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New Releases: March 27, 2015

Posted on 27 March 2015 by William Gatevackes

Home_(2015_film)_poster1. Home (Fox, 3,708 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor, Rotten Tomatoes: 40% Fresh [68 Reviews]):   Oh is from an alien race decides to hide out on Earth to escape an enemy. Tip is a little girl who was separated from her mother when the aliens relocated the humans to Australia. Both are on the run–Oh because he revealed his race’s location to their enemies, Tip to find her mother. They join together, teach each other stuff along the way, and try to fix all the wrong Oh and his fellow aliens did.

The film is based on Adam Rex’s 2007 book, The True Meaning of Smekday. It was original titled Happy Smekday! and supposed to come out over the Thanksgiving holiday. The fact that it was delayed is never a good thing, but this film is produced by DreamWorks, so it should be a slice above your normal CGI animated fare.

get hard poster2. Get Hard (Warner Brothers, 3,175 Theaters, 100 Minutes, Rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug material, Rotten Tomatoes: 29% Fresh [87 Reviews]):  James King (Will Ferrell) is going to prison after being wrongly convicted of tax evasion. And he’s going to get eaten alive in there. His only hope to survive the experience is to be trained on how to be “hard,” so tough that the other convicts want to have nothing to do with him. For this, he chooses his ex-con car washer Darnell (Kevin Hart)to give him lessons. Only one problem: Darnell has not spent a day in jail his whole life.

This film has the chance at being a witty satire on race relations and the way the legal system treats whites and blacks diff–oh, who am I kidding. This is a Will Ferrell movie. He is to damn juvenile to get anywhere near wit, let alone satire.

This film might have one redeeming quality. In looking for images for this film, I saw still featuring Allison Brie in some lingerie. So, this film, like Blades of Glory (which has Jenna Fischer in lingerie) will have a crush worthy woman from a popular sitcom scantily clad, if you are into that sort of thing.

it-follows-poster3. It Follows (Opening in wide release, Radius-The Weinstein Corporation, 1,218 Theaters,100 Minutes, Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content including graphic nudity, and language, Rotten Tomatoes: 95% Fresh [118 Reviews]): A lot of bad things can happen after you have sex on the second date. You can catch a nasty STD, you can get pregnant, you can get the cold shoulder, you can get a overly possessive stalker, or you can get a curse that causes a supernatural being to follow you constantly until it catches you and kills you.

Jay gets the last one, and it ruins her life. She teams up with her friends, who can neither see nor hear the very real being chasing her, to find a way out of the curse without ruining another person’s life.

You seldom see a horror film this well reviewed.It has all the qualities of a classic–it is not to short but not too long, it is R Rated and makes good use of the rating, and it’s hook is an allegory for a number of other real life horrors. I’m not a big horror guy, but I might want to see this one.

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New Releases: March 20, 2015

Posted on 20 March 2015 by William Gatevackes

Insurgent_poster1. The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Lionsgate/Summit, 3,875 Theaters, 119 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action throughout, some sensuality, thematic elements and brief language, Rotten Tomatoes: 35% Fresh [104 Reviews]):  That adaption of that YA novel set in a dystopian alternate reality where a female protagonist fights against an oppressive, class-based ruling party.

No, not that one. The other one.

This film picks up after the last one, with Tris and Four on the run as full scale war has broken out amongst the factions. However, a mysterious box is found and the secrets it holds can cause all the fighting to come to an end. Unfortunately, it can only be opened by one Divergent in particular–Tris. Tris needs to enter enemy territory to open the box, and what secrets she learns from the box might make it hard to leave the territory alive.

gunman poster2. The Gunman (Open Road Films, 2,816 Theaters, 115 Minutes, Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality, Rotten Tomatoes: 15% Fresh [95 Reviews]):   Do you think that Sean Penn got wind of how much money Liam Neeson has been making in the recent past and called his agent and demanded to get in on the “old guy shooting and punching things” racket.

Because, just look at this: a well-respected actor (albeit Penn has Oscar wins under his belt, where as Neeson only has a nomination) trapped in a revenge plot traipses across Europe to track down the person who did him wrong, punching and shooting things along the way. They even got the director of Taken to do the film, for goodness sakes.

