Theatrical Releases: Transcendence

TRANSCENDENCE || April 18th, 2014

Bears-poster Personally, I love that Disney continues to make these nature films, and releases one almost every Earth Day, with this year’s being “Bears”. Also, just like the Lemurs film that came out recently, the trailers utilize popular music to help get drive their personalities across, with this particular trailer using “Home” by Phillip Phillips. With proceeds going to help an animal foundation, families with children should definitely be taking their kids to see this.
25% MAYBE
Transcendence-poster Definitely not the disaster of a film that critics are making this out to be, “Transcendence” is a logical computer thriller with an amazing ensemble cast, lead by Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, and Paul Bettany. Those looking for the next Christopher Nolan film (with his credit as the executive producer and the director being his regular director of photographer, Wall Pfister) are the ones who will be disappointed, as this does not look or feel like Nolan. But it entertains and rises above the dismal things people are saying.

13Sins-poster How refreshing it is to see Mark Webber in a thriller film. Often typecast into dramatic or comedic roles, Webber takes on the role of the pawn in a sadistic game in “13 Sins”. Contacted by a mysterious man and told to complete tasks for money, his character goes on a spree that tests the boundaries people are willing to go. With Ron Perlman playing the detective after him for the crimes that he commits along the way, this thriller looks just fresh enough to capture my attention.
50% PROBABLY
Antboy-poster The equivalent of “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” in the superhero genre, “Antboy” takes the origin story of “Spider-Man” and gives it to a young middle schooler. Instead of a spider, however, it is an ant that bites Antboy and gives him powers. Rated PG, it at least rises above the General audience rating and probably delivers a few adult-oriented jokes, like peeing in a urinal that then falls apart. Despite serious ADR problems in the trailer, this film cannot rise above its miniature nature.
PASS
AuthorsAnonymous-poster Kaley Cuoco will sadly never be a selling point for me. She’s a gorgeous young lady but her humor is lost on me. Chris Klein, also, is not a huge selling point and though he fits in perfectly with films like the “American Pie” series, I’ve never really enjoyed him in much else. That leaves both leads from “Authors Anonymous” not really selling the underdeveloped story of a group of writers trying to make it.
PASS
CowgirlsNAngelsDakotasSummer-poster Trusting my instincts, I could have said “pass” before even watching the trailer for “Cowgirls ‘N Angels: Dakota’s Summer”. There’s nothing about little girls riding horses that appeals to me. Plus, the entire film plays out in the trailer, as the leading girl struggles with trick riding, finds out she was adopted, and returns to her roots to get better at riding and return to steal the show from the snotty girls making fun of her. We’ve seen this a million times before.
PASS
DeathDoUsPart-poster Shopping at Best Buy recently, I saw that “Death Do Us Part” was already out on DVD, which makes me wonder if it ever did get a theatrical release. Regardless, I thought I would give the trailer a shot anyway, seeing as I love the genre. Of course, as I somewhat suspected, this seemingly straight-to-DVD B-horror film uses the oldest tricks in the book as a wedding party faces certain death against a stalking serial killer in the middle of the woods.
PASS
FadingGigolo-poster2 What a rare event it is to see Woody Allen acting in a film other than one of his own, especially as anyone but himself (he often plays himself in other director’s films). John Turturro takes yet another stab at directing (he’s been directing films since 1992’s “Mac”) with his latest endeavor, “Fading Gigolo”, a rather authentic look at a man falling into the gigolo business. With Sofia Vergara reminding us that she is a sexual being beyond her “Modern Family” persona, I cannot wait to see this film.
THEATER
TheFinalMember-poster “The Final Member”, a documentary about a penis museum in Iceland, hurts me just to watch the trailer. We start by finding out that the only missing genitalia in this museum is a human penis, but that one man has offered his as a donor after he dies. In steps a man from America willing to offer up his penis before he dies, meaning he is willing to castrate himself to be the first man immortalized in this museum. If the trailer is any indication at how comical and painful this film is, I want nothing to do with it.
PASS
Gabrielle-poster Coming from the producers of “Incendies” and “Monsieur Lazhar” which were both nominated for Academy Awards in the Foreign Language category, “Gabrielle” seems to be in good company. Exploring what loves means between a woman with Williams syndrome and another disabled man, and their families coming between them, the film appears very sincere as lead actress Gabrielle Marion-Rivard actually has Williams syndrome and actually does perform for a choir much like the one depicted in the film, blurring the line between fiction and reality.
PASS
AHauntedHouse2-poster One racial joke after another, Marlon Wayans uses his ethnicity to poke fun at almost every race by the end of “A Haunted House 2”. Loosely combining spoofs of horror films like “Sinister”, “The Conjuring”, and “Insidious”, this sequel does not tread any new water compared to the first film besides excessive innuendos and tumultuous animal violence. Wayans, himself, is a humorous individual and begs to find something worth his talents, but with his constant screaming, there’s little to enjoy of him in this.
