Theatrical Releases: Beautiful Creatures & A Good Day To Die Hard

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD || February 15th, 2013

BeautifulCreatures-poster BEAUTIFUL CREATURES || As much as this feels like another version of the “Twilight” series, I am more apt to give this one a chance. There are parts of the trailer that are laughable, with a young love that will cause destruction if followed through, the spinning table portion is rather hokey, and the entire countdown on the hands is awkward. Emmy Rossum is gorgeous in her other work, so I am hoping she is able to bring that sex appeal to her part. Toss in Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, and Emma Thompson and you have me interested, along with newcomer Alice Englert, who doesn’t look too shabby either. I will probably check this out just to see what I am missing, a feeling I never felt once for the “Twilight” films and so never took part. STREAM
EscapeFromPlanetEarth-poster ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH || The Weinsteins bring you the latest animated alien comedy that looks like a combination of “Planet 51” and “Monsters Vs. Aliens” but without the star power and without the laughs. There are a few funny moments in the trailer like the Slurpee, brain freeze portion, but other than that, the film looks like your run of the mill, children’s comedy. If I had kids to take to this, that would be just fine, but since I don’t, I’ll waste my time somewhere else.
STREAM
AGoodDayToDieHard-poster A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD || Plain and simple, “A Good Day To Die Hard” leaves an impenetrably bad taste. For an action film on its 5th installment, “Good Day” is dull and uninspired. The dialogue begs the question whether anything is actually said in the film, with a cycling of absentee father remarks and the screaming of each others names. The villains are scattered, haphazard, and void of any real personalities or traits (despite a random carrot and dancing moment which came off like an after thought) of any kind to keep them interesting, let alone distinguishable from one another. At times I questioned whether the filmmakers had ever made an action film before or if they had even seen an action film prior to producing this one, as there is zero suspense and zero question whether the main characters are going to survive. Even the film work at its core is flawed, as I sat questioning whether I could tolerate the entire film during its first chase scene which can only be described as erratic, implausible, unbearable, and nauseating. While unable to focus on any element on screen with the abysmally ill-paced editing and jarring floating camera, there was literally no style or rhythm to the cut, causing me to constantly look away from the screen. Down to even the sound design, the film fails, with some of the worst foley work I’ve ever witnessed, including comical punch noises and crashing that compares to a child’s interpretation of the sounds produced. John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) was an after thought to the plot, placed in the film solely to place it under the “Die Hard” umbrella. Although Jai Courtney has an extremely bright future as an actor, this film does not showcase that in the slightest bit. Had any attention been placed on making this film exciting and epic, and had it lived up to its wonderful and intriguing marketing (half the scenes from the trailer are absent), this could have been the film to beat all “Die Hard” films. Instead it becomes explosions connected by moments building up to more explosions, rushing past any form of storytelling or character growth.
No-poster NO || With a dark humor and riveting performance from Gael Garcia Bernal, this Academy Award nominated foreign film from Chile takes a look at blooming democracy during a Chilean dictatorship in the 80’s. Bernal plays an advertising executive, Rene Saavedra who is contacted to help lead the strike campaign in voting YES or NO in keeping the dictator in office, thus starting the debate for a real democracy. The film is shot in a strange aspect ratio and most often looks like a home video, VHS quality format, taking some of the enjoyment out of what should be an escapist media. Instead, you’re focused on the poor quality and not the well told story or spectacular performances. However, the actual commercials and segments that are played are the highlight of the film and throughout the film you anticipate this moments where the commercials are played.
SafeHaven-poster SAFE HAVEN || Believe it or not, I am a sucker for Nicholas Sparks films. I’ve never read even one of his books, but the adaptations to film are quite enthralling almost all of the time, with “The Notebook” remaining one of my favorite romance films of all time, along with “A Walk To Remember”, “Dear John”, and “The Lucky One”. “Safe Haven” looks like another winner that will hit all the same marks, but with the absolutely stunning Julianne Hough and the mostly impressive Josh Duhamel. A review from Richard Roeper says the ending is baffling and horrid, so with that I will definitely have to see the film to judge for myself. I’m a romantic and these films are my guilty pleasure. THEATER

BerlinFile-poster THE BERLIN FILE || Cliche one-liners like “revenge is a dish best served cold” and action for action’s sake, there’s nothing in “The Berlin File” and its trailer that even remotely gets me interested. There’s little revealing of the plot and very little in the aesthetics to sell it to me, so I will definitely have to pass. PASS
BitterBuddha-poster THE BITTER BUDDHA || With inconsistent interviews and the building up of a comedian that isn’t really that popular to begin with, I find it hard to devote any time to “The Bitter Buddha”. Usually cynicism in comedy is hilarious to me, but even the snippets of his standup in the trailer are not very funny or interesting. PASS
LikeSomoneInLove-poster LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE || Even though this film was a selection at some of the biggest film festivals in the country, I will probably pass on this film as well. It does remind me, however, that I still need to see “Certified Copy”, which is from the same director and has gotten rave reviews. This story of an escort looking to find a new life is rather played out and holds no interest for me whatsoever. With a lack of strong performances, there’s no reason to seek this film out in any sort of capacity. PASS
Murder3-poster MURDER 3 || Sex sells. So consider me the slightest bit interested in these sexy, half-naked women in this trailer. But consider me as interested as one might be for a particular sensual movie. The plot looks rather melodramatic, so I won’t be delving into the story, but the cinematography is just above pornography so it might be worth a watch… but it might not. STREAM
PowerOfFew-poster THE POWER OF FEW || If a film has Christopher Walken, I am inclined to see that film, so the same goes for “The Power of Few”, which also stars Christian Slater and Jesse Bradford, two above averages actors in my book. The plot progression appears to follow the “Crash” set up of strangers running into each other in pursuit of a stolen cloth touted to be Jesus Christ’s. With enough suspense and chase scenes, along with the right sort of direction, this film could end up being alright. STREAM
SavingLincoln-poster SAVING LINCOLN || The whole film looks rather dull, with poor acting and strange color schemes, “Saving Lincoln” comes off more like a stage play or PBS special than a theatrical release. Having seen Spielberg’s rendition of “Lincoln” and comparing it to this film is simply laughable. There’s little to nothing unique about this film and the poor quality that surrounds it makes it almost unwatchable. PASS
WouldYouRather-poster WOULD YOU RATHER || Brittany Snow is earning more and more credit from me with every different film she becomes a part of. I loved her in “The Vicious Kind” with Adam Scott and she looks fantastic in this new film “Would You Rather”, about a dinner party that turns into a twisted game of torturing one another around a dinner table. Brittany is joined by porn star turned legitimate actress Sasha Grey and Joss Whedon’s favorite Enver Gjokaj. For some reason, I tend to enjoy these twisted films and with this cast, I am already in. RENT

THEATER

  • A Good Day To Die Hard
  • No
  • Safe Haven

RENT

  • Would You Rather

STREAM

  • Beautiful Creatures
  • Escape from Planet Earth
  • Murder 3
  • The Power Of Few

PASS

  • The Berlin File
  • The Bitter Buddha
  • Like Someone In Love
  • Saving Lincoln

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