Okay, there are differences. Penn plays an assassin on the run due from someone connected to a killing he made years ago.  He hides out in Europe, trying to find out who is coming after him. So, it’s not the same, but still, I’d have expected better of Sean Penn.

Do_You_Believe _poster3. Do You Believe? (Pure Flix, 1,320 Theaters,115 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, an accident sequence and some violence, Rotten Tomatoes: No percentage, as only three reviews have been counted [1 good, 2 bad]): I have a simple rule for films to be included in this column–the films have to be in at least 1,000 theaters. I do this to save time (Because it’s hard to write about 3 films a week, let alone 10) and so I don’t cover films here that most of the country will never get the chance to see in theaters. This is not a perfect system because there are important films that don’t get featured here (for instance, I believe the only Oscar nominees I covered were American Sniper and Selma) while films like this, which even with its 1,000+ theater count is judged to be so obscure that the film is in danger of losing its Wikipedia page, I feel the need to cover.

This is another entry in the “Christian film” genre that is inexplicably popular these days, this one more overt in its holy roller-ness that others. It stars what would have been an all-star cast if the film came out in the 1980s or 1990s, including one Oscar winner (it’s only Mira Sorvino, but it counts) and Golden Globe winner in Cybil Sheppard. It’s fun to look at the cast and try to figure out which ones are doing this film because they really believe in the message and which ones are doing it just because it’s been a long time between paychecks. They all play the type of stereotypes that you’d find in a Jack Chick comic–the doctor who thinks he is god, the homeless person who hasn’t given up hope, the parent that blame God for their daughter’s death. etc–all who go through a spiritual awakening through their either long standing, newly found or recently reignited belief in God.

I get the feeling these films are made by the devout to reach out to the lapsed Christians, the inquisitive agnostics and the angry atheists as a way to bring them back into the fold. However, even if any of those groups wanted to see the film, the treacly and heavy handed way these films hammer their message into their viewers would only serve to entrench those doubters in more. But, in reality, the only people these movies preach to is the already converted. So, the point of these films are moot.

If you are sick and tired of this particular brand of propaganda, there is cause to rejoice. Ted McGinley is in the film. Ted McGinley exists only to kill once popular forms of pop culture dead. So his appearance in this film means that the genre has jumped the shark, and will soon go away.

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New Releases: March 13, 2015

Posted on 12 March 2015 by William Gatevackes

cinderella poster1. Cinderella (Disney, 3,845 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG for mild thematic elements, Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh [90 Reviews]):  As the father of a five-year old girl, I can’t tell you how many versions of this story I have seen. There’s the original Disney cartoon, which had two, yes, two sequels. There are at least five versions of the story in my daughter’s library. The Rogers and Hammerstein musical version which just ended its run on Broadway this year was my daughter’s first Broadway show. It has been the inspiration for films such as Ever After (a pretty straight forward version of the tale) and Ella Enchanted (which only borrowed elements from the legend). The character was a main character in Into The Woods. And the Disney Channel recently reran two modernizations of the fairy tale they produced, one from 2004 starring Hilary Duff, the other from 2008 starring Selena Gomez.

So, in other words, the Cinderella legend has appeared in pop culture a lot. It takes a lot to make a story that numerous generations know by heart feel fresh and new. This film has received great reviews and has an awesome cast. So maybe this one will put a new shine on those glass slippers.

Also, there is a new Frozen short before this film called Frozen Fever. That will be enough to sell tickets.

run all night poster2. Run All Night (Warner Brothers, 3,171 Theaters,114 Minutes, Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use, Rotten Tomatoes: 51%Fresh [45 Reviews]): Liam Neeson has been enjoying a late career upswing in the action genre–typically a style of movie that eschews older men for young hunks–thanks to he ability to sound threatening while addressing various and sundry lowlifes. So nice of him to give a big tough guy speech to Ed Harris for this one.

In this one, Neeson is on the other end of the revenge spectrum, as it is Harris that is seeking revenge against Neeson’s son for killing Harris’. Neeson and his son must run all night [TRUMPET FANFARE] in order to stay alive.

