Theatrical Releases: Fifty Shades Of Black & Kung Fu Panda 3

KUNG FU PANDA 3 || January 29th, 2016

FiftyShadesOfBlack-poster FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK || Having just watched “Fifty Shades Of Grey” for the Oscar Challenge, it is clear to see that Marlon Wayans’ parody, “Fifty Shades Of Black” basically takes the same exact dialogue and moments and weaves in his formulaic dumb comedy, which is even less subtle and even more blatant than ever before. There’s something about Wayans that makes this even watchable, but otherwise, this is sophomoric, satirical comedy at it’s worst.
STREAM
TheFinestHours-poster THE FINEST HOURS || The story alone is not enough to sell “The Finest Hours.” Even though it may be based on the most dangerous Coast Guard mission in history, the story of a sinking ship and the Coast Guards that head out in the impossible storm to save them, the cast is what ultimately sells this movie, with Casey Affleck, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Holliday Grainger providing some worthwhile performances and raising this up a notch is watch-ability.
STREAM
JaneGotAGun-poster JANE GOT A GUN || Natalie Portman in a Western where she’s the gunslinger? Yes, m’am! “Jane Got A Gun” also stars Joel Edgerton as the man she goes to help for when she’s put on the run from the law when men try to overpower her instead of giving her the protection that they promised. The almost unrecognizable Ewan McGregor plays the villain. Although the story is rather cut and dry, I pray that these talented actors can deliver with some incredible performances.
RENT
KungFuPanda3-poster KUNG FU PANDA 3 || Jack Black returns as the voice of Po in “Kung Fu Panda 3,” the latest animation sequel from Dreamworks. This time around, Po’s panda birth father returns to bring Po to their hidden panda paradise. The only problem is the formidable villain Kai (J.K. Simmons) is taking this time to take out all the kung fu masters. Po must teach his panda brethren to fight in order to take him down. The comedic elements look great, including the pandas eating while he’s trying to explain the plan and the “chit-chat” joke. The quality of the animation is so good here, it’s hard not to want to take your kid to see it opening weekend.
THEATER
TheWitch-poster THE WITCH || Period horror often focuses more on the production and costume elements, rather than actually making the film scary. But “The Witch” looks to take care of both, using the witch hunts of New England 1630s as the backdrop. A family forced to live on the outskirts of a forest said to be controlled by witches begins to unravel when their animals, crops, and child start acting uncontrollable, with fingers pointed at one of the daughters for being a witch. This is unsettling and creepy, exactly what a horror film should be.
THEATER

TheClan-poster THE CLAN || Based on an incredible true story, a family man takes people hostage for ransom money and uses the money to support his normal family. The trailer plays off of this perfectly with one take, as the father takes some dinner from the kitchen and goes around to all his children, telling them that dinner’s almost ready. The final door he enters is a bathroom where someone is handcuffed inside. “The Clan” really picks up when the son of the family falls in love and wants to get married, with the father’s threats echoing throughout it all. Shortlisted for the foreign language Oscar, this unfortunately was not nominated.
STREAM
Greater-poster GREATER || The faith-based football film “Greater” is all over the map. Once you look past the fact that the production quality is low and the jokes are absolutely terrible, the idea of an overweight football player that wants to play college football and works hard to get out on that field, might be the slightest bit inspiring. But then the trailer looks as if the leading character, after all that work, dies, so where this film could possibly end up, I haven’t the slightest clue. The fact that the trailer basically gives everything way leaves little reason to even see the film.
PASS
LazerTeam-poster2 LAZER TEAM || Interesting concept but lacking in almost every other regard. Alien contact with Earth involves a futuristic suit landing in a crater. But when four random guys each put on different parts of the suit and get stuck in them, they become Earth’s greatest defense against an impending attack. The actors, however, are not entertaining, as they mostly come from being YouTube sensations. Regardless, the humor here is so childish, I’m surprised this isn’t aimed at being a children’s comedy instead. (REPOSTED)
PASS
MountainMen-poster MOUNTAIN MEN || As much as I enjoy Tyler Labine and wait patiently for him to end up being this generation’s answer to Chris Farley, this latest feature written and directed by his brother Cameron Labine and titled “Mountain Men” is simply not that next big step for any of them. When Labine and his best friend played by Chance Crawford head into the snowy mountains for a getaway and accidentally start their truck and cabin on fire, they must venture into the snowy terrain to find their way back. None of this feels fresh and the interaction between the two is hard to even view in the trailer alone.
PASS
RabinTheLastDay-poster RABIN: THE LAST DAY || What looks to be a docudrama including archival footage and then some fictional elements played by actors, “Rabin: The Last Day,” is about the events surrounding the final days of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, before his assassination. It involves a court room procedural and interviews, although these look like works of fiