We have a reboot, a remake and a resurrection in this week’s new releases. Let’s tackle them in that order.
1. Smurfs: The Lost Village (Sony/Columbia, 3.610 Theaters, 89 Minutes, Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 39% Fresh [56 Reviews]): One of the burning questions about the Smurfs, if there can be any burning questions about the Smurfs, is why is Smurfette the only female Smurf? Well, in canon it’s because Gargamel created her to be the only one. In the real world, it was probably because they wanted to expand their audience to include girls, but still wanted to keep the boys around.
This film shakes that all up by letting us in on a lost village made up of nothing but female Smurfs. The two factions must join together to fight Gargamel.
They go full CGI this time around, which I consider a good thing. The world of the Smurfs seems to be custom made for that kind of treatment. If only they got a good script.
2. Going In Style (Warner Brothers/New Line, 3,061 Theaters, 96 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for drug content, language and some suggestive material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 44% Fresh [68 Reviews]): This film is a remake of the 1979 film of the same name starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasburg. That film, the bank robbery was done as a thrill. This time around there’s a purpose for the crime.
Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin play retirees who find their pensions taken from them during a reorganization at their previous employer. They decide to strike back at all the financial institutions that made their lives miserable by robbing a bank. Of course, deciding to rob a bank and robbing a bank are two different things, something they soon come to realize.
You have three of the finest actors of their generation–Oscar winners all–working together. That means that although the reviews are not that good, the film should at least be watchable.
3. The Case For Christ (Pure Flix, 1,175 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: N/A [Only three reviews listed, two positive, one negative]): Just in time for Easter, we get another faith-based film tangentially about the man the holiday is all about.
Atheist reporter Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel) has his life thrown in to turmoil when his wife (Erika Christensen) find religion. Lee does whatever any caring skeptic would do in a similar situation–he tries to prove his wife wrong by using his investigative reporting skills to disprove the story of Christ. However, he finds something quite different along the way.
This is a unique, real-life take on the genre. But, once again, it seems like the filmmakers are reaching out to skeptics like Lee was, and end up only grabbing the already converted.
Next week, the new releases will include one that tells us the fate of the furious. I believe cars will be involved somehow.