Eventually, Neeson’s cinematic luck is going to run out (if it hasn’t already). Could this be the film that ends his tough old man routine? Maybe, especially if he’s taken down by a girl wearing glass slippers.

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New Releases: March 6, 2015

Posted on 06 March 2015 by William Gatevackes

Chappie poster1. Chappie (Sony/Columbia, 3,201 Theaters,122 Minutes, Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity, Rotten Tomatoes: 31% Fresh [98 Reviews]): So, judging on the reviews that this film received, it appears the world has caught on to Neil Blomkamp. The reviews have gotten worse from District 9 to Elysium to this film, taking the director from critical darling to utterly predicable.

Blomkamp’s policy of using sci-fi genre to address societies ills was novel at first, but for some, the novelty has worn off. I don’t know what the critics want–better sci-fi? Less message? Message without the nihilistic future dressing?

This film focuses on a police state that uses robot troopers to patrol the streets. However, when one of the robots gains sentience, the oppressive system might be toppled from the bottom up.

unfinished-business poster2. Unfinished Business (Fox, 2,777 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated R for some strong risqué sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use, Rotten Tomatoes: 10% Fresh [59 Reviews]): If Neil Blomkamp has experienced a bad turn with the critics, it is nothing like the trainwreck Vince Vaughn’s career has become. He once was the funniest part of any film he was in, be it a supporting role or as a lead. But since The Watch, everything has become a case of diminishing returns with him, as he tries to find projects that allow him to play into his wise-ass persona he built up over the years.

Then you have this film, which was release into the wild with a relative whisper, not a bang. Vaughn plays a business owner whose business trip to Europe goes off the rails in the most lurid and prurient ways possible.

Here’s hoping his rest stop on TV in HBO’s True Detective recharges his batteries or at least makes his decision making skills a little bit better.

secondbestexoticmarigoldhotel poster3. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight, 1,573 Theaters, 122 Minutes, Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments, Rotten Tomatoes: 63% Fresh [106 Reviews]): It is always nice to see a little film do well enough to to a seque. Of course, with the cast that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had, there’s no wonder why audiences flocked to it.

Well, almost all the cast is back for a second go round, and the business has become so successful that a second location is opened. This gives us the chance to catch up with all the characters from the first film to see how they’ve gone along in their new home.

The film is this week’s best reviewed film. Even if you think you might not be its target demographic, you should think about checking it out anyway.

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New Releases: February 27, 2015

Posted on 27 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

focus poster1. Focus (Warner Brothers, 3,323 Theaters, 104 Minutes, Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence, Rotten Tomatoes: 54% Fresh [76 Reviews]): So, this is a comedy/romance/crime film, although all the ads I see focus on the last . Never have a good feeling when that happens.

The film is about a con man (Will Smith) who breaks up with his girlfriend (Margot Robbie) because he feels like the relationship is damaged by the dishonesty of his chosen profession. Years later, she returns back into his life during one of the biggest cons of his career–albeit working a con from the other side.

This role is an interesting stretch for Smith, who needs a hit after a disappointing couple of years at the box office. Let’s hope the part, and the fact his love interest is the 22-years-younger Robbie, helps him get back on his box office feet.

lazarus effect poster2. The Lazarus Effect (Relativity, 2,666 Theaters, 83 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of horror violence, terror and some sexual references, Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Fresh [38 Reviews]): Any horror film that manages to work the number “666” into its theater counts gets a lot of credit from me. It’s almost enough to make up for the poor Tomatometer reading, the short running time, and the PG-13 rating.

The film focuses on a team of scientists who are studying ways to bring the dead back to the living. When one of their own dies in a lab accident, they use what they’ve learned on her. She is brought back to life, but she comes back…different.

So, in other words, Pet Cemetary meets Frankenstein. This is essentially a “cash-grab” sort of film. It’s super low-budget ($5 million) so with it’s PG-13 rating to get the kiddies in and a short running time to increase the amount of showings, the film should be a success no matter how bad the reviews get.

