Friday, November 1 2013, 01:57 PM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films for the Week of November 1-6, 2013
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of November 1 - 6, 2013
1. Gravity (PG-13)
2. Captain Phillips (PG-13)
3. All Is Lost (PG-13)
4. Saratov Approach (PG-13)
5. Rush (R)
1. Monsters University (G)
2. Enders Game (PG-13)
3. Despicable Me 2 (PG)
4. Cloudy with a Change of Meatballs 2 (PG)
5. Planes (PG)
1. All Is Lost (PG-13)
2. The Patience Stone (R)
3. Enough Said (PG-13)
4. Wadjda (PG)
5. The Summit (R)
3 out of 5 Stars
Director: Gavin Hood
Starring: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Recommended To: Fans of the book and fans of lightweight sci-fi that packs a potent punch at the very end.
Synopsis: In the future the human race turns to its youth to fight an alien race that nearly decimated Earth decades before.
Review: After years of failed attempts to bring Orson Scott Cards popular novel to the screen Ender's Game finally comes to the silver screen courtesy of director/writer Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Summit Entertainment. Having never read the book I'm not prepared to compare the two. As a movie goer with absolutely no preconceived notions or expectations I can say that I wasn't thrilled by the film, but I was entertained enough to recommend the movie to those who enjoy lightweight sci-fi.
For the majority of Ender's Game the movie is content to be a somewhat juvenile adventure reminiscent of the early Harry Potter films where children are sent off to a boarding school while an adult threat lingers in the background. It isn't until the films final scenes that it switches from being a cotton candy coming-of-age tale and becomes an intellectually stimulating experience. Had Hood been able to give a little more dramatic weight to the bulk of the film, which focuses on the experiences of Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a gifted young man believed to have the intellect and temperament to lead Earths combined forces into battle, the change of tone at the end would have had a greater impact. As it stands the movie is an enjoyable, but not essential, viewing event.
2 out of 5 Stars
Director: Jon Tuirteltaub
Starring: Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline
Recommended To: Those looking for a film that mixes Grown Ups with The Hangover with middling results.
Synopsis: Three life-long friends in their sixties visit Las Vegas to throw a bachelor party for their last remaining single friend.
Review: Its not uncommon for an actor to appear in a movie that feels well below their talent level. Its uncommon for four actors to appear together in a film that woefully underutilizes their talent. Last Vegas is that kind of film. Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline are all well-respected actors who probably saw Last Vegas as an opportunity to hang out with some friends in Las Vegas and collect a paycheck while doing it. The results of their work is a generic and cliche filled story that wouldn't be remotely watchable if it weren't for the cast (which also includes Mary Steenburgen who won an Oscar in 1981 for Melvin and Howard, but is better known for her role in Elf and TVs Joan of Arcadia). The film feels like an uninspired mash up of Hall Pass, The Hangover and Grown Ups with a target audience that skews towards the senior citizen demographic with a few jokes and cameos thrown in for younger audiences. Its not terrible; its not very good either.
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