Theatrical Releases: Need For Speed & Veronica Mars
Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, “Bad Words” is the story of a grown adult entering into children’s spelling bees to the chagrin of parents and teachers alike. Bateman goes off to the R rated side of things, made clear in the red band trailer for this film, with racial remarks, prostitutes, and of course, cursing. Befriending a small Indian boy, the reasoning for this and why Bateman’s character is in the spelling bees to begin with is a mystery and will have to be seen to be found out.
Basically 2014’s answer to the first “The Fast and the Furious” film, following the same underground street racing lifestyle, along with high level emotions coinciding with very little substantial dialogue, “Need For Speed” runs a little hot, at over two hours long. Aaron Paul, however, does prove he’s not just a supporting player, delivering the most spot on emotions of loss, remorse, and revenge. And along with several nicely shot, edge-of-your-seat racing sequences, this video game adaptation reaches beyond expectations (to which, really, I had none).
“The Right Kind Of Wrong” mixes so many romantic comedy tropes that it’s really hard to take any amount of it seriously. After his ex-girlfriend writes a blog and book about him called “Why You Suck”, Leo finds himself at a wedding falling for the bride. Willing to change himself for her despite her marriage and disdain for him, with the help of her mother, played by Catherine O’Hara, who shares his dislike for the marriage, he attempts to win her over. A little too “Wedding Crashers” for me.
A documentary chronicling the idea of being a teenager, filled with archival footage and voiced by actors reading diary entries from youths all across the ages, “Teenage” is meant to form the idea of what the struggle between adults and adolescents has done to the idea of youth. Although I am thankful that documentaries get made that aren’t about individual people, this seems like a stretch of having any real point other than to connect some very interesting footage with the words of young people past.
There’s nothing worse than the conflicting feelings I have towards “The Single Moms Club”. On the one hand, I adore Amy Smart and even in this trailer, she looks fantastic, but then, on the other hand, is my hatred for all things Tyler Perry and even his inclusion in this trailer makes me want to punch him. Wendi McLendon-Covey and Terry Crews aren’t exactly draws, but they do make this more watchable, leading me to believe that I might actually give this Tyler Perry film a shot, which is something I cannot believe I just said.
Having indulged in this over five years ago, part of me think I should have marathoned the “Veronica Mars” series before venturing out to see the theatrical release of the crowd-sourced feature film, as many of the inside jokes may still be lost on me. That part aside, the whole crew is back and honestly, it’s just nice to see Kristin Bell on the big screen again, no matter what the role, but for it to be her claim to fame is quite nice and hopefully this lives up to what all the fanboys are hoping it will be.
Despite starring Jay Baruchel, whom I enjoy, “The Art Of The Steal” makes so little sense to me and looks so much like a B-movie version of “Oceans 11” that I cannot subject myself to this. Kurt Russell plays a stuntman that takes a dive for a couple hundred dollars. When he decides to come out of retirement, he’s involved in the heist of some rare book for absolutely no reason at all. Plus, there’s an attractive female in this film that is never even alluded to, which makes me wonder what the hell this film is even really about.
Sam Rockwell? Olivia Wilde? Michelle Monaghan? Sold, sold, and sold. I don’t even care what “Better Living Through Chemistry” is about, because with a cast like that, I am completely on board. Rockwell plays a nobody who’s married to Monaghan. But when she berates him and he finds himself in the arms of the super sexual Wilde, who uses him for his pharmaceutical connections, the two end up down a spiral of drugs and sex. The quality of the film may look low budget, but the actors are as high caliber as they get.
Ever wonder what happened to the killer of the “Saw” series, Tobin Bell? He’s in this latest, low budget, low quality horror film titled “Dark House”. The trailer is laughably bad in the worst of ways, taking itself way too seriously and looking as if it was shot on a VHS camera. The film involves some sort of haunted house and a guy with the ability to see people’s pasts, along with axes and trees and some other stupid crap. The director of “Jeepers Creepers” has fallen far and hard.
To be perfectly honest, “The Den” doesn’t look that great, but the huge horror fan in me wants to give it a shot. Focused on webcams and an internet site much like Chat Roulette, the leading lady witnesses a crime and becomes involved in some sadistic game of death and reactions. This could be great or it could end up being horrible, but Melanie Papalia is just attractive enough to sway me to see it and any horror film that takes a different than normal approach is worth a shot.
In “Prisoners”, Denis Villeneuve directed Jake Gyllenhaal to one of his best performances ever, so I am inclined to feel that he can reach some of the same levels in their new film, “Enemy” in which Gyllenhaal encounters an identical stranger to which their lives become effected accordingly. Also starring the super talented Mélanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon, this film looks like a modern day Alfred Hitchcock and the type of film that could surprise and land on best of the year lists.
Throughout the trailer of “Le Week-End”, I was pretty hard “pass”. Nothing against Jim Broadbent or Lindsay Duncan, whom I generally enjoy, but this film felt too much like an older person’s version of “Before Midnight”, carried out in Paris. But then Jeff Goldblum showed up in the trailer and I have such a love and admiration for the man, that I feel like he could drive me to see this very straight, grandma and grandpa love story.
Off her spectacular turn in “You’re Next”, Sharni Vinson finds herself in what looks like a film adaptation of “American Horror Story: Asylum” in which an evil doctor tortures a young man named Patrick who turns out to have an evil possession that turns on the staff. “Patrick: Evil Awakens” is a huge step down from “You’re Next” and begs the question if this was a role taken before that film, but regardless, there’s very little here that makes me hopeful, even as a fan of horror.
Starring briefly on “How I Met Your Mother”, Nazanin Boniadi turns to Bollywood-esque film “Shirin In Love”, a romantic comedy of sorts that I could probably explain better if I could have heard a word of the trailer. Mixed so low that my computer hardly registered that there was sound going on, I made it through about a third of the trailer before I called it quits. Nazanin is lovely but this feels like a PG rated comedy with zero consideration for a plot.
Anime is a not a type of film that I can latch on to and the trailer for “Tiger and Bunny: The Rising” proves that. Don’t get me wrong, the animation is often exquisite and even film-maker’s like Miyazaki turned me on to the dramatic side of anime, but these action films with dense material plots and an ADHD feel to them really do nothing for me and even the trailers are hard for me to follow. Perhaps someday I’ll find an anime film that will resonate with me, but it won’t be this one.
Seeing young men (or women) resorting to murder at such a young age is devastating in any country and “UWantMe2KillHim?” is based on a British true story of a young man being pushed to the brink and resorting to violence. I am not familiar with the story but the images in the trailer resemble that of many of the true stories we hear here in America. That being said, it all looks a little too melodramatic for me and with zero star power, this film falls off.