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New Releases: February 20, 2015

Posted on 20 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

hottubtimemachine21. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Paramount, 2,880 Theaters, 93 Minutes, Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violence, Rotten Tomatoes rating as of press time : 16% Fresh [38 Reviews]): The first Hot Tub Time Machine worked and worked on a number of levels. Weirdly, it was a return to the 1980’s teen comedies that gave John Cusack his start. It played with the conventions of the time-travel genre, mocking everything from the method of travel (a hot tub is silly, but is it really that much more silly than a British Police box or a DeLorean?) to the “we can’t change the future’ trope (the characters not only change their own future, they profit greatly from it). And it married the 80s raunchiness with the 10s raunchiness.

Well, Cusack is nowhere to be found this time around (supposedly, he wasn’t asked back, even though he produced the first film.). Almost all the tropes were covered the first time around, This leaves only the raunchiness.

This time, the boys have to break out the hot tub after Lou (Rob Corddry) gets shot. But instead of the past, the jacuzzi sends them to the future.

McFarland,_USA_poster2. McFarland, USA (Disney, 2,755 Theaters, 128 Minutes, Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language, Rotten Tomatoes rating as of press time : 76% Fresh [56 Reviews]): Disney has done enough of these inspirational sports films in the recent years that they can mass produce them by this point. They could just build an assembly line, snap the pieces together, and send the result to movie theaters.

Does this sound familiar? An inspirational coach (Kevin Costner) sees talent in an unlikely group of athletes. Against all odds and facing prejudice and hard times, he molds the team into a championship level unit. Of course, the film is based on a true story.

But the pre-fab nature of the film and its similarities to other Disney films is not a bad thing. It is the best bet this week.

Bella-Thorne -The-Duff-Movie-Poster3. The DUFF (Lionsgate, 2,575 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying, Rotten Tomatoes rating as of press time : 59% Fresh [41 Reviews]):  Just in case you were wondering, DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Apparently, this is a thing with high schoolers where they became friends with DUFF’s to make themselves look thinner and cuter.

The film is adapted from the book of the same name, and profiles on DUFF(Mae Whitman) and her attempt to break away from this stereotype.

Of course, it is funny to look at this film’s cast, most of whom are far from their high school years. The only star who is even close to high school age is Bella Thorne and she barely makes the cut at 17. The rest of the “kids” an average age of 24 years old.

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New Releases: February 13, 2015

Posted on 13 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

Fifty_Shades_of_Grey_poster1. Fifty Shades of Grey (Focus Features, 3,646 Theaters,125 Minutes, Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at press time: 31% Fresh (105 Reviews)): I have not read the book, but I did read the Wikipedia plot synopsis for them, the modern day equivalent of Cliff’s Notes. Actually, I read it to my wife and we both had a laugh, although not in the way EL James intended. Granted, there has to be a certain diffusing of quality from the book to the Wikipedia synopsis, but we could tell that the book was something where foreshadowing did not exist and plot elements and characterization spring up only when the narrative needs them to move forward (Upon the 15th demonstration of Christian Grey’s wealth, my wife asked how much money he really did have. I said as much as it takes to move the plot along.).

But the book is immensely popular, mind-bogglingly so. This is both discouraging and encouraging to the aspiring writer. Discouraging in the sense that paplike this gets made while it is impossible for you to get your foot in the door, encouraging in the sense that if you do get published and the stars align, you can become rich beyond your wildest dreams, no matter how bad your product is.

But that has nothing to do with the film version, however. What fans will be getting is a watered down version of the book (that’s not an NC-17 rating, folks). It will probably make a boatload of money. The sequels are already in the works. And there’s nothing the haters can do about it.

kingsmanpostersmall2. Kingsman: The Secret Service (Fox, 3,204 Theaters,129 Minutes, Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at press time: 72% Fresh (107 Reviews)): Mark Millar is the master of the high concept comic book, typically featuring character very familiar to ones we have all seen before. Wanted asked what would happen if comic book villains secretly controlled the world, and the villains were all doppelgangers for  DC Comics bad guys like the Joker, Catwoman and BizarroKick Ass was Millar’s examination of how a superhero would operate in the real world, but its Big Daddy was essentially the Punisher meets Batman, with Hit-Girl his Robin. Nemesis was Millar asking what Batman would be like if he was evil, and Superior is his take on Shazam/Superman.

