1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.