Wondering which movie to go see at your local cinema? Take my advice.
Here are my attention-span-sensitive movie reviews of the top ten best films in theaters this week:
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – See-it – The second best and darkest Harry Potter film (behind Goblet of Fire) is the perfect ending to the magical story about the young wizard and his lifelong antagonist Voldermort. Don’t be surprised if Ralph Fiennes gets an Oscar nom-nod. And film might just make its way into the Academy’s top 10 this year as well.
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes – See-it – Andy Serkis deserves an Oscar for his leading role as Caesar, the motion-captured CGI ape, in this surprisingly emotional film from the same special effects team that created Avatar and Lord of the Rings.
- Midnight in Paris – Rent-it – It’s a typical Woody Allen film starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, and Adrien Brody about an engaged couple who travels to Paris where their lives are – individually – changed forever. Fans will embrace it, millennials will be bored.
- Our Idiot Brother – See-it – New This Week – Paul Rudd is the nicest moron on the planet, and quite possibly the funniest. Don’t miss the second best comedy of the summer (Bridesmaids is #1) about that one sibling that everyone can relate to (only took my sister an hour to further investigate this statement).
- Fright Night – See-it – Colin Farrell stars in this stylishly scary remake of the 1985 cult classic about a high school senior and his “bloody” strange new neighbor.
- Attack the Block – See-it – If you liked Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead you will love this British sci-fi spoof about a group of inner-city kids who go to war with aliens.
- Captain America: The First Avenger – See-it – Marvel comics third great superhero film of the year is a pleasantly nostalgic, good-ole-fashioned, action adventure film.
- The Guard – See-it if you can – Brendan Gleeson (the recognizable beefy Irish actor from countless great films) stars in this hilarious dark comedy about sex, drugs and blackmail.
- The Last Circus – See-it if you can – If you get a chance to see this Spanish art house dramcom about a Rambo-esque circus clown and his sad abused son you have to see-it if you can.
- Cowboys and Aliens – Rent-it – Director Jon Favreau actually fails us here, despite Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford’s best efforts to carry this sci-fi western where nothing exciting ever really happens – despite a name like Cowboys & Aliens. However, if you like Olivia Wilde, and old-fashioned westerns (not to be confused with the new hip Oscar-worthy westerns), you might mildly (and Wildely) enjoy this.
And here are ten other movies in theaters that just missed the best-in-theaters rankings…
- The Help – See-it – This racially hyper film about some extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s is carried by its talented cast who make it a touching and satisfactory drama.
- Final Destination 5 – See-it – If you loved the first two films in this gory franchise, you will be pleasantly surprised at this return to form. The creatively complex deaths in 3-D are reason enough to see-it in theaters, if you wait-for-it at home the lacking story between deaths might leave you wishing you were one of the ill-fated characters from the first act.
- Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark – Rent-it – New This Week – Guillermo del Toro’s protégé Troy Nixey stylishly directs this throwback haunted house film about a creepy mansion’s restoration by an architect (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes).
- Crazy, Stupid, Love – Rent-it – This typical romcom hodgepodge of a guy losing his perfect life but then bumping into her high school sweetheart is anything but typical and truly a hodgepodge of talented actors.
- Friends with Benefits – Rent-it – Now we know why Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz broke up, and why Bad Teacher stunk, because JT and co-star Mila Kunis’s chemistry carries this formulaic yet hip romcom just enough the nearly recommend seeing it in theaters – if you’re into that sort of thing.
- The Whistleblower – Wait-for-it – Rent the much better docudrama also starring a smoldering Rachel Weisz The Constant Gardener and wait for this film about a Nebraskan police officer in post-war Bosnia to hit HBO or Netflix Instant.
- Larry Crowne – Wait-for-it – This rom-com is neither funny nor romantic, but the chemistry between Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts is believable and there is some post-retirement life lesson here… somewhere. So watch it on ABC in 10 years or show it to your dad on Netflix in a few months.
- 30 Minutes or Less – Wait-for-it – Don’t fall for the advertisements on TV stating every scene is hilarious, unless you care for crude lowbrow comedy, because this film about a small town pizza delivery guy’s plan to rob a bank is rarely smart and only occasionally funny.
- Conan the Barbarian – Skip-it – This Conan is just as bloody and violent as the original, but it is also just a cheesy, and without Arnold Schwarzenegger it’s more like limburger.
- One Day – Skip-it – It’s refreshing to see some apt plot twists in a romdramcom, but the book is much more affective than this script – which even Anne Hathaway can’t influence.
…and five more than never had a chance. These are the five worst films in theaters:
- Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D – Skip-it – This spy family film’s “clever” 4-D concept with scratch-and-sniff cards might be more intriguing if the movie didn’t smell like poop and puke – but maybe director Robert Rodriguez just wanted the fourth dimension to stink as bad as the other three?
- Glee: The 3D Concert Movie – See-it if you are a Gleek – Otherwise, you will remain as confused as ever as to why this dramedy is such a pup-culture phenomenon.
- The Smurfs – Skip-it – The Smurfs visiting New York is nothing more than a handful of recognizable voices buried beneath a heaping pile of boring blue baby junk.
- The Change-Up – Skip-it – Honestly, the only reason to see this comedy where Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman switch bodies (and typecasts) is to see Olivia Wilde’s nude scene with CGI nipples.
- Colombiana – Skip-it – New This Week – Zoe Saldana, the naked blue chick from Avatar, is an assassin seeking revenge for her murdered parents – if you are still interested in seeing that story play out you won’t be disappointed by the over-the-top action.
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