1. Fury (Sony/Columbia, 3, 173 Theaters, 134 Minutes, Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout):
I do believe that Brad Pitt is being typecast as the gruff military commander who leads his troops behind enemy lines during World War II, or am I the only one getting an Inglourious Basterds vibe from this film?
This time, Pitt plays a tank commander during WWII who welcomes a novice soldier to his platoon right before the most important battle of his tour of duty.
Most of the buzz about this film before hand dealt with the squabbles between Pitt and an in-the-midst-of-a-nervous-breakdown Shia LeBoeuf. But the rest of the cast is solid and should make for an enjoyable war flick.
2. The Book of Life (Fox, 3,069 Theaters, 95 Minutes, Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images):
If this film seems to have come out of nowhere, it didn’t. Perhaps you might have heard of it when it was called “Day of the Dead.” It has been in development for a while and was at one time at Dreamworks before they passed on it over creative differences.
The story certainly is unique. It deals with Manolo, whose romantic competition for the heart of a young woman has caught the eye of a pair of wagering ghosts. When one of the ghosts does the unspeakable to tip the bet in his favor, Manolo has to not only battle his way back into the land of the living, but also back into the heart of the girl.
This is produced by Guilermo Del Toro and features an intriguing voice cast. And the visuals have been getting rave reviews. If you think your kids can handle the subject matter, then this might be a good choice for you.
If you can’t tell from the poster, because of his adaptations all have the same poster, this is yet another adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Nothing gets an aspiring writer angrier than see the success Sparks has gained from his writing. First off, he writes Harlequin Romances with literary pretensions. Second, he has been writing the same book for almost twenty years. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy reunites with girl. One of them dies, usually of cancer, the end.
But people seem to really eat them up. This film is proof of that. Me, I’ll stay away.