Theatrical Releases: Poltergeist & Tomorrowland

POLTERGEIST | May 22nd, 2015

Aloft-poster ALOFT || One wants to be excited about a film that boasts the names Jennifer Connely, Cillian Murphy, and Melanie Laurent, but the fact of the matter is that “Aloft” looks to be a little light on everything. Moira MacDonald of the Seattle Times describes the lead as such:”Connelly, with her signature brand of serene toughness, does tragedy very well, but she doesn’t really have a character to play here; just an endless series of tight close-ups and troubled expressions,” which is exactly what it looks like from the trailer.
PASS
ChocolateCity-poster CHOCOLATE CITY || “Magic Mike” gets the Tyler Perry treatment with “Chocolate City,” about a young black man who needs money to get his family by and to impress the ladies, so he dives into the world of male stripping with a troupe of men all willing to take their clothes off for a fistful of cash. The drama comes from a rivalry at the club, just like the wild west, where “this club isn’t big enough for the both of us.”
PASS
InfinitelyPolarBear-poster INFINITELY POLAR BEAR || Mark Ruffalo plays a manic depressive who is left with his two daughters when his wife, played by Zoe Saldana takes off to New York. What could have potentially been a great little independent film feels a little lackluster and unpolished, providing zero examples in the trailer of why this is Ruffalo’s best performance yet. Even with its dry humor, it doesn’t even come close to say “The Kids Aren’t Alright” or even “Begin Again” for that matter.
PASS
Poltergeist2015-poster POLTERGEIST || Failing to go anywhere that the original didn’t go, “Poltergeist” is your run-of-the-mill, shot for shot remake that if it does venture into some small zone of uniqueness, it does so by losing some of the magic the original possessed. Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt are the parents that lose their child this time, with the creepy old woman being replaced by a scarred up Jared Harris. Not scary, not reinventing, the best thing about this film is its poster featuring the creepy clown.

SunshineSuperman-poster SUNSHINE SUPERMAN || As tragic as it may be, it’s almost fitting that “Sunshine Superman,” a documentary about the birth of base jumping, comes out the same month that one of the most famous base jumpers, Dean Potter, died attempting a jump in Yosemite. The film focuses on thrill-seeker Carl Boenish, who never saw a mountain, building, or bridge that he didn’t want to jump off of, video taping his jumps, and providing them in this documentary. It’s a shame he only lived until his 40’s.
PASS
Tomorrowland-poster TOMORROWLAND || Whether cashing in on its theme park that the film is named after or whether actually attempting to create a magical action-adventure film, Disney brings to life “Tomorrowland” where apparently anything is possible. All we know is that Britt Robertson plays young and after being released from jail finds a pin that immediately sends her to a far off place. But she needs George Clooney’s help to actually reach it. Hugh Laurie also stars, which feels like a step in the wrong direction for him. Regardless, Clooney and Robertson are enough to peak my interest.
RENTAL

DishonestyTheTruthAboutLies-poster DISHONESTY: THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES || Truth be told, I already do not trust people easily. So the fact that there’s an entire documentary about how and why people lie is not doing be any favors. Delving into the psychology and science of lies, it also ties the concept to the media and the world around us. People are interviewed who have lied and at the center is a discussion from a behavioral scientist about what it is to lie and what are brains are capable of in that regard. But as I said, I don’t need anymore reasons not to trust people.
PASS
DrunkWedding-poster DRUNK WEDDING || Found footage takes a strange turn as we head to an exotic wedding where a group of friends celebrate their friends getting married by partying, playing pranks, and video taping absolutely everything. Brownie points for going to the extreme, with bouts of urination, pre-ejaculation, and unwanted threesomes, but none of these really add up to an impressive film in the end. Found footage party films are the bottom of the bucket when it comes to this genre and not only should the genre in general go away, but this branch of it for sure.
PASS
TheFarewellParty-poster THE FAREWELL PARTY || Obviously there will never be a solid answer on whether mercy killing is right or wrong, but in the dark comedy “The Farewell Party,” a group of geriatric friends build a mercy killing machine that allows one of their sick friends to press a button and end his life. But when a man outside of the group sees them do this, he wants them to help end his wife’s life. Some of the situations look funny, like a police officer pulling them over after they’ve killed their friend as the entire car of people sobs or the husband revealing his wife is dying of lung cancer as everyone in the room is smoking.
PASS
Gueros-poster2 GUEROS || Not surprising that it won Best Cinematography at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, “Gueros” is black-and-white Spanish film about a young boy named Tomas entering a group of older boys as they search for the deathbed of one of their idols, a musician by the name of Epigmenio Cruz. Some of the visuals are absolutely stunning, especially the final shot of all four boys facing the water, with one of them throwing something into the water. But the way the mountains roll in the fog in the background is absolutely breathtaking. But besides great visuals, the film itself has little going for it in terms of story or performances.
PASS
TheHumanCentipede3-poster THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 || Having not seen the second “Human Centipede” yet, it is a tough call whether I am willing to invest in the series completely. The first film was shocking in and of itself, delving into this shocking subject matter for the first time ever. The second one had the interesting premise of self-referencing the first film, using it as the basis for inspiring someone else to do it. Now, the third film goes to the extreme of entering a prison, where all the inmates are used to make the biggest human centipede yet. But it might just been too disgusting to give it the time of day.
PASS
LoveAtFirstFight-poster LOVE AT FIRST FIGHT || Unfortunately enough, it is too rare to see a strong female playing the lead, even in an independent film, but in “Love At First Fight,” actress Adèle Haenel plays a tough female who joins a boot camp to prepare for the impending fall of civilization. But she attracts a young man who also follows in her footsteps and as with most dramatic films, they fall for one another. I’ve never seen Haenel before but there is something about her that draws you to the film. Her and all the awards the film has received is enough to at least peak some interest.
25% MAYBE
TheRumperbutts-poster THE RUMPERBUTTS || Coming off very much like a student film, “The Rumperbutts” lacks the production quality and performance levels to actually be taken seriously. Centered around an unhappy couple that are forced to stay together because of the fact that they star on a children’s television show with one another, there world is shaken when they meet a mysterious nerd that leads them down a path of losing their jobs and finding out whether they should be together or not. But without the foundation of a good comedy, this is nothing but schlock.
PASS
WhenMarnieWasThere-poster WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE || Marking the last of Studio Ghibli’s animated films prior to the hiatus following Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement, “When Marnie Was There” looks just as strong as any of their films, delving into the world of a young girl who makes a mysterious friend named Marnie while visiting a summer house by the sea. Rich and dynamic like all of Studio Ghibli’s films, do not be surprised to see this one pop up when the Academy Awards roll around again.
50% PROBABLY
WinningTheRacingLifeOfPaulNewmanposter WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN || “He wanted to be looked at as a driver, not an Academy Award winner.” I’ve gotten so used to documentaries about celebrities that spew facts that we’ve already heard. Yes, a documentary chronicling Kurt Cobain’s life is interesting, but it only delves deeper into what we already know. “Winning,” on the other hand, delves into the life of Paul Newman that I feel like very few people know about, his life as a race car driver.
PASS

THEATER

  • Poltergeist

RENTAL

  • Tomorrowland

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • When Marnie Was There

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Love At First Fight

PASS

  • Aloft
  • Chocolate City
  • Dishonesty: The Truth About Lies
  • Drunk Wedding
  • The Farewell Party
  • Gueros
  • The Human Centipede 3: The Final Sequence
  • Infinitely Polar Bear
  • The Rumperbutts
  • Sunshine Superman
  • Winning: The Racing Life Of Paul Newman

HELL NO

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