1. 10 Cloverfield Lane (Paramount, 3,391 Theaters,103 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at Press Time 91% Fresh [109 Reviews]: In a day where films are announced five years ahead and spoiler abound from every corner of the Internet, it is a small miracle that this film stay a secret for so long. It caught us be surprise in mid-January, just 2 months before its release date. That’s impressive.
Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up in an underground bunker. chained to a bed. The bunker’s owner, Howard (John Goodman), says he’s saved Michelle’s life, that a nuclear war has left the world above unlivable. Michelle tries to live with Howard and another survivor, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), but Howard’s behavior makes staying inside more dangerous than what lurks outside. However, what’s outside might be worse than what Howard let on.
The film has a great cast. I have been a fan of Winstead’s from back in her Sky High days, and Goodman is always solid. Should be the best bet for the weekend.
2. The Brothers Grimsby (Sony/Columbia, 2,235 Theaters,83 Minutes, Rated R for strong crude sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, language, and some drug use, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at Press Time 44% Fresh [70 Reviews]: I was never a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen. His brand of humor as Ali G, Borat and Bruno seemed more cruel than funny, and I never found it funny at all. Needless to say, I would not be all excited to see what happens when Cohen switches from improv to scripted fare.
The film itself seem to wholly consist of recycled bits from other movies: the bumbling secret agent, the mismatched partners, common man plunged into a world of espionage, crude vs. cultured–its all been covered before.
What’s worse, one of the biggest gags, one the though funny enough to put in the trailer, was the “Suck poison out of a nasty body part” gag from Caddyshack 2. Changing it from the ass to the ballsack doesn’t change the fact you reached to Caddyshack 2 for a gag to rip off, and if you had to stoop that low, there really is no help for your film.
One thing we know for sure from this film. Mark Strong will do anything for a buck. And speaking of actors who will do any role for a buck…
3. The Young Messiah (Focus Features, 1,761 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at Press Time 63% Fresh [15 Reviews]: Easter is coming fast upon us, so its time for another film about Jesus. While Risen from a few weeks ago examined what happened to Jesus after he died, this film cover his life as a child.
Adapted from the book by Anne Rice (yes, that Anne Rice) by producer Chris Columbus, the film covers Jesus as he returns to Nazareth after the death of King Herod. There, he finds out what his true calling is, and why the new king wants to kill him for it.
While there are big names behind the scenes, Sean Bean is the biggest name on it. Bean should be store-brand Liam Neeson, doing populist action films, but ends up in films like these. Weird how that works out.