HeavenIsReal-poster Christian films like “Heaven Is For Real” always pop up around Easter time and great for those families that venture out for such spiritual films. Based on a book about a true story of a young boy whose near death experience gives him a glimpse of heaven, recalling stories and people that he could not possibly know, Greg Kinnear stars as the father of the boy, struggling to believe what his son says is true. Believe it or not, the book and the film are actually contested by many Christian groups, stating that they present “an un-Biblical perspective on the afterlife”.
PASS
KidCannabis-poster Banking off the style of “Spring Breakers”, this marijuana smuggling infused drama, “Kid Cannabis” sees an Idaho boy trafficking drugs over the Canadian border. Ron Perlman continues to make his rounds this week, showing up as a seedy business man in this outing. Apparently based on a true story, a rival marijuana empire finds out about the operation and threatens to take it down. Were I invested in the use of marijuana whatsoever, I might find the slightest bit of enjoyment in this film but since I do not, there’s nothing in this film for me.
PASS
MakeYourMove-poster Two questions. Did you know “Dancing With The Stars” man Derek Hough and star of “Make Your Move” is the brother of actress Julianna Hough? The resemblance should give it away. Also, who the hell goes to these films besides dancers? From the same people that brought you the “Step Up” films comes yet another dance film where the characters dance-fight, and dance out their feelings with one another. Stop making these films!
PASS
Manakamana-poster Harvard has a program called the Sensory Ethnography Lab. Last year’s documentary “Leviathan”, which is high on my must-see list, was one of their films, lead by director of the Harvard program, Lucien Castaing-Taylor. Their latest venture, “Manakamana” sees different groups of visitors on a cable car in Nepal as they travel to “an ancient Hindu temple, the site of a shrine to the wish-fulfilling goddess Manakamana”. With a stationary camera, a full sensory excursion, and foreigners’ conversations, there’s definitely not much to the film, but I will still have to see it to experience it myself.
50% PROBABLY
PoseidonRex-poster “Half dinosaur, half sea monster, all trouble”. So Godzilla? There are no bounds to what films “Poseidon Rex” rips off, from “Godzilla” to “Jurassic Park” to “Piranha” to “Jaws”. We can thank the horrid success of “Sharknado” for the likes of this film, which comes off like low budget, softcore porn at times, with some of the worst visual effects I have ever seen in a film in the last 20+ years.
HELL NO
Proxy-poster Even now, after reading the synopsis for “Proxy” I am not sure what the hell this film is about. From the description, a woman is brutalized and disfigured while walking home one night and finds solace in a support group. But then there’s some sort of “dark path of obsession”. First of, the woman in this trailer is not disfigured, unless it is somewhere not privy to the trailer viewers. Regardless, this plot of this film is so indiscernible, I wonder why up and comer Joe Swanberg is even in this low budget thriller.
PASS
SmallTime-poster Ditching college to sell used cars with his dad, this based on a true story dramedy pits an impressive cast with a very down-to-earth and humorous story of father-son bonding. “Small Time” sees Christopher Meloni and Dean Norris seasoned cars salesmen while Devon Bostick plays Meloni’s son, learning his pop’s business. There’s some heartwarming aspects to the film as well, making it feel like an “Orange County” type, dark comedy. The incomparable Kevin Nealon also stars.
RENTAL
TastingMenu-poster At first glance, “Tasting Menu” looked like a documentary about the best chef in the world. But when you find out it is a fictional story, the meaning of this “final dinner” means so much less. What is better than watching someone make a delightful meal and eating it? Actually making a delightful and eating it! Bringing relationships out of this chef’s final meal before closing her doors, Stephen Rea and Fionnula Flanagan at least provide for some familiar faces, but this really feels like a slight ripoff of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” except in a restaurant.
PASS
VanishingPearls-poster As with many other documentary trailers, I feel like I learned all I needed to learn from the trailer for “Vanishing Pearls”. Chronicling the struggles of black oyster fishermen in Louisiana after the BP oil spill, a Gulf community called Pointe à la Hache deal with the government lack of help for these men and women whose once flourishing business and trade has now come to a standstill with no help in sight. I truly hope this film finds the right people to get them the help they deserve.
PASS

THEATER

  • Fading Gigolo
  • Transcendence

RENTAL

  • A Haunted House 2
  • Small Time

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • 13 Sins
  • Manakamana

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Disneynature’s Bears

PASS

  • Antboy
  • Authors Anonymous
  • Cowgirls ‘N Angels: Dakota’s Summer
  • Death Do Us Part
  • The Final Member
  • Gabrielle
  • Heaven Is For Real
  • Kid Cannabis
  • Make Your Move
  • Proxy
  • Tasting Menu
  • Vanishing Pearls

HELL NO

  • Poseidon Rex

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