The newbie this weekend is Prisoners. It looks less than amazing to me, but at the same time, it has some potential. In fact, given the last several weeks, I’d say this film positively shines and stands out amongst its peers.
New This Weekend
Prisoners — R
As a parent, there’s certainly something compelling about the truth behind the story here: how far would you go for your child? For the drama of it, this film looks like it could be good. At the same time, there was a film earlier this year, The Call, that was not very good due to it’s third act being so terrible. I kind of wonder if we won’t see the same thing here. The problem is, how to do you satisfactorily resolve a kidnap and torture situation? Many story writers seem to feel the need to take the revenge angle, but that usually doesn’t work out very well because it puts the protagonist on the same level as the kidnapper. It’s not good and it’s never as satisfying as you might think.
So, in short, I’m not sure yet. This film has potential, but it could also be really bad. I’ll be seeing it this weekend and I’ll let you all know what I think soon.
How far would you go to protect your child? Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect’s release. Knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. The desperate father will do whatever it takes to find the girls, but in doing so, he may lose himself, begging the question: When do you cross the line between seeking justice and becoming a vigilante?
2 hr 33 min
R | Language Throughout, Disturbing Violent Content and Torture
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, Maria Bello
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genres: Drama, Suspense/Thriller
See or not: I’ll let you know soon.
Still In Theaters
The Family — R
This looks mildly entertaining, but I have this feeling it’s going to be a pretty foul film and I’m going to be disapointed. I do plan to see it sometime soon, but probably not this weekend.
The Manzonis, a notorious mafia family get relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program. While they do their best to fit in, old habits die hard and they soon find themselves handling things the “family” way.
1 hr 51 min
R | Violence, Language and Brief Sexuality
Cast: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron, John D’Leo
Director: Luc Besson
See or not: Probably not going to be great
Riddick — R
This is certainly the best film in the franchise, unfortunately I can’t recommend it in theaters due to two scenes of nudity. Brief though they may be, I simply cannot recommend that.
As to the story, I find it odd that each installment in the Riddick franchise thus far has been a pretty big departure from what the previous film was. Though this film does get a little closer to what the first film in the franchise was about, it’s a major departure from The Chronicles of Riddick and uses none of the story from that film even though it feels like it should be better connected.
Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, fugitive Riddick (Vin Diesel) fights for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he has yet encountered. His only hope for escape is to activate an emergency beacon, but that brings with it a different problem: mercenaries. The first ship carries an especially violent and lethal group; the second is led by a man from Riddick’s past. With time running out, Riddick realizes that neither group will leave without his head as trophy.
1 hr 59 min
R | Some Sexual Content/Nudity, Language and Strong Violence
Cast: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Bokeem Woodbine
Director: David N. Twohy
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
See or not: I’m pretty weak on this one, but might be okay.
- Chad’s Review »
- The MovieByte Podcast Episode 60 »
- ‘Riddick’ Trailer »
- Riddick TV Spot Featuring Vin Diesel »
- ‘Riddick’ Red Band Trailer »
- ‘Riddick’ Trailer from Regal Movies »
- Riddick Saves a Puppy? - Clip From the Upcoming Film »
- ‘Riddick’ Featurette »
Lee Daniel’s The Butler — PG-13
My general rule of thumb is, if Oprah Winfrey is involved I want nothing to do with it. Fair or not, that’s my feeling on the matter. General movie goers seem to disagree however, because this, her latest film, is doing quite well at the box office.
LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, and many more. Academy Award® nominated Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS) directs and co-wrote the script with Emmy®-award winning Danny Strong (GAME CHANGE).
2 hr 12 min
PG-13 | Thematic Elements, Sexual Material, Language, Disturbing Images, Smoking and Some Violence
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda
Director: Lee Daniels
See or not: Possibly See
I can’t wait to not see this film. It looks unbearably disgusting and stupid. If you go see this, I will deny any knowledge of you.
Small-time pot dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished; trying to help some teens, he is jumped by thugs and loses his cash and stash. Now, David’s in big debt to his supplier and – to wipe the slate clean – he must go to Mexico to pick up the guy’s latest shipment. To accomplish his mission, Dave devises a foolproof plan: He packs a fake family into a huge RV and heads south of the border for a wild weekend that is sure to end with a bang.
1 hr 50 min
R | Crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and brief graphic nudity.
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Ed Helms, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy
See or not: NOT!
