Friday, December 21 2012, 02:18 PM MST
Box Office: Recommended Films Dec 21-24, 2012
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of December 21 – December 24, 2012
1. Lincoln (PG-13)
2. Argo (R)
3. Silver Linings Playbook (R)
4. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey (PG-13)
5. Skyfall (PG-13)
1. Frankenweenie (PG)
2. Life of Pi (PG)
3. Rise of the Guardians (PG)
4. Wreck-It Ralph (PG)
5. ParaNorman (PG)
1. Argo (R)
2. Holy Motors (NR)
3. The Sessions (R)
4. Hitchcock (PG-13)
5. Anna Karenina (R)
3 out of 5 Stars
Director • Christopher McQuarrie
Starring • Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Action film lovers and Tom Cruise fans looking for an uneven, but still satisfying cinematic excursion.
Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), a former Military Police Major, is an unconventional homicide investigator. He’s a drifter who only cares about justice, not necessarily the law or its due process. So when a sniper accused of killing five random people requests that he dig deeper into the case Reacher mysteriously shows up to aid local officials in their investigation.
Based on Lee Child’s popular books, “Jack Reacher” is a serious action film with a handful of bizarre and comedic segments that don’t fit, but somehow make the film a more enjoyable experience than it might have been otherwise. The script is weakened by the fact that the audience knows far more than the characters in the film. This undermines the majority of the film’s tension. We know how the film is going to end. It’s just a matter of getting there. Cruise gets to run around beating up people, Rosamund Pike gets to look gorgeous and the rest of the cast gets to play shady characters. Werner Herzog and Robert Duvall do a wonderful job of adding a bit of color to the dour surroundings with their small roles.
“Jack Reacher” is clearly a step down from “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” but if you’re in the mood for a digestible action flick it will do the trick.
This Is 40
3 out of 5 Stars
Director • Judd Apatow
Starring • Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann and Maude Apatow
Rated • R
Recommended to • Fans of Judd Apatow’s films.
Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) were supporting characters in Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up.” In “This Is 40” the couple, now a few years down the road from the events of “Knocked Up,” are the focus of this dysfunctional comedy. The passion has been drained from their marriage and all their half-hearted attempts to rejuvenate the relationship and their children have managed to keep them together, but something’s got to give.
I’ve never been much of a fan of Apatow’s films. I generally understand the appeal, but they never really draw me in. “This Is 40” is clearly a much better film than “Funny People,” but it never really finds its stride and meanders for over two hours to tell a story that needed far less time. I’ve been told that if I were 40 years old, married and saddled with two kids I’d enjoy the film more. I’m not sure that is the case. I’m well versed in the art of disappointment, disillusionment and the occasional ray of hope. I understand Pete and Debbie’s conundrum; I’m just not moved by the way it is presented.
The Guilt Trip
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Anne Fletcher
Starring • Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogan
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Those wishing to spend 90 minutes with two annoying and mostly unlikable characters.
Andy (Seth Rogan) has created the ultimate eco-friendly cleaning solution. Now he just needs to find a major retailer to carry his product. So Andy has planned a cross-country road trip to pitch his revolutionary cleaner to various companies. First he’ll visit his well-meaning-meddling mother (Barbra Streisand) who surprises him with a story that convinces him to invite her along on his journey.
“The Guilt Trip” features a few scenes that hint at what could have been an interesting movie filled with depth and honesty, but these moments only serve as mileposts on a sluggish, unfunny and ultimately unsatisfying excursion. Streisand gives the best performance imaginable considering the material she’s given to work with. Rogan, who tends to play himself in most films, initially appears to be playing a more socially awkward character, but after the opening scene reverts back to the standard Rogan performance you’d expect.
(Copyright 2012 - Sinclair Broadcasting Group)