Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:55 AM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films for May 17 through May 23
By: Ryan Painter
(KUTV) Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of May 17 – May 23, 2013
1. Star Trek Into Darkness (PG-13)
2. Iron Man 3 (PG-13)
3. The Great Gatsby (PG-13)
4. Oblivion (PG-13)
5. 42 (PG-13)
1. The Croods (PG)
2. Oz the Great and Powerful (PG)
3. Life of Pi (PG)
4. Beautiful Creatures (PG-13)
5. Wreck-It Ralph (PG)
1. Mud (PG-13)
2. The Iceman (R)
3. The Angels’ Share (NR)
4. The Sapphires (PG-13)
5. The Place Beyond the Pines (R)
Star Trek Into Darkness
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: J.J, Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
Recommended To: Fans of the rebooted franchise and summer blockbuster devotees.
Synopsis: When a Starfleet agent orchestrates a massive terrorist attack Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise is sent to take him out.
Review: The less you know about the specific plot points of Star Trek Into Darkness the better. With that in mind, all most of you need to know is that it is a beautiful and entertaining action film that will satisfy most audiences. It is a step back from director J.J. Abram’s previous Star Trek film, but it doesn’t sink to the depths of mediocrity of the original franchise’s lesser films. Nonetheless I find it hard not to see Into Darkness as somewhat disappointing. The brilliance of the first film was that it granted the reboot an entirely blank page to work with. It wasn’t bound to follow the same trajectory of the original series. Unfortunately Into Darkness doesn’t take advantage of that freedom as it heavily relies upon familiar plot elements and characters lifted from the previous timeline. Certainly there are some interesting juxtapositions but it feels like screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof lost some of their nerve and rather than being bold and taking the franchise into unexplored territory they’ve simply given us a film that is fueled by a sense of nostalgia. The film also fails to build any sort of anticipation of what might come next. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan had an incredible climax that truly sent the series into darkness. Into Darkness lacks the panache to plunge Star Trek back into the unknown.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Ariel Vromen
Starring: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans
Recommended To: Those looking for a violent true crime thriller carried by Michael Shannon’s fine performance.
Synopsis: Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) lived a double life. To his family he was a loving family man. To everyone else he was a ruthless contract killer.
Review: Working from Anthony Bruno’s The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer director Ariel Vromen has crafted an effective thriller that mixes a heavy dose of violence in with a terrific performance from Michael Shannon. That said, the film does feel a bit generic at times and lacks the over-all impact of the HBO documentary The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer where the real Richard Kukinski tells the story. Vromen, who co-wrote the screenplay with Morgan Land, tries to cover too much ground as he attempts to capture decades of Kukinski’s life. This is most evident in the supporting characters that are under developed and tend to simply fade into the background despite the fact that they are based on notorious criminals. In the end even Kukinski’s story feels a bit under told.
The Angels’ Share
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Ken Loach
Starring: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, Gary Maitland
Recommended To: Those looking for a strangely uplifting Scottish dramedy about a group of misfits looking to escape their criminal past.
Synopsis: A group of young adults serving out their community service sentences look to straighten out their lives; even if that means committing a little crime.
Review: The Angels’ Share is a character driven comedy that features a cast of Scottish misfits and undesirables that have been marginalized by their violent temper, kleptomaniac urges or complete lack of common sense. Despite their flaws they’re a likeable lot. Not the sort you’d want to date your sister or leave alone in a room with anything remotely valuable, but likeable nonetheless. The dialogue is witty and the while the characters do feel a bit exaggerated it all works in the context of the film. My only real complaint is that the more serious aspects of the story (a culture of violence, drug abuse and alcoholism) are a bit shortchanged in favor of a lighter tone.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)