Apologies if you went to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang last Friday. Those sounds you heard were my kids noisily eating handful upon handful of delicious popcorn, slurping milk with reckless abandon and attempting to sit on as many chairs and couches as humanely possible. Taking a 3 year old and 18 month old to a live action Disney classic was a bit of a gamble. It paid off for me in that I sipped an IPA, ate popcorn (in the same noisy manner as my kids) and generally got to enjoy a childhood favorite. But I really only brought them so they could experience the same blood-curdling fear I felt watching the Child-catcher. And they forced me to leave just as we were getting to that part. Oh well. There should be plenty of time for that in years to come. See below for this week's movies.
Chris O' Dowd is kind of a flabby, overnight sensation. Since popping up in 'Bridesmaids' as a loveable Irish cop, he has put in an appearance in nearly every movie and TV show I have been watching. Despite a very dodgy American accent in 'Girls', he is always worth watching and can be frequently hilarious. Disclaimer: I am Irish and it is Irish law that we promote and celebrate the success of Irish actors even if they are in bad movies- I was touting the pros of 'Alexander' for a long time purely based on a man crush on Colin Farrell.
But this is one movie where you don't need to overlook major flaws to thoroughly enjoy. Inspired by a true story, the film follows four talented Australian Aboriginal girls from a remote mission as they learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertains the U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. It is tough to compare it to other movies. The Commitments probably comes close. In that there is soul music. And it's a real crowd-pleaser. And you would have to have no heart or feelings to really embrace it as one of the most enjoyable movies of the year. 93% on Rotten Tomatoes confirms these people exist (7% of people are miserable). Not to be missed.
Nothing says the start of the summer movie season like a Tom Cruise action flick. But 'Oblivion' is quite different to the typical sci-fi action movie. It is large scale and original, and despite its familiar story, Oblivion dreams up some great ideas. A veteran assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself. The director, Joseph Kosinski, (Tron Legacy) knows how to make a beautiful looking movie and stage some excellent set pieces.
There is a happy medium between going to a movie and shutting your brain off completely (any movie based on a Hasbro game or toy) and having your mind bended into a pretzel with focus and attention required. This movie is it. You need your brain to be switched on in order to enjoy this for what it is. Patients in long-term comas have similar reactions to Transformers that live audiences have. This requires more. In addition, Tom Cruise is not being paid a percentage of this film's profits. So if you dislike him as a person, you can enjoy the movie knowing you are not buying a gallon of gas for his G5 private jet.
Oz- The Great and Powerful
Another week to experience the glorious Wizard of Oz. For clarity purposes, I should explain this is not the actual Wizard of Oz. Rather, James Franco is the glorious Wizard of Oz. This is very different from the original classic. But Raimi wisely does not try to replicate the original's tone and feel (because it would have been impossible) and instead unleashes a non-stop adventure that is fun for the whole family. Most of the complaints about this movie are directly comparing it to 'The Wizard of Oz'. Let's face it, if you were to compare most dramas to 'Casblanca' they would not come off well.
James Franco is in fine form (the opposite of his stoned Oscars hosting appearance) and is well supported by a wonderful trio of witches in Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams. This movie is a visual wonder and is meant to be seen on a big screen. If you have been patiently waiting for this to hit on DVD in a couple of months, you are making a big mistake. See it on the big screen while you still can.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland. Ambitious and thought-provoking, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is elevated by an excellent performance from Riz Ahmed. William Wheeler has forged a richly complex, achingly satisfying screenplay from Mohsin Hamid's hugely popular, Booker Prize shortlisted novel and Mira Nair has turned it into a significant and powerful film with something to say (Urban Cinefile).
Featuring strong support from Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson (in her best role in years- however this is a spectacularly easy feat given her filmography) this is gripping stuff and well worth a watch.
Week of Friday, May 24, 2013 through Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (R) Digital Presentation
Fri & Sat: 7:30 PM
Sun: 4:15 PM
Tue: 9:45 PM
Wed: 9:00 PM
Oblivion (PG-13) Digital Presentation
Fri: 9:00 PM
Sat: 4:40, 8:30
Sun: 10:30 PM
Tue: 8:30 PM
Wed & Thu: 9:30 PM
The Sapphires (PG-13) Digital Presentation
Fri: 6:30 PM
Sat: 2:10, 6:00
Sun: 1:30 PM
Mon: 4:30 PM
Wed: 7:00 PM
Thu: 6:30 PM
Oz The Great and Powerful (PG) Digital Presentation
Fri: 4:30 PM
Sat: 3:00 PM
King Kong (1933) (NR) Digital Presentation
Sun: 6:00 PM
The Institute (NR) Digital Presentation
Tue: 7:00 PM
The Land Before Time (G) Digital Presentation
Fri: 4:00 PM
Sat: 12:30 PM
Monster From Bikini Beach (NR) Digital Presentation
Fri: 10:30 PM
Pink Flamingos (NC-17) Digital Presentation
Thu: 9:00 PM
The Three Amigos (PG) Digital Presentation
Sat: 10:30 PM