Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:55 AM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films for June 14 - June 20, 2013
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of June 14 – June 20, 2013
1. Man of Steel (PG-13)
2. Star Trek Into Darkness (PG-13)
3. Iron Man 3 (PG-13)
4. Now You See Me (PG-13)
5. The Great Gatsby (PG-13)
1. The Croods (PG)
2. Epic (PG)
3. Oz the Great and Powerful (PG)
4. Rise of the Guardians (PG)
5. Escape from Planet Earth (PG)
1. Before Midnight (R)
2. Mud (PG-13)
3. Frances Ha (R)
4. Kon-Tiki (PG-13)
5. Love Is All You Need (R)
Man of Steel
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Recommended To: Fans of Superman, summer blockbusters and action films in general.
Synopsis: For his whole life Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) has known he was different. He was stronger, faster and somewhat of an outcast. Learning of his extraterrestrial origins only made him more of a recluse. When a group of militant beings from his home planet threaten Earth Clark is forced to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Review: In retrospect it’s easy to see that the biggest mistake that Superman Returns made was that the filmmakers tried to make a Christopher Reeve film without Reeve. Brandon Routh wasn’t just playing Superman, he was playing Reeve’s version of Superman and audiences didn’t buy into the idea.
With Man of Steel director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and writer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy) have gone back to Superman’s origin story and while many of the details are similar to 1978’s Superman and its sequel there are many different nuances in both design and tone. This isn’t Reeve’s Superman; it shouldn’t be. Cavill’s Superman is more insecure, less charming and while he is able to rise to the occasion there is a sense that given a choice he would have lingered in the shadows forever.
I like Goyer’s script as it gives more backstory to General Zod, wonderfully played by Michael Shannon, and the political atmosphere of Krypton and why Clark Kent is seen as such a threat. Only Amy Adams’ Lois Lane feels a bit shortchanged and under developed, but considering she’s like to appear in any and all sequels there is plenty of time to devote more time to the history of her character.
Man of Steel has some pacing issues and occasionally the CGI appears a bit rubbery, but all things said it’s my favorite summer blockbuster of 2013 thus far. Where Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 played it safe Man of Steel at least had the guts to try something new and the results are a satisfying start to what is hopefully the road that leads to the Justice League.
This Is the End
3 out of 5 Stars
Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson
Genre: Comedy, Action
Recommended To: Those looking for an incredibly vulgar, but frequently funny comedy about the end of the world.
Synopsis: Facing the apocalypse Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and other celebrities lock themselves inside James Franco’s new home.
Review: Watching celebrities lampoon their public personas while giant demons dismantle Los Angeles is fun way to spend 80 minutes. Unfortunately This Is the End lasts for 107. Still, that’s only 30 minutes of unfunny, vulgar, awkward and self-indulgent adlibbing placed around 60 minutes of funny, vulgar, awkward and self-indulgent adlibbing.
This Is the End starts well and ends well; it’s the middle of the film that needs some adjustment. Neither Seth Rogen or his co-director/co-writer Evan Goldberg (Pineapple Express) seem to know when to set aside the pot in favor of the film’s plot. A stronger voice of reason in the editing room might have made the film a bit more enjoyable.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delphy
Recommended To: Adults looking for an honest film about the trial of sustaining love and romance over a long period of time.
Synopsis: Two decades after Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delphy) met on a train headed to Vienna the duo find themselves together in Greece.
Review: In 1995 director Richard Linklater teamed with rising stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy to produce a beautiful romantic drama about a pair of strangers who meet on a train in Europe and spend a wonderful evening together before going their separate ways. In 2004 the trio collaborated on the equally gorgeous. Before Sunset. Nine years later they return with the near perfect Before Midnight. The film is everything that Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 was supposed to be. It is beautiful, painful and honest as it explores how difficult love can be when a relationship threatens to become a mundane experience. Those looking for the romantic bliss of the first two films might find Before Midnight to be more of a challenge to absorb. It’s not nearly as bleak as some have suggested. I see two people fighting to stay together when it might be easier to simply walk away and fade into the loneliness of being apart. Maybe I’m too optimistic (not something I’d typically be accused of).
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)