There’s really only one new release this weekend that is looking any good, so it’s a bit of a “between the mountain tops” sort of week in my book. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Opening This Weekend
42 - PG-13
Jackie Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player. It also means he was the focus of much scorn, criticism, and racism. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s racism. So while I’m not a big fan of sports at all, I am going to go see this film. And this film will also be the subject of The MovieByte Podcast next week.
“42” tells the story of two men—the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey—whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball. In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team, breaking Major League Baseball’s infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and even other players. Facing unabashed racism from every side, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey’s hopes.
PG-13 | Thematic elements, including language
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni
Director: Brian Helgeland
See or not: See
Scary Movie V - PG-13
If I want to see trash, I’ll star at my garbage can. I don’t need to go to the theater to see trash…
The latest installment of the SCARY MOVIE franchise includes send ups of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, MAMA, SINISTER, THE EVIL DEAD, INCEPTION, BLACK SWAN and pop culture featuring Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg, Katt Williams, Molly Shannon, Terry Crews, Simon Rex, Jerry O’Connell, Sarah Hyland, Katrina Bowden, Tyler Posey, Shad Moss aka Bow Wow, Kate Walsh, Heather Locklear, Mac Miller and Mike Tyson. SCARY MOVIE V is directed by Malcolm Lee who teamed up and worked side by side with legendary comedy director David Zucker. Zucker wrote and directed SCARY MOVIE 3 and 4 and also co-wrote and produced SCARY MOVIE V. The SCARY MOVIE franchise, which lampoons the greatest in horror and genre fare, has grossed over $800 million worldwide.
PG-13 | Language, Crude and Sexual Content, Comic Violence and Gore, Partial Nudity and Some Drug Material
Cast: Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall, Katt Williams
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
See or not: NOT
The Host - PG-13
This was a fantastic film in many ways, and though some parts or cheesy and not well executed, other aspects of the film make up for it quite well. It’s a brilliant, if familiar, Sci-Fi/Fantasy concept (*cough* Stargate SG-1, Goa’uld *cough*), and it has a lot of things to recommend it with themes such as redemption and sacrifice, as well as just good story. The middle of the film gets bogged down a little, and sometimes the script felt like it needed some help, but overall, it’s worth seeing. It’s certainly a better choice than G.I. Joe. Be sure to check out my review, and The MovieByte Podcast review of this film.
What if everything you love was taken from you in the blink of an eye? “The Host” is the next epic love story from the creator of the “Twilight Saga,” worldwide bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about — Jared (Max Irons), Ian (Jake Abel), her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) , proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
PG-13 | Some sensuality and violence
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Chandler Canterbury, Diane Kruger, Frances Fisher, William Hurt
Director: Andrew Niccol
See or Not: See
The Host - Review »
The MovieByte Podcast #39: Dads Don’t Play With Toys »
‘The Host’ Trades Vampires for Aliens »
‘The Host’ - The Seeker (and other) Featurettes »
New Trailer for ‘The Host’ »
3 Clips from ‘The Host’ »
Evil Dead - R
I have zero interest in this film. I can’t find much to recommend it, it looks like all creepy horror with no really good plot or story and I’m just not interested in such.
In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
R | Strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language
Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Liz Blackmore
Director: Fede Alvarez
See or not: Probably Not
The Croods - PG
My first thought when I saw the trailer for this film was, “oh, please” but after another trailer or two I’m sort of warming up to it (my favorite scene in the latest trailer is where the girl screams bloody murder about shoes, then says, “I love them! Where are my feet?”). But I really have no good idea which way this film will go.
THE CROODS is a comedy adventure that follows the world’s first modern family through the journey of a lifetime. When the cave that has always been their home is destroyed – with the rest of their world not far behind it – The Croods are forced to set off on the first family road (or path) trip. Rocked by generational clashes and seismic shifts, The Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures, and a future beyond any they imagined.
PG | Some scary action
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke
Director: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Genres: Action/Adventure, Animated, Family
See or not: Not willing to say yet
Olympus Has Fallen - R
I was pretty satisfied with this film, all things considered. I gave it a 4 of 5 star rating on The MovieByte Podcast. Joe only gives it 3 of 5 stars, and he wrote our review. But I recommend it a bit more than him. Be sure to check out the podcast and Joe’s review.
