Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:55 AM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films For October 19 to October 25
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of October 19-October 25, 2012.
1. Argo (R)
2. Looper (R)
3. Frankenweenie (PG)
4. Seven Psychopaths (R)
5. Pitch Perfect (PG-13)
1. Frankenweenie (PG)
2. ParaNorman (PG)
3. Hotel Transylvania (PG)
4. Here Comes the Boom (PG)
5. Won’t Back Down (PG)
1. The Master (R)
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13)
3. Elena (NR)
4. Searching for Sugar Man (PG-13)
5. How to Survive a Plague (NR)
1.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Rob Cohen
Starring • Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox and Rachel Nichols
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Tyler Perry fans, James Patterson purists that thought Morgan Freeman was too old for the role and glutens for punishment.
Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry), a homicide detective, looks to stop a sadomasochistic killer (Matthew Fox) before he kills again. But how far is Cross willing to go to get his man?
“Alex Cross” is a terrible movie. The script is one purposeless cliché after anther and the tone is so erratic that I’m not sure if the film is supposed to be a comedy that’s not funny or a drama that isn’t serious. Director Rob Cohen (“xXx,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”) has made some incredibly mediocre films, but this is astoundingly bad. The acting is all over the map. Perry does his best with what he’s given, but he hardly comes across as an action star. Fox’s psycho is a wide-eyed sort of crazy that only Gary Oldman and Christopher Walken can get away with (maybe he thought he was in “Seven Psychopaths”). How anyone thought Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson’s script (based very loosely on James Patterson’s novels) was remotely interesting is beyond me. You’d be better off renting either “Along Came a Spider” or “Kiss the Girls” with Morgan Freeman in the role of Alex Cross. If we’re lucky there won’t be a sequel.
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • Andrey Zvyaginstev
Starring • Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov and Alesey Rozin
Rated • NR
Recommended to • Fans of Russian cinema or those looking for a realistic drama with complex characters and big questions that Hollywood probably wouldn’t dare to make.
Late in her life Elena married Vladimir, a wealthy man in need of a caretaker. Now Elena’s deadbeat son wants his stepfather to share his money with the rest of the family. Vladimir would rather die than give him a cent. Torn between her duties as a mother and as a wife Elena struggles to find a way to move forward without destroying either relationship. Things become all the more complicated when Vladimir’s wayward daughter enter the picture.
“Elena” is the sort of film that doesn’t follow the rules. It dares to be original, even if that puts the audience in the awkward position of not knowing whose side they’re on. All of the characters are stubborn and flawed (some more than others), but most of them have legitimate points of view.
How to Survive a Plague
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • David France
Starring • Peter Staley, Larry Kramer and Iris Long
Rated • NR
Recommended to • Anyone with any interest in how groups like ACT UP and TAG helped (and perhaps hindered) to bring medication and treatment to the thousands of men and women infected with HIV and AIDS.
Last year David Weissman and Bill Weber gave us “We Were Here,” a film that explored the impact that AIDS had on the gay community of San Francisco in the early ’80s. It was a film that celebrated the community’s resilience, as the world seemed to abandon them. “How to Survive a Plague” is essentially what happened next. Once AIDS was more or less defined the next step was to find a cure, or at least something that would slow the disease and give those who were infected a better chance of surviving. David France’s film explores the role that activist groups like ACT UP (and later the splinter group TAG) played in bringing medication and treatment to those with AIDS. It’s a rocky journey filled with frustration and anger and when I first saw the film at Sundance earlier this year I left the theater disappointed. I wanted the film to feel triumphant, like “We Were Here” did. Watching the film for the second time I feel differently. There is triumph in the lives that have been extended and the people who helped to make that happen is a story that must be told.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)