Saturday, April 19 2014, 01:31 PM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Files for the Week of April 18 - April 24, 2014
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week April 18 - April 24, 2014
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (PG-13)
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel (R)
3. Noah (PG-13)
4. Muppets Most Wanted (PG)
5. Transcendence (PG-13)
1. Muppets Most Wanted (PG)
2. The Lego Movie (PG)
3. Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG)
4. Frozen (PG)
5. Rio 2 (G)
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (R)
2. Under the Skin (R)
3. The Raid 2 (R)
4. The Lunchbox (PG)
5. Le Week-End (R)
New In Theaters This Week:
2 out of 5 Stars
Director: Richard Shepard
Starring: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Recommended To: Jude Law devotees.
Synopsis: After a 12-year stint in prison safe-cracker Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) sets out to get what he's due from crime lord Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir).
Review: It's clear that Jude Law loved playing the vulgar and brash Dom Hemingway. Every scene is filled with Law gloriously chewing the scenery with a furious verocity that is something to behold. It's a tour-de-force performance that unfortunately doesn't translate into an enjoyable viewing experience because Dom Hemingway is a mess of a film with frequent tonal changes and identity issues. Is it a dark comedy? Is it a menacing drama? Is it a heartfelt story about a father reuniting with his daughter? Yes, it's all of those and none of those at the same time. For me, the film work best when it was a strange cousin to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Trainspotting where reality feels distorted by copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. But when director/writer Richard Shepard mixes in the violence and focuses entirely on how despicable Dom is the film becomes a chore to endure. Richard E. Grant is enjoyable as Dickie Black, but his character only works when the film is black comedy. It's also great to see Emilia Clarke in a role outside of Game of Thrones, but her estranged-daughter subplot feels cheap, overly cliche and out of place.
Heaven Is for Real
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Randall Wallace
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Thomas Haden Church
Recommended To: Those already sitting in the choir seats looking for a feel-good Christian film.
Synopsis: Todd Burpo is a small-town preacher who is forced to confront his own doubts when his four-year-old son has a near death experience during which he claims to have visited heaven.
Review: While Heaven Is for Real doesn’t feel nearly as heavy handed as it could have been it is still a film that is only going to reach its core audience. It’s a workmanlike effort that features decent performances from its cast and crew (although Connor Corum’s otherworldly take on four-year-old Colton does occasionally come across as creepy). Screenwriter Chris Parker, adapting from Todd Burop and Lynn Vincent’s book, clearly doesn’t want to ostracize non-believers, but even his careful treatment of the narrative can’t elevate the film to the sort of experience that will transcend audience members’ personal beliefs regarding the afterlife.
3 out of 5 Stars
Director: Wally Pfister
Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Recommended To: Depp diehards and those looking for a beautifully shot, but ultimately intellectually shallow sci-fi experience.
Synopsis: As scientists led by rock star scientist Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) move closer to creating an omniscient and sentient machine a group of anti-technology terrorists launch a coordinated attack on labs across the country.
Review: Director Wally Pfister cut his teeth as Christopher Nolan's cinematographer and Transcendence has the polished sheen and promise of heightened intellectual experience that have become the trademark stamp of a Nolan picture. The story itself is a variation on the classic trope of sentient technology run amuck, but whereas other films like The Matrix have used the storyline to explore what it means to be human Jack Paglen's script only skims the surface and never really asks the audience to think. Certainly there were moviegoers who felt that Inception went out of its way to confuse as it challenged them to figure out what exactly was real and what was a dream, but it was the complexity of the story combined with the beautiful cinematography and great acting that made that film a real intellectually charged sci-fi mindbender. Transcendence just doesn't have that second layer. It presents everything too clearly and leaves nothing that could be discovered if you were to see the film a second time. It doesn't challenge you and as a result the spectacular visuals and action sequences feel hollow. Transcendence feels inconsequential and that's a major disappointment.
-Ryan Michael Painter