The unthinkable happens when heavily armed and highly trained terrorists launch a bold daytime attack on the White House. The building is overrun, and President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his staff are taken hostage. Luckily for Asher, former presidential security officer Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is on the scene. With time running out, it’s up to Banning to locate Asher’s son before the extremists do and rescue the president before his captors unleash their ultimate plan.
R | Strong Violence and Language Throughout
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
See or not: See.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation - PG-13
This film was a terrible, awful mess and not worthy of your attention. Be sure to catch me and Joe talking about it on The MovieByte Podcast. I also wrote a short and scathing review.
In the continuing adventures of the G.I. Joe team, Duke (Channing Tatum), second-in-command Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), and the rest of the Joes (D.J. Cotrona, Byung-hun Lee) face a two-fold threat. Not only is their mortal enemy COBRA rearing its ugly head again, but there is also a threat from within the U.S. government: There might be an impostor in the White House. Meanwhile, Snake Eyes (Ray Park) is on a search for inner peace but learns that his nemesis, Storm Shadow, is still alive.
PG-13 | Intense Seq of Combat Violence, Brief Sensuality, Language and Martial Arts Action
Cast: D.J. Cotrona, Lee Byung-hun, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, RZA, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum, Elodie Yung, Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson
Director: Jon M. Chu
See or Not: Not
Jurassic Park 3D - PG-13
Words cannot describe how uninterested I am in this.
In Steven Spielberg’s massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park’s mastermind, billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt.
PG-13 | Intense Science Fiction Terror
Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck
Director: Steven Spielberg
Genres: 3D, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Thriller
See or not: Meh
Tyler Perry’s Temptation - PG-13
It’s possible this film will have a good redemptive element and correctly portray adultery with the hurt and pain it causes. And yet, the previews still look awful to me. I really don’t want to see this film.
An explosive romance about the seductive dangers of the forbidden, this film tells the provocative and sensual story of Judith, an ambitious married woman whose obsessive passion for a handsome billionaire leads to betrayal, danger and a choice that will forever alter the course of her life.
PG-13 | Some Violence, Sexuality and Drug Content
Cast: Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Williams, Robbie Jones
Director: Tyler Perry
See or Not: Probably Not
Oz The Great and Powerful - PG
Oz is worth seeing, if not quite as good as I might have hoped. Still, it’s loads better than that other Oz film I can’t stand (oh Judy Garland…). Of course this is technically a prequel to that part of the story. And it gets just a tad cheesy from time to time, but it was always enjoyable. Joe and I also discussed this film on Episode 35 of The MovieByte Podcast.
When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.
PG | Sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language
Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Joey King
Director: Sam Raimi
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
See or not: See
The MovieByte Podcast #35 - Monochromatic »
‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Trailer 2 »
‘Oz’ New Year TV Spots »
‘Oz’ Images Gallery - Linked »
‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ TV Spot »
‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Bubbles and Fireballs (clips) »
The Call - R
After seeing this film, I have to say that I think on some levels it’s worth seeing — at least for the first two acts. The last act failed pretty miserably. That said, I did enjoy the film. Be aware that it’s pretty intense. Joe and I reviewed the film on Wednesday’s episode of The MovieByte Podcast.
When veteran 911 operator, Jordan (Halle Berry), takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl’s life. Full synopsis
R | Violence, Some Language and Disturbing Content
Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli
Director: Brad Anderson
See or not: See
Admission - PG-13
Meh, I’m not particularly interested in this one. Still, Tina Fey said recently that that the only way she agreed to take the part was that they remove sex scenes from the script. I applaud her for that. And I can see how if you like her brand of humor, this may be the film for you.
Tina Fey (Date Night, 30 Rock) and Paul Rudd (I Love You Man, Knocked Up) star in Admission, the new film directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz (About a Boy), about the surprising detours we encounter on the road to happiness. Straight-laced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the free-wheeling John Pressman (Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted–but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.
PG-13 | Language and some sexual material
Cast: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, Wallace Shawn
Director: Paul Weitz
Genres: Romantic Comedy, Comedy
See or not: Meh.
Safe Haven - PG-13
Looks sappy and stupid to me. But you never know.
An affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman’s struggle to love again, Safe Haven is based on the novel from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author behind the hit films The Notebook and Dear John. When a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.
Rated PG-13 for Thematic material involving threatening behavior, and for violence and sexuality
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough
Director: Lasse Hallström
See or not: Probably Not