Wednesday, August 8 2012, 03:46 PM MDT
Recommended Films June 8-14, 2012
Reviews of Films showing in Salt Lake City this week
by Ryan Painter
1. The Avengers (PG-13)
2. Prometheus (R)
3. Snow White and the Huntsman (PG-13)
4. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13)
5. Men In Black III (PG-13)
1. Madagascar (PG)
2. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG)
3. The Secret World of Arrietty (G)
4. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG)
5. Chimpanzee (G)
1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13)
2. Monsieur Lazhar (PG-13)
3. The intouchables (R)
4. Bernie (PG-13)
5. Headhunters (R)
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
3 out of 5 Stars
Directors • Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon
Starring • Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith
Rated • PG
Recommended to • Devoted fans of the series andthose looking for a family film and can’t wait until “Brave” opens.
Trying to make it back to the Central Park Zoo Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are forced to join a circus to escape from an over-zealous French policewoman.
“Europe’s Most Wanted” is a strange film in that it feels like a handful of short films that have been stapled together to make a feature film. It’s not a bumpy journey as much as it feels like writers Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach finished their first draft and realized they needed an additional 20 minutes worth of material to make a full-length film. I’m also guessing that Darnell and Baumbach are big fans of the psychedelic “Dumbo” dream sequence since they’ve essentially reimagined it as a Katy Perry music video.
If you’re a fan of the series I’m sure you’ll find the film to be satisfactory, but not a classic that you’re compelled to see over and over again.
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • Ridley Scott
Starring • Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green and Michael Fassbender
Rated • R
Recommended to • Fans of intellectual science fiction along the lines of ”2001” with a dash of horror and suspense thrown in for good measure.
When a team of explorers unlock the mystery behind the origins of mankind a wealthy businessman funds an expedition that takes the crew of the ship Prometheus to the edge of the known universe.
Director Ridley Scott has been seemingly coy when it comes to confirming that “Prometheus” is, or isn’t, a prequel to his 1979 film “Alien.” Well, it turns out that Scott wasn’t nearly as coy as we all suspected. “Prometheus” takes place in the same universe as “Aliens” and features more than a few familiar details that tie in to the events of that film. But, like Scott has said, it isn’t exactly a prequel.
Rather than delving into plot specifics I’ll simply say that “Prometheus” is not a sci-fi horror film, it certainly has its moments of terror in its final act, but for the most part the film is an intellectual exploration of mankind’s need to understand the reason it exists. In a sense it feels like a spiritual kin to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” with visual elements from Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” Those expecting non-stop tension or the action element that James Cameron brought to 1986’s sequel “Aliens” might be somewhat disappointed.
I believe “Prometheus, when paired with “Alien” and “Aliens,” completes a triangle that explores the different aspects of science fiction. I suspect my opinion of the film will only improve with time. It certainly demands to be seen multiple times.
If you’re debating on seeing the film in 3D I can say that “Prometheus” uses it as well as any film I’ve seen.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Directors • Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
Starring • Francois Cluzet, Omar Sy and Anne Le Ny
Rated • R
Recommended to • Fans of French films where the performances carry a somewhat predictable comedic formula.
When Driss, a petty criminal, is hired by a wealthy quadriplegic neither he, nor his employer, could predict the impact that they would have on each other’s lives.
At its core “The Intouchables” is a twist on the buddy storyline where opposite personalities make for unexpected best friends. The film was a huge hit in Europe, particularly in France, and I believe that success is due entirely to the chemistry between actors Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy. Yes, the film is far too optimistic to be realistic, but French cinema, or any cinema for that matter, doesn’t have to always be about pushing the envelope or being a mirror to the depressing elements of life. Sometimes a light comedy is just fine.
Peace Love & Misunderstanding
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Bruce Beresford
Starring • Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those that are entertained by the idea of watching Jane Fonda play a hippie grandmother for 96 minutes.
With her marriage falling apart Sara (Catherine Keener), a no nonsense lawyer, takes her two teenage children to stay at her hippie mother’s farm.
“Peace, Love and Misunderstanding” is a string of clichés tied together to create an instantly forgettable cinematic experience. It’s all drum circles and uninspired protests highlighted by the occasional nudist and Jane Fonda smoking pot with her grandchildren. It’s simply too bland to like or hate.