Theatrical Releases: American Hustle & The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
After “The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook”, director David O. Russell can do no wrong. With his new film “American Hustle” taking a closer look at the actual FBI ABSCAM operation from the ’70s and ’80s, the one thing we know for sure us that it never looked so good, with an amazing collection of actors from Russell’s previous films in Oscar winners Christan Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, plus Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner. The costumes look amazing, the humor is solid, and I have a feeling “American Hustle” will be a favorite in several categories come Academy Awards season.
“Here Comes The Devil” looks like a solid horror film, with blood, sex, and the devil himself. Centering around a disappearance of two children, when they return they are not the same and what follows is a mass of trying to understand the unexplainable. Coming from Mexican director Adrián García Bogliano, his film “Penumbra” has also always allured me. If there’s one thing foreign films succeed in, it’s creating an edgy, anything-goes feel in the horror genre and that is my bread and butter.
Following Peter Jackson’s first installment of “The Hobbit” last year, the sequel, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” takes Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and their dwarf company on the second leg of their journey to the mountain that was once the dwarves’ home, but is now inhabited by a giant dragon named Smaug. With plenty more characters to come, including the reintroduction of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and his elf friend, played by Evangeline Lily, as well as actor Luke Evans taking on the character of Bard, while growing star Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Necromancer and Smaug the dragon. The first installment was one of my favorite films that year and with great reviews already pouring out of this one, I am definitely psyched to see it.
Although “Mary Poppins” isn’t the magic to me that it may be to everyone else, I enjoy Tom Hanks in just about anything that he does, so “Saving Mr. Banks” will be, to me, more about the performances from Hanks and Emma Thompson. Produced by Disney, it’s always a little strange to see their live action films, because they carry the same sort of fanciful nature that the animated films do, but with actual people, which often feels off-putting to me. However, to see someone portraying Walt Disney himself is kind of a rare thing, even though I do feel they make him out to be this magical person when really I picture him much differently.
All we can pray for is that “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” does so poorly that Perry decides to retire the awful character. But somehow, as this countless series continues, I do not see that happening. Spending Christmas at a farm, Madea faces off with Larry The Cable Guy and farm life for the holidays. More so than not, the trailer, at one point, started to sound simply like ringing in my ears.
About all you’ll get out of the trailer for “7E” is that a man is hired to look after a person or apartment building and people are not who they seem. With a high tension feel, the film is a horror thriller but with lack of story structure revealed in the trailer, that’s about all I understood. Now available on Amazon Prime Instant, this is the epitome of a straight-to-DVD release.
A mix between a sports documentary and a public service announcement about concussions and sports injuries, “The Crash Reel” takes a look at the lives of professional snowboarders as they face the elements and putting their lives on the line for their passion. Revolving around Shaun White and childhood friend Kevin Pearce, their competitive rivalry would come to an end when Pearce’s crash at the Vancouver Winter Olympics would leave him a shell of his former self.
Devastatingly one of Paul Walker’s final roles, “Hours” sees him face Hurricane Katrina as his newborn fights to stay alive inside an incubator. As the hospital evacuates, he is forced to face the elements as the storm and the failing medical equipment take their toll. Walker has always been a fantastic actor and this film looks to be something very different and special and I look forward to experiencing it.
A re-release of an ’80s film, “Ms. 45” looks along the lines of an early Quentin Tarantino film, and follows the structure of the exploitation film, as a mute, deaf seamstress turns to killing random men after being raped twice in one day. The footage looks very raw and the sex and violence are probably ahead of its time, but with so many better exploitation films floating around out there, I’d be hard pressed to say I wanted to see this.
Natalie Zea is making quite the name for herself, not just with “Justified”, “The Following”, and “Under The Dome”, but now as a phone sex operator in the film “Sweet Talk”, in which a blocked writer calls to create worlds with her and naturally breaks his block. I would normally completely pass on this film, but with Zea remaining an extremely attractive woman and finding herself very sexual in this film, it’d be a shame to miss out on it.
With a fantastic poster going for it and nothing more, “Trap For Cinderella” sees a young woman with amnesia trying to piece together her life, focusing a lot on her relationship with another woman. With an unmemorable trailer, however, there’s little here to make you want to see it and for that I won’t.