While it might seem that Millar’s work lacks a certain amount of originality, Hollywood loves him. All have been movies or are optioned to become one. And his work for Marvel’s Ultimate line continues to be backbone Marvel film adaptations are built on.

This film was based on Millar’s The Secret Service comic, which was Millar’s take on James Bond and the spy genre with a mentor/apprentice element thrown in. However, like with Wanted, the film has been changed from the comic.

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New Releases: February 6, 2015

Posted on 06 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

SpongeBob poster1. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (Paramount, 3,641 Theaters, 93 Minutes, Rated PG for mild action and rude humor, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time, 72% Fresh (39 Reviews):  Okay, show of hands, who thought that SpongeBob SquarePants would still be around 16 years after his cartoon debuted? Or, that he would be getting a second film eleven years after his first one (although, originally it was supposed to come out last year)?

Not only is the fellow who lives in a pineapple under the sea popular enough to support another film, he’s upgraded from David Hasselfoff to Antonio Banderas in this one. And, while not all reviews are in, this film might be the critic’s favorite by a LARGE margin.

When the recipe for Krabby Patties goes missing, SpongeBob and the gang must travel to our world to rescue it. Unfortunately for them, it’s in the hands of Burger Beard the Pirate (Banderas). Lucky for them, they get superpowers up on the surface.

jupiter ascending2. Jupiter Ascending (Warner Brothers, 3,181 Theaters,127 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 26% Fresh (96 Reviews):  What happened to the Wachowski siblings? Bound and The Matrix promised untapped potential in the pair asdirectors of daring takes on genre material. Then the Matrix sequels hit, and they were turgid and bloated where the original was taut and exciting. Speed Racer could kindly be called a noble failure, but the same courtesy might not be as easily applied by all to Cloud Atlas.

Then we come to this. Mila Kunis plays a janitor who finds out she is an heir to an alien royal family. Channing Tatum plays the half-human/half wolf bounty hunter tasked with bring Kunis to her home planet so she can claim her throne.

That is just a brief description of the film. Being that this is the Wachowski’s, the plot is way more convoluted than that. This is their first original work since The Matrix and it reads like something a high school freshman would come up with during their study hall. The film was originally supposed to hit theaters last July, but was moved to February. The official reason was to give them more time to work on the digital effects, but nothing is ever delayed to February for any other reason but to bury it.

Seventh_Son_Poster3. Seventh Son (Universal, 2,872 Theaters, 102 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 7% Fresh (43 Reviews):  I don’t know if it was luck or design, but Jupiter Ascending has the good fortune of not being the worst reviewed film released this week. Granted, we can expect about 60 more reviews to come in, but its unlikely that the 7% Fresh this film has will get that much higher, especially considering that most of the reviews that are in call this film one of the worst of 2015 and February has just started.

This film too has been delayed, but more than once. It was supposed to come out in 2013, then 2014 before landing in the frozen wasteland that is this time of year in the cinema.

The film is based on the British novel, The Spook’s Apprentice, and it deals with a young man (Ben Barnes) who has been chosen to learn how to defend his homeland from supernatural threats at the hands of a master sorcerer (Jeff Bridges). However, his apprenticeship might come to an early end, as a powerful witch (Julianne Moore) has escaped while the master is away and looks to wreak havoc on the town.

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New Releases: January 30, 2015

Posted on 29 January 2015 by William Gatevackes

project almanac poster1. Project Almanac (Paramount, 2,893 Theaters, 106 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual content, Rotten Tomatoes Fresh rating as of press time: 35% Fresh (24 reviews)): Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the film that is to Doctor Who that Chronicle was to the X-Men.

Okay, that analogy might not sync up exactly, but I am sure you’ll get what I mean after you read the synopsis.

In this “found footage” film, a group of teenagers find a way to build a time machine. They immediately use the machine for personal gain, but eventually find out that the changes they made might spell their doom.

I can’t get past the “found footage” part. I mean, wouldn’t whatever they taped be wiped out whenever they changed time? Like if they taped a car hitting a building, then went back in time to make sure the car didn’t hit the building, how could the tape ever show the car hitting the building.

