What looks to be your run-of-the-mill torture porn movie, with applicable back stories for all those involved and a glowing review from director-writer Quentin Tarantino, “Big Bad Wolves” might not be as bad as most of the films in its genre. Focusing on three main characters, a father, a cop, and a killer, there’s an intense dark humor to the film like answering a phone call in the middle of an interrogation. But if the gore outweighs the interactions, than I will become disinterested.
Following the same horror tropes as most of the last few found footage films I have seen, “Devil’s Due” does little produce anything out of the ordinary and keeps the genre at the same level. Minus some great practical scares, the film falls back on eeriness, which I prefer as long as there is still a payoff, which sadly there is not. The acting is great, the ideas are there, but the execution still feels standard rather than raising the bar.
“Like Father, Like Son” sees two children accidentally switched at birth and the consequences that arise when the parents find out about it and decide whether or not to switch the children back, even though they are slightly old enough to understand what’s going on. With huge emotions and begging the question of nurture over nature, this is a strong foreign film and could be worth a viewing.
Although not entirely on the Kevin Hart bandwagon, I can see how his latest venture, “Ride Along”, could be quite hilarious. Ice Cube is more of a draw for me, playing a seasoned cop who takes his pending brother-in-law-to-be on a ride along to prove he’s worthy of his sister. With the normal Kevin Hart mannerism and fast talking nature that gets him into trouble, the film could be very funny but could also easily miss its mark.
Before he dumbed himself down to be apart of Adam Sandler’s crew, Nick Swardson was hilarious and in a supporting role in the very low budget comedy, “Back In The Day”, this could be just the return to form that he needs. Also starring the beautiful Morena Baccarin (“Firefly”) and the resurrection of Harland Williams, the film sees director-writer-actor Michael Rosenbaum returning home for his high school reunion, meeting up with all his old friends and exacting revenge on some of the people that wronged him in high school. Independent comedies often run the gambit of being complete wastes of time, but this will have to be checked out eventually to find out.
Wow! And not “wow” for the film “G.B.F.” (or Gay Best Friend) but “wow” that director Darren Stein hasn’t directed a feature film since 1999’s “Jawbreaker” and that a studio thinks you can use that moniker to sell this film. The audience for this film were probably just babies when “Jawbreaker” was released. About a high school boy coming out and being fought over by the potential prom queens, the film has some recognizable faces but no headliners worth talking about.
Why does Americans feel it necessary to use English voice over on foreign language trailers? It makes zero sense and comes off ridiculous. “Generation War” is apparently a German “sensation” however, the story of five friends embarking into World War II under Hitler rule and having to make huge moral decisions is not necessarily my cup of tea.
Since based on true story films are all the rage now, “Jamesy Boy” follows the true story of a teenager who goes from being in a street gang to ending up in prison. Ving Rhames and James Woods play counterparts, where Rhames is the boys mentor in jail, trying to help him out while Woods is the prison guard that won’t see him released. Mary Louise Parker plays the boy’s mother and up-and-comer Taissa Farmiga plays the boy’s girlfriend.
Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. also joins a based on a true story involving prison, about a recent released convict who has a passion for chess. Becoming a janitor at a low end school, it is here where he is able to make a difference in a group of kids headed down the same path that he took and by introducing the challenges of chess to the teenagers, he’s able to turn some of their lives around. Reminiscent of “Dangerous Minds”, Gooding looks in top form as an actor.
My documentary pick of the week, “Maidentrip” is the story of a 14 year old girl, Laura Dekker, that decided she wanted to sail across the world without her parents. Showing the courts involvement in this decision, followed by her solo voyage with camera in tow, this is basically the real life, teenage version of “All Is Lost”. Laura is quite the character and with first hand footage of her trip, this is a documentary not to miss, winning an Audience Award at last year’s SXSW Film Festival.
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“The Nut Job” is one of those animated comedies that doesn’t quite add up to all the animated films around it. With less than perfect graphics and a mediocre voice cast, unless you have a child to take to these types of films, you are completely wasting your time. After ruining the stored nuts for the season, the main character squirrel finds a nut store that he intends to rob with the help of his bumbling friends. This belongs on television and not in the theaters.
Old man films like “Old Goats” are not in my wheelhouse. I did enjoy “Grumpy Old Men”, but that at least had recognizable faces and spawned a sequel. “Old Goats” is an independent film with nobodies and borders the line between documentary and comedy, whether its great acting or horrible acting, I cannot tell. Nothing draws me to this film and unless I was an old goat myself, I don’t think anything would draw me to this film.