Monday, September 23 2013, 07:20 PM MDT
Box Office: Recommend Films for August 30th - September 5th
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of August 30 September 5, 2013
1. Blue Jasmine (PG-13)
2. The Worlds End (R)
3. Pacific Rim (PG-13)
4. The Way, Way Back (PG-13)
5. The Conjuring (R)
1. Monsters University (G)
2. Despicable Me 2 (PG)
3. Planes (PG)
4. Turbo (PG)
5. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (PG)
1. Blue Jasmine (PG-13)
2. The Grandmaster (PG-13)
3. In a World (R)
4. Fruitvale Station (R)
5. The Spectacular Now (R)
1 out of 5 Stars
Director: Courtney Solomon
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight
Genre: Action, Crime
Recommended To: Those looking for an inept story with poor direction, editing and unconvincing performances.
Synopsis: A former racecar driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is forced to drive around a city leaving a trail of destruction in his wake when a mysterious man kidnaps his wife. Along the way he picks up an obnoxious heiress (Selena Gomez). Together they must outsmart the villain or Magnas wife dies.
Review: Getaway is an 80-minute-high-speed chase in a 90-minute movie. The plot is paper thin, the direction is incoherent, the action monotonous and the mailed in performances. Even when Ethan Hawke and his obnoxious companion "The Kid," Selena Gomez, are sitting next to each other their characters lack so much chemistry it feels like their scenes were filmed miles apart. Theres no reason to see Getaway unless you want to listen to Gomez spout off PG-13 vulgarities and Hawke sleepwalk for a paycheck.
In a World
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Lake Bell
Starring: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin and Rob Corddry
Recommended To: Those looking for a completely unique and original off-kilter comedy.
Synopsis: Carol Solomon (Lake Bell), a vocal coach, has lived in the shadow of her father, Sam Sotto, the king of movie-trailer-voice-over artists. All of that is about to change when Carol lands a voice-over gig of her own.
Review: Lake Bells feature directorial debut is a laugh-out-loud comedy that lampoons the film trailer industry while also managing to sneak in some serious questions about sexism in the film industry. There are also a pair of subplots that are filled with social commentary regarding relationships in the chaos of the now.
In a World... was one of the best films I saw at this years Sundance Film Festival (where it won an award for its script). Its also one of 2013s funniest and original films. If you like smart comedies youll love In a World.
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
Starring: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Jin Zhang
Genre: Action, Drama, Biography
Recommended To: Fans of Chinese cinema, beautiful cinematography a touch of romance and a splash of martial-arts action thrown in for good measure.
Synopsis: The life story of Wing Chun (Tony Leung), the grandmaster known as Ip Man, and his relationship with Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), the beautiful daughter of martial arts master Gong Yutian.
Review: In the West Wing Chun is primarily known as the master who taught Bruce Lee. In China he is very much a legend, rather than a footnote. There are numerous films that have been based on Wing Chuns life, but none that I have seen look or feel like The Grandmaster.
Like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Grandmaster is as much an art house film as it is a martial arts movie. Director Wong Kar-Wai has long been known for films filled with unfulfilled romance and gorgeous cinematography and this film is no different. The fight sequences are beautifully choreographed and while they do lack the sort of kinetic violence that typically dominates martial arts films they are still thrilling to behold.
Those looking for a more aggressive version of Wing Chun's story will probably prefer the 2008s Ip Man starring Donnie Yen. As a huge fan of Wong Kar-Wais films I prefer his more experimental approach to the story that focuses more on the characters than it does on the martial arts.
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: John Crowley
Starring: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Jim Broadbent
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Recommended To: Those looking for a mediocre thriller kept afloat by its talented cast.
Synopsis: Two lawyers (Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) with a romantic past are asked to defend a suspected terrorist responsible for organizing a crowded-market bombing. The truth that uncover jeopardizes their lives.
Review: Closed Circuit has a first-rate British cast. Unfortunately Steven Knights (Eastern Promises, Amazing Grace) screenplay isnt remotely on the same level. The story is simply a by-the-numbers affair that offers the sort of twists that are all too expected. It should feel claustrophobic, but the tension is never really there. Still, Rebecca Hall is always a joy to watch and Eric Bana, who is often underrated, keeps pace nicely. Close Circuit entertains, but it never challenges the audience.
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Jerusha Hess
Starring: Keri Russell, JJ Field, Jennifer Coolidge
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Recommended To: Jane Austen devotees only.
Synopsis: Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) life is stuck in reverse. To escape from the doldrums she gives into her Jane Austen obsession and spends her savings on a trip to Austenland, a theme park dedicated to giving its guests the Austen experience of their dreams.
Review: There are films that are made for such a specific audience that those who arent deeply imbedded in the subject are likely to be left scratching their heads while the devoted fan base screams with delight. Austenland is one of those films.
Directed by Jerusha Hess (co-writer of Napoleon Dynamite), Austenland is a journey into Austen obsession. It is both a loving parody and tribute to the authors style and formula. Russell is likable as the hapless romantic and JJ Field shines as an actor cast to play Mr. Henry Nobley, the Mr. Darcy in Jane's fantasy world. Jennifer Coolidge, a fellow Austenland attendee, exists purely for comedic relief. I found her constant adlibbing to be somewhat out of place (shes much better when paired with other adlibbing actors).
Frankly I didnt find the film to be all that entertaining. I thought it would be cleverer. Maybe I just don't know Austen's work well enough to understand all the references. The audience, however, found the film to be extremely enjoyable. This one is for the fans.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)