We’re back at it again. The weekend is here and it’s a great time to get out and see a film or two before the real world set in again on Monday. So what’s out there for you to see? Let’s find out shall we?
Hansel and Gretel (R)
I’ll be seeing this film this weekend, but you should definitely be warned that it will be bloody and violent. To demonstrate such, I posted the red band trailer not too long ago so you could be aware. But in many ways it looks like it might be fun. But I also think there’s an equal chance it will be awful. I’m leaning toward fun, Joe is leaning toward awful. Time will tell. We’ll be talking about it on the upcoming episode of The MovieByte Podcast.
Fifteen years after Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) defeated the wicked witch who planned to have them for her dinner, the siblings have come of age as skilled bounty hunters. Hell-bent on retribution, they have dedicated their lives to hunting down and destroying every witch still lurking in the dark forests of their homeland. As the notorious blood moon approaches, the siblings face a great evil—one that could hold the secret to their terrifying past.
Movie 43 (R)
Oh my word this looks bad. Please don’t go see it!
Take a hilarious director, add a brilliant cast, mix in some twisted jokes, remove all boundaries, and then stand back…way back. In Movie 43, comedy is served steaming hot (literally) by director Peter Farrelly of The Farrelly Brothers (Something About Mary, Dumb & Dumber) in one of the most shocking, original, and dangerous comedies ever made. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Seann William Scott, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Kate Bosworth, Kate Winslet, Terrence Howard, Liev Schreiber, Elizabeth Banks, Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Patrick Warburton, Josh Duhamel, Jason Sudeikis, Chloe Grace Moretz, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jack McBrayer, Kieran Culkin, and Chris Pratt, Movie 43 is jaw-dropping, uproarious, outrageous fun. Warning: not for the weak-stomached, faint of heart, or easily offended.
Everything is rated R so far, I’m sensing a pattern. In any event, I caught Parker last night with Joe since I’m in town in Powder Springs for one day for a few meetings. It was certainly entertaining, and enjoyable in some ways. In other ways, well, it completely sank. Particularly confusing is how we the audience are supposed to connect to the male lead and the female lead, when another character/love interest has been thrown in the mix for the lead guy. The morality of this film is also quite questionable where evil and good are turned on their heads and you are lead to believe that at least in some way, what Parker is doing as a theif is okay for him. He has his own form of morality, his own code, and that’s okay. But it’s not okay. So many people get up in arms over language, or overt sexuality in films, but if you want to talk about something dangerous, I think the twisting of the definitions of good and evil are of the most very dangerous sort. It is certainly something to be aware of about this film. We will be talking about it as well on the next MovieByte Podcast.
Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief who lives by a personal code of ethics: Don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it. But on his latest heist, his crew double crosses him, steals his stash, and leaves him for dead. Determined to make sure they regret it, Parker tracks them to PalmBeach, playground of the rich and famous, where the crew is planning their biggest heist ever. Donning the disguise of a rich Texan, Parker takes on an unlikely partner, Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), a savvy insider, who’s short on cash, but big on looks, smarts and ambition. Together, they devise a plan to hijack the score, take everyone down and get away clean.
This is a horror film, and given the trailers, I am surprised it’s only PG-13. I personally have no interest in this film, though I’ll probably wind up seeing it so that I can give my informed opinion on the film for you fine folks.
On the day that their parents die, sisters Lilly and Victoria vanish in the woods, prompting a frantic search by their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain). Five years later, miraculously, the girls are found alive in a decaying cabin, and Lucas and Annabel welcome them into their home. But as Annabel tries to reintroduce the children to a normal life, she finds that someone – or something – still wants to tuck them in at night.
Broken City (R)
Joe and I saw this film last week. I like it quite a bit and Joe more or less hated it. And alas, he wrote the official MovieByte review and gave it only 2 stars. I would rate it much higher at 3.5. I would say go, go ahead and watch it.
In a broken city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption – and revenge – after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy’s relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force – and the mayor’s worst nightmare.
Zero Dark Thirty (R)
I’m really not interested in this film but I can see how some would be.
Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden becomes one of the most-wanted men on the planet. The worldwide manhunt for the terrorist leader occupies the resources and attention of two U.S. presidential administrations. Ultimately, it is the work of a dedicated female operative (Jessica Chastain) that proves instrumental in finally locating bin Laden. In May 2011, elite Navy SEALs launch a nighttime strike against bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, killing him.
Silver Linings Playbook (R)
I suppose I’m going to have to see this because everyone is saying it’s good — even people I would not have expected to give what I currently know about this film. It doesn’t look interesting to me, but I should give it a chance I reckon.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan…Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything—his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet - and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.
Gangster Squad (R)
And continuing the R rated trend today. This film is rated R and it’s a little bit bloody, but it’s a very fine film and well worth seeing. The story and character development is satisfying, the plot doesn’t lag, and the acting is first class. Joe and I discussed it recently on The MovieByte Podcast and we both agree. While the film is not destined to be the best film ever made or anything like that, it’s a decent film to go see in theaters.
Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and—if he has his way—every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop…except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart. “Gangster Squad” is a colorful retelling of events surrounding the LAPD’s efforts to take back their nascent city from one of the most dangerous mafia bosses of all time.
The Moviebyte Podcast #28: Guilty Until Proven Innocent »
Gangster Squad - Review »
New York Times’ A. O. Scott Reviews ‘Gangster Squad’ »
Jon Polito Comments on NYT ‘Gangster Squad’ Review » Six Clips from ‘Gangster Squad’ »
Apple Trailers Page »
The Last Stand (R)
It’s a trap! Run! Save yourself! No really, it looks pretty bad. And we all know Schwarzenegger can’t act. And Joe thought it was pretty bad too in his review. We also talked about it briefly on The MovieByte Podcast.
After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy. With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow. Cortez’ path: straight through Summerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement, including Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) will have their final opportunity to intercept him before the violent fugitive slips across the border forever.
Les Misérables (PG-13)
If for some strange and crazy reason you have not seen this yet, go see it! While it is not a kids film due to the adult thematic elements it deals with, it is well worth seeing because of the truth the film speaks about these very things. If you haven’t seen it yet, GO!
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
Django Unchained (R)
Bloody though the film may be (this is Tarantino what would you expect?) I think you should see it. I rated it 3.5 stars. Joseph however, only rated it 2.5.
Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles - dead or alive. Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago. Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation where slaves are groomed to battle each other for sport.