Wednesday, August 8 2012, 03:45 PM MDT
Recommended Films: June 22-28, 2012
Reviews of Films showing in Salt Lake City this week
by Ryan Painter
1. The Avengers (PG-13)
2. Prometheus (R)
3. Brave (PG)
4. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13)
5. Snow White and the Huntsman (PG-13)
1. Brave (PG)
2. Madagascar (PG)
3. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG)
4. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG)
5. Chimpanzee (G)
1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13)
2. Moonrise Kingdom (PG-13)
3. Safety Not Gauranteed (R)
4. Hysteria (R)
5. The Intouchables (R)
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Directors • Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell
Starring • Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson
Rated • PG
Recommended to • Those looking for an overly familiar film in beautiful Pixar wrapping.
Merida is a Scottish princess who always preferred her bow and arrow to playing with dolls or practicing the finer qualities of being a lady. Unfortunately the time has come when Merida must set aside her childish ways and become a proper lady and marry in order to bring stability to her father’s kingdom.
“Brave” is a dramatic improvement over “Cars 2.” The animation is gorgeous, the voice acting solid and the story, while overly familiar, is well told. It just doesn’t feel like a Pixar film. That’s not the end of the world. Maybe it is a little disappointing for those who were hoping for a film that matches the brilliance of “Up” or the thrills of “The Incredibles,” but few films even come close to being as poignant as “Up” or as much fun as “The Incredibles.” So when I say “Brave” feels more like a decent, but not life altering or genre redefining, Disney film that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. It just means that Pixar is headed back in the right direction with some room to grow.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
2 out of 5 Stars
Director • Timur Bekmambetov
Starring • Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those looking for a film that almost succeeds at being so bad that it’s good.
Before he became the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker), was a young man hell bent on hunting down the vampire responsible for killing his mother.
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is ridiculous. Sometimes that works, most of the time it just feels a bit forced and pointless. The over-the-top action peppered with decapitation and Kung-fu mayhem is mindless and entertaining but it can’t cover up the fact that Seth Grahame-Smith’s script isn’t remotely as clever or sharp as its premise and the film ultimately feels like “Jonah Hex” meets “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” with “The Matrix” thrown in for good measure.
If the rumor that Grahame-Smith will be writing the script for “Beetlejuice 2” proves true, my excitement for that film has dwindled to next-to-nothing.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
3 out of 5 Stars
Director • Lorene Scafaria
Starring • Steve Carell, Keira Knightley and Melanie Lynskey
Rated • R
Recommended to • Fans of lighthearted apocalyptic romantic comedies.
With only days remaining before an asteroid collides with Earth, Dodge (Steve Carell) decides to track down his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him on his journey is Penny (Keira Knightley), his beautiful-but-unstable neighbor.
“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is an odd film in that it is simplistic and predictable, but it still manages to be thought provoking. Carell and Knightly are extremely affable and have a strange sort of chemistry that works far better than I expected. There are some holes in the script’s logic that could have been easily fixed, but as it is the film is enjoyable. You might say the end of the world never looked so good.
Safety Not Guaranteed
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Colin Trevorrow
Starring • Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson and Karan Soni
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those looking for a smart and whimsical indie comedy.
A pair of magazine journalists decide to investigate a classified ad from a man who is seeking a companion to go back in time with him. They get more than they bargained for.
Based on a real classified ad, “Safety Not Guaranteed” was one of the highlights for me at Sundance earlier this year. It’s a little bit quirky, but not overly bizarre. Well, perhaps a little bizarre in that the film manages to be magical and more life affirming that anything on the Hallmark Channel on a shoestring budget.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)