Monday, August 4 2014, 04:16 PM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films For The Week Of June 13 – June 19, 2014
(KUTV) Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week June 13 - June 19, 2014
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (PG-13)
2. Edge of Tomorrow (PG-13)
3. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (PG)
4. 22 Jump Street (R)
5. The Fault in Our Stars (PG-13)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (PG)
2. Maleficent (PG)
3. The Lego Movie (PG)
4. Million Dollar Arm (PG)
5. Muppets Most Wanted (PG)
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (R)
2. Belle (PG)
3. The Signal (PG-13)
4. Ida (PG-13)
5. Night Moves (R)
New In Theaters This Week:
22 Jump Street
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Recommended To: Those looking for R-rated laughs in droves.
Synopsis: Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are sent undercover at a local college to do exactly what they did in the first film: find the supplier of a new and dangerous drug.
Review: Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) continue their amazing run of hilarity with an utterly absurd and completely self-aware sequel that not only has the guts to mock itself, but does it in an amusing and intelligent way as it successfully piles on cliche after cliche until the tired formula feels strangely fresh again. The screenplay, which was written by Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman from a story by Bacall and Jonah Hill, features the rapid fire of jokes and gags that seems to be the norm for a modern comedy, but, unlike many of the film's contemporaries, 22 Jump Street's jokes hit their target far more often than they miss it. The cast is pitch perfect as they take turns chewing up the scenery. Even many of the smaller supporting characters are given scene stealing material that they are able to translate into big laughs without sending the movie off course. If you enjoyed 21 Jump Street you'll be completely satisfied with 22 Jump Street. It's the funniest movie I've seen since Lord and Miller's The Lego Movie.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Recommended To: Fans of the books, film or television series and kids of all ages.
Synopsis: Hiccup and his dragon, Toothless, venture out into the unexplored regions of their world and come across a band of ruthless dragon trappers who threaten to overthrow the newfound tranquility of their homeland, the Island of Berk.
Review: How to Train Your Dragon was one of my favorite films of 2010 and one of the first films, along with Avatar, to really use modern 3D techniques in a way that enhanced the storytelling (rather than just being a gimmick). So my expectations for its sequel were pretty high. I expected a smart story with gorgeous visuals and the movie didn't disappoint. It might not quite reach the dizzying heights of its predecessor, but it does build off of its momentum and raises the stakes as it heads off into new territory.
Taking place five years after the events of the first film (a gap that is filled in by the television series Dragons: Riders of Berk and Dragons: Defenders of Berk) How to Train Your Dragon 2 finds Hiccup in an entirely new place in his life. Having proven to his father that he is a worthy heir, won the affection of Astrid and convinced the citizens of Berk to live amongst dragons Hiccup has taken on the task of mapping the outside world while searching for new dragons. His adventurous spirit feeding his confidence; turning him into the leader he never expected, or wanted, to be. It's a nice evolution for the character; one that allows him to grow without having to change who he is. What makes Hiccup different is what makes him great.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the first great family film of the summer and the only film of 2014 thus far to challenge The Lego Movie for the year's best animated movie.
3 out of 5 Stars
Director: William Eubank
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Recommended To: Those looking for an above average sci-fi indie flick.
Synopsis: Nic and Jonah are computer geniuses who while driving Nic's girlfriend to California are drawn to a mysterious and dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere Nevada in hopes of confronting a mischievous hacker known as Nomad. In the desert they find more than they were prepared to handle.
Review: The Signal is a strange trip into micro-budget sci-fi where atmosphere and character trump special effects (although the film does have some impressive effect work ) and the results are fairly pleasing as director William Eubank keeps things fairly simple for the first two thirds of the film before building to the movie's inevitable climax. And there's the rub. The end of the film, which honestly feels like the only place the film could possibly go, is visually stunning, but somewhat anticlimactic. It wants to be as clever as the best episodes of The Twilight Zone, but is too telegraphed to really surprise. It also leaves so many questions unanswered and in many ways what interests me the most about the film are all the avenues that aren't explored. Eubank has created a world I want to explore, but keeps me locked in a white room with little to see. In some ways it feels like the pilot episode, rather than a feature film. I want more, but I'm not sure that this team of filmmakers (William and his co-writers Carlyle Eubank and David Frigerio) are capable of giving the world the attention to detail that it deserves.
-Ryan Michael Painter
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