Planes — PG
It is very difficult to come up with words for just how uninterested I am in this film. It may not be from Pixar exactly, but it’s in the world of Cars, and while I loved the first one, the second Cars film was a wee bit lacking, and this looks completely devoid of anything that mad Cars good, ever.
From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.
1 hr 32 min
PG | Some Mild Action and Rude Humor
Cast: Dane Cook, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Garrett, Stacy Keach, Teri Hatcher, John Cleese, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards
Director: Klay Hall
Genres: Animated, Comedy
See or not: I’m thinking, probably not.
- ‘Planes’ Teaser Trailer »
- Disney’s ‘Planes’ Sneak Peek »
- ‘Planes’ Full Theatrical Trailer »
- New ‘Planes’ Trailer »
Elysium — R
I was so very, VERY disappointed by this film. For starters it felt very game-like — power-ups like suites that make you stronger, code that gets downloaded into your brain that you have to take to the final boss level to defeat the bad guys and push the win button. Then there’s the magic healing box that cures all (except that one time when that didn’t work well for the plot). I’ve gotta tell you, I think Neill Blomkamp has a lot of potential, but he needs some serious writing help. The poor guy can’t write himself out of a wet paper bag.
And what was with Jodie Foster? Bad acting, bad dialog, and she had almost nothing to do in this film. I could go on and on about the things I hated about this film, but you should really just go listen to The MovieByte Podcast, Episode 56 where I talked about it with Mike Fissel. There you can hear the full scoop on why I think this film is so bad. Corey also wrote a review of the film for us here on MovieByte, so be sure to check that out.
In the year 2159, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The ultrarich live aboard a luxurious space station called Elysium, and the rest live a hardscrabble existence in Earth’s ruins. His life hanging in the balance, a man named Max (Matt Damon) agrees to undertake a dangerous mission that could bring equality to the population, but Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) vows to preserve the pampered lifestyle of Elysium’s citizens, no matter what the cost.
1 hr 49 min
R | Strong bloody violence and language throughout
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama
See or not: Not
- The MovieByte Podcast #56: Blow Up Endor »
- Elysium - Review »
- ‘Elysium’ Trailer »
- ‘Elysium’ Trailer 2 - Longer and More Info »
- Elysium Featurettes Detail The World Building and Blomkamp’s Vision »
- ‘Elysium Clip’ Matt Damon Takes On a Robot »
- Matt Damon Wakes Up — New Clip from ‘Elysium’ »
- ‘Elysium’ Extended Trailer »
- ‘Elysium’ Clips and Featurettes Tell Us About Kruger »
I saw the first film and it was decent. I love a good fantasy film or book, and this one is not too bad. My wife, who has read the books, did have to fill in a few details here and there that I was confused about because the film seemed to skim over some stuff. But it was not a bad film.
So I’m pleased to report that, though not earth shattering or ground breaking, this is a decent fantasy film and one I think is worth seeing. Joe and I talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast: Episode 57.
Though Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), the half-human son of Greek god Poseidon, once saved the world, lately he’s been feeling less than heroic. However, he doesn’t have much time to brood – the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood are dissolving, and a horde of mythical beasts threatens the demigods’ sanctuary. In order to save Camp Half-Blood, Percy and his friends embark on a journey to the Sea of Monsters – aka the Bermuda Triangle – to find the magical Golden Fleece.
1 hr 46 min
PG | Fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language.
Cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Nathan Fillion, Jake Abel
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Genres: Action/Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
See or not: See
- The MovieByte Podcast #57: An Amazing Jobs »
- ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ International Trailer »
- ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ Trailer 2 »
The World’s End — R
I mean, I’ve seen the trailers for this and stuff and it just doesn’t look good to me in the slightest. A friend told me it was much better than expected, but I can’t muster up enough care to see it. I mean, it just looks like one of those foul comedies that serves no purpose but to be foul. I prefer drama.
Still, Mike Fissel, my friend, friend of the site, and somewhat frequent guest on The MovieByte Podcast has said he highly recommends it. So there is that.
Gary King (Simon Pegg) is an immature 40-year-old who’s dying to take another stab at an epic pub-crawl that he last attempted 20 years earlier. He drags his reluctant buddies back to their hometown and sets out for a night of heavy drinking. As they make their way toward their ultimate destination – the fabled World’s End pub – Gary and his friends attempt to reconcile the past and present. However, the real struggle is for the future when their journey turns into a battle for mankind.
1 hr 49 min
R | Sexual References and Pervasive Language
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike
Director: Edgar Wright
See or not: Not (until proven otherwise)