This film was originally supposed to come out last year. It’s not the only one this week.

loft poster2. The Loft (Open Road Films, 1,841 Theaters, 108 Minutes, Rated R for sexual content, nudity, bloody violence, language and some drug use, Rotten Tomatoes Fresh rating as of press time: No Score (1 reviews)): Five businessmen have found the perfect way to cheat on their wives. All five have gone in on a loft apartment that they can take their mistress to, and only the five of them have keys to the place. It’s and ideal situation, right up until the dead woman is found in the loft. Now, the five must discover which one of them is a killer.

This is an American adaptation of one of the most Flemish films of all time, 2008’s Loft. That film’s director, Erik Van Looy, and star, Matthias Schoenarts, reprise there roles in this one.

This film not only had to suffer a release date change (it was supposed to come out last August) but also a change in distributors, moving from Universal to Open Road Films. That was the second time it moved, as it originally was at Warner Brothers. Take that as you will.

Black_or_White_poster3. Black or White (Relativity, 1,823 Theaters, 121 Minutes, Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight, Rotten Tomatoes Fresh rating as of press time: 31% Fresh (39 reviews)):  Tragedy has become a big part of Elliot Anderson’s life. First, he loses his daughter in childbirth and is forced to raise his granddaughter, Eloise, with his wife. Now, afterlosing his wife to a car crash, the African-American family of his granddaughter’s father has decided that Eloise should be raised with people her own color. Elliot is forced to fight for the girl he raised from a baby for fear that she will fall into hands of her drug-addict father.

There’s a whole lot of melodrama heaped on to the rote custody battle storyline. However, that doesn’t always make for a good movie. Having a cast that features an Oscar winner and an Oscar nominee helps in that regard.

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New Releases: January 23, 2015

Posted on 22 January 2015 by William Gatevackes

strange magic poster1. Strange Magic (Disney, 3,020 Theaters,99 Minutes, Rated PG for some action and scary images, Rotten Tomatoes rating as of press time: 14% Fresh (21 reviews)):  When was the last time the phrase “From the mind of George Lucas” caused you to get excited? Before Return of the JediIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade?

Well, this one is coming from that mind, and I’m not very excited. The ads make it out to to be a war between elves, fairies and goblins, but it really is a modified musical version of Midsummer Night’s Dream with pop songs jury rigged to provide the soundtrack.

While this is a Disney movie with less than Disney caliber animation, keep in mind that this film was put into production before the House of the Mouse bought Lucasfilms.

mortdecai poster2. Mortdecai (Lionsgate, 2,648 Theaters, 106 Minutes, Rated R for some language and sexual material. Rotten Tomatoes rating as of press time: 5% Fresh (20 reviews)):  I seem to recall a younger Johnny Depp, around the time he was in 21 Jump Street, complaining in interviews that he wanted to transcend that show and become a real actor. I wonder how that version of Depp would view this present day counterpart, and actor with three modes: wide-eyed, mostly heavily made up weirdo; dour, mostly makeupless sourpuss: and Captain Jack Sparrow.

The first Johnny Depp seems to be on display here, as he plays a roguish British art dealer who finds himself involved in an international plot to recover a priceless painting. But think less Daniel Craig Casino Royale and more the Woody Allen Casino Royale.

This film adapts the first book of Kyril Bonfiglioli’s cult Mortdecai book series. There are four books in all, but with a 5% fresh rating, probably only one film is all you’re going to get.

boy next door poster3. The Boy Next Door (Universal, 2,602 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated R for violence, sexual content/nudity and language, Rotten Tomatoes rating as of press time: 16% Fresh (50 Reviews):   Ah, here comes J-Lo, reminding us why she needs to return to American Idol each season.

Lopez plays a recently divorced woman who engages on a one-night stand with new neighbor–a much younger man. The frisky business sours as the boy becomes obsessed with her. In other words, it’s gender reversed Fatal Attraction with a MILF-porn twist.

It doesn’t really seem to offer anything that we haven’t seen before. However, it was made for a crazy-low $4 million, so it would have to really, really bad at the box office not to be a hit.

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