Friday, November 22 2013, 02:31 PM MST
Box Office: Recommended Films For The Week Of November 22-28, 2013
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of November 22 28, 2013
1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2. Gravity (PG-13)
3. Captain Phillips (PG-13)
4. About Time (R)
5. Thor: The Dark World (PG-13)
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. 12 Years a Slave (R)
2. Dallas Buyers Club (R)
3. Kill Your Darlings (R)
4. All Is Lost (PG-13)
5. Blue is the Warmest Color (NC-17)
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Ken Scott
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders
Recommended To: Vince Vaughn's friends and immediate family, those that refuse to read subtitles and desperate moviegoers that cant get into Catching Fire.
Synopsis: David (Vince Vaughn) is a dysfunctional meat delivery man who learns that his frequent visits to a fertility clinic 20 years ago has made him the father of 533 children. 142 of those children are now suing to learn his identity. Will David come forward or fight to keep his identity a secret.
Review: Based on the French Canadian film Starbuck, Delivery Man gets its English language adaptation courtesy of Ken Scott, the co-writer and director of the original film. Starbuck was surprisingly charming, primarily due to Patrick Huard's performance as David. It was the sort of film I had no interest in seeing, but left the theater glad I had. It is a film filled with heart and well-conceived comedy. The instant I learned that Vince Vaughn would be playing David in the English language remake I was worried. When it comes to actors with emotional range Vaughn doesn't come to mind. I was confident that Vaughn could play the less endearing aspects of the character, but would he be able to really take the audience along on his redemptive journey? I had my doubts. To his credit Vaughn is better than I expected, but he still isn't able to elevate Delivery Man from being a pleasant, but unnecessary and easily forgotten experience. His version of David is fairly static and the distance between who he is at the beginning of the film doesn't feel all that different from the person he is at its end. I initially hated Huard's version of David and grew to love him, much like he learns to love those around him. Had Delivery Man been able to replicate that experience it would have been a much stronger film.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Recommended To: Fans of the novel and first film as well as skeptics that werent completely sold on the franchise.
Synopsis: Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) embark on their victory tour of the twelve districts only to find themselves thrust back into the life or death arena of Hunger Games.
Review: I liked The Hunger Games. It felt like a good starting point, but it felt clunky and weighted down by its exposition. Catching Fire is able to simply jump into the action and as a result the film has better pacing, doesn't feel as obligated to show off the scenery or explain the rules. Director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine), who replaces Gary Ross, does a fine job of keeping the plot constantly moving forward. Even when the paces slows to allow for character introspection, romance or just to give the audience a chance to breathe the film never feels self-indulgent despite its 146-minute running time. The cast is impeccable, the costume, makeup and art design is fabulous and the cinematography is more restrained allowing the audience to fall deeper into the story. When it was over I was left wanting more. If The Hunger Games didn't win you over there's a very good chance that Catching Fire will.
Kill Your Darlings
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: John Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan and Ben Foster
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Recommended To: Bohemians, poets, outsiders and budding literary revolutionists.
Synopsis: In 1944 Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) went to Columbia University and quickly fell under the spell of the passionate and handsome Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). Driven by Carr's desire to throw out convention in all forms Ginsberg along with newfound friends William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac prepare to set the literary world on fire. With revolution at their fingertips the group unravels when Carr murders his former lover and lands himself, Burroughs and Kerouac in jail.
Review: Literary movements rarely happen on purpose and few in recent history have had the impact that the Beat Generation has had. Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs are revered and reviled and Carr, the man who fanned the flames, is little more than a footnote. Kill Your Darlings is a bitter pill. Its brilliantly done, but much like the Beat movement itself, it is weighed down by a doomed sense of self-destruction. It is seedy, vulgar and free and yet bound, handcuffed and shackled by the melancholy heartache of unquenched desire. It is the death that came before the rebirth.
By: Ryan M. Painter
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)