd, but this time the acting and dialogue are atrocious!  Johnson, Gugino, and Daddario all turn in performances barely worthy of Sharknado.  I can't remember another movie where I groaned after every single line of dialogue. 

From start to finish it's an extremely straightforward, dull disaster film suitable only for the brainless, yet with two baffling mysteries.  How is Lost's Carlton Cuse responsible for the screenplay?  And why is Paul Giamatti in this?  I hope the paycheck was good for both of them, because they're both way too talented for this Hollywood summer schlockbuster.

Grade: D

Who is this movie for?  Not me.  And hopefully not you.  Do yourself a favor and rewatch World War Z which does a lot of the same type of scenes about a million times better.

Friday, May 22, 2015

In Theaters Now - 5/22/15



(new releases in green)

Ex Machina        Grade: A

Good Kill        Grade: A  (also available on Video on Demand)

While We're Young        Grade: A-

Wild Tales       Grade: A-

The Avengers: Age of Ultron        Grade: B+

Unfriended       Grade: B+

Slow West        Grade: B+  (also available on Video on Demand)

Tomorrowland       Grade: C

The Divergent Series: Insurgent        Grade: C

Clouds of Sils Maria        Grade: C

Hot Pursuit        Grade: D

The Salt of the Earth        Grade: D-





Additional Films Not Reviewed:
About Elly
The Age of Adaline
The Apu Trilogy
Brotherly Love
Cinderella
Dior and I
Far From the Madding Crowd
Furious 7
Get Hard
Home
In the Name of My Daughter
Iris
Lambert and Stamp
Mad Max: Fury Road
Monkey Kingdom
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Poltergeist
Pitch Perfect 2
Saint Laurent
Where Hope Grows
Woman in Gold

Tomorrowland


This one's been on my radar for quite some time.  I've been looking forward to it both as a life long fan of Walt Disney World and a fan of George Clooney.  Unfortunately neither of those reasons are good enough to save this marvelous mess.

Perhaps I'm just not the target demographic.  Perhaps when I was young I'd have been able to appreciate this movie for all its hope and optimism for the future which lies in the hands of our children, the dreamers.  But as an adult with dreams long crushed, I found all of this movie's positive messages for our troubled world to be forced and phony.  And that aside, it's still just a muddled mess that seems better suited as a 15 minute preshow for a ride at Tomorrowland in Walt Disney World, rather than a feature length summer blockbuster.  And this is a shame, because I have to give Disney credit for spending a boat load o' dough on a non-Marvel comic franchise, non-Star Wars, non-animated, original story.  This was a risk that just didn't turn out and I expect will likely flop, at least relative to Disney's expectations.  And that'll mean we can expect only Marvel comic, Star Wars, and animated franchise films to come.

Grade: C

Who is this movie for?  Your kids may very well enjoy it.  I really don't know.  All I can tell you is that I didn't.  It's 2 hours and 10 minutes and I was bored after 15.  And it's safe to say the guy snoring loudly behind me was too.  (True story.)