Can you believe there’s not a single new film I feel like is worth mentioning this week? I guess I chose a good week to take off of podcasting (and don’t worry, we’ll be back next week with some special guests to talk about Noah).
Still In Theaters
Captain America: The Winter Soldier — PG-13
I have a very soft spot in my heart for Captain America: The First Avengers. A lot of people complain that it only existed to set up The Avengers but I find that to be quite disingenuous. Yes, the ending leaves you hanging slightly because, duh, it is certainly a lead in to The Avengers. But it is so much more than that. In fact I would say it is one of my favorite superhero films.
I was looking forward to Captain America: The Winter Soldier quite a lot. And I am pleased to report that though entirely different in story and tone from the first Captain America film, it is mostly, pretty much what I wanted from a Captain America film, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general. Though not without its little issues, it’s a solid 4 star film in my book. It’s smart and politically savvy — in fact I would say that the themes of The Winter Soldier in today’s political climate are downright genius — it had a lot of good character development, and thought the plot featured a somewhat familiar element, it did not at all feel recycled, or eve all that predictable. I wrote a review, Chad, Fizz, and I talked about the film on the podcast, and I obviously highly recommend this one.
After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Capt. America (Chris Evans), lives in the nation’s capital as he tries to adjust to modern times. An attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague throws Rogers into a web of intrigue that places the whole world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new ally, the Falcon, Rogers struggles to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, but he and his team soon come up against an unexpected enemy.
2 hr 15 min
PG-13 | Gunplay, Intense Sequences of Violence and Action Throughout
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Genres: 3D, Action/Adventure
See or not: SEE!!
Rio 2 — G
I couldn’t imagine why anyone was interested in this film or why it was even being made. And then I actually took the time to watch the first one and now I get it. I liked Rio quite a lot. It was fun, funny, heartfelt, catchy, and generally just a lot of fun. Eisenberg and Hathaway nailed the vocal performances as well. I was duly impressed.
So I’m quite looking forward to seeing this one soon. Unfortunately, this weekend I need to get caught up by seeing Noah.
It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in RIO 2, after they’re hurtled from that magical city to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all - his father-in-law.
1 hr 41 min
G | Cartoon/Animation Action
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Genres: Animated, Family
See or not: See
Transcendence — PG-13
I thought this looked like a really good sci-fi thriller — not that the premise hasn’t been done before, but I was really looking forward to it with some enthusiasm. That enthusiasm has been somewhat tempered by the critics initial impressions of the film. I was hoping they would have something more positive to say. I’m still going to see it and hope that I like it, but it’s a bit suspect now. Not that I always agree with the critics mind you. So we’ll see.
A brilliant innovator in the field of Artificial Intelligence becomes the bridge in the gap between man and machine in this sci-fi thriller starring Johnny Depp. His entire career, Dr. Will Caster (Depp) has been working toward one goal – to create a machine possessing the entire spectrum of human emotions, and the collective intelligence of every person who has ever lived. But while Dr. Caster’s unorthodox experiments have made him famous in scientific circles, a radical anti-tech group known as Rift is determined to stop him at all costs. In the midst of an attack on A.I. labs across the United States, one Rift agent manages to shoot Dr. Caster with a radioactive bullet, ensuring his death. Little did Rift realize that their efforts to destroy Dr. Caster would only make him stronger than they ever could have imagined, because before he dies, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max (Paul Bettany) successfully transfer Dr. Caster’s consciousness into a computer, where his hunger for knowledge and power transforms him into an unstoppable force of sentient energy inhabiting every computer and electrical system on the planet.
1 hr 59 min
PG-13 | Sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language, and sensuality
See or not: Maybe
Divergent — PG-13
This film was better than I was expecting. The trailers looked so cheesy. I really did like the film once I got past some initial plot contrivances. Shailene Woodley is a far better actress than I at first thought, and The James wasn’t too bad either.
In short, this film is well worth your time (after you’ve seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier of course). Check out my review, as well as Chad’s and my conversation on The MovieByte Podcast.
DIVERGENT is a thrilling action-adventure film set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four (Theo James) and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late. Based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth.
2 hr 20 min
PG-13 | some sensuality, intense violence and action and thematic elements
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Ray Stevenson
Director: Neil Burger
See or not: See
Noah — PG-13
This was a terrible film on every conceivable level. I’m not saying just because I’m a Christian who has trouble with what they did to the Biblical narrative — though that certainly plays a part. I’m also saying it because I believe this is a genuinely bad film. Even if you just look at it as a fantasy film, it is terrible. Save your money or spend it on one of the better films. Please.
The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.
2 hr 17 min
PG-13 | Disturbing Images, Brief Suggestive Content and Violence
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
See or not: Should be worth seeing and being aware of