1. Act Of Valor (Relativity, 3,039 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated R): If you’ve seen any marketing for this film, you’ll know that one of the biggest marketing aspects for the film is that the cast consists of active-duty Navy Seals in the cast.
My response? So what?
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the brave and intelligent men who serve in the Navy Seals. They brought down Bin Laden and did it so well that it looked easy. They are my heroes.
And if I have any terrorist overlord to take down, they’ll be first on my contact list. But their skills in stealth combat has no bearing on their acting abilities. I assume their work experience does add an air of authenticity, but this authenticity would be better served if they wrote or directed the film. As it is, it’s just a flimsy gimmick.
2. Gone (Summit Entertainment, 2,186 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated PG-13): When her sister goes missing, Jill knows exactly what happened. The serial killer who kidnapped her years ago has returned and is out for vengeance. Problem is, Jill has no proof of this and no one else believes her. Jill must face her tormentor and rescue her sister—alone.
This film would be annoying to me on so many levels, all tied to the plot. Why wouldn’t the serial killer just come after Jill? I mean, why other than then the film would only be an hour long–if that? I know they are trying to set up that the killer is trying to mess with Jill’s mind, but serial killers typically don’t work that way.
And why wouldn’t the police believe her? She escaped from a serial killer, right? Would it kill the cops to check on the killer’s whereabouts?
3. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds (Lionsgate, 2,132 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated PG-13): No, this isn’t a list of the charitable contributions Perry has made with his Madea money. He’s not THAT arrogant (I think).
No, this is the latest film from Tyler Perry and it marks a bit of a change of pace for him. He is in the lead role, but not in drag. He plays a successful businessman who’s life is turned around when he meets a struggling single mom who works on the custodial staff where he works. He is inspired to take action to close the distance between the working rich and the working poor.
In other words, this is a fairy tale. If this election period has taught us anything, it’s that the rich care about anything, it’s only getting richer.
4. Wanderlust (Universal, 2,001 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated R): If Good Deeds provides an idealistic look at the recent economic turmoil, then this film provides a more archaic, if not just as unrealistic, approach to the subject matter.
Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston play Manhattanites who lose their jobs and have to seek cheaper ways to live. They eventually settle on that bastion of the 1960s Free Love movement, the commune.
Communes do still exist today, but more often than not they are created for economic reasons rather than just so everybody can have sex with one another.
The film is written by David Wain and Ken Marino and directed by Wain. They have been involved in a lot of great projects in the past, all the way back to The State. So I got to have faith that they will make this film pay off even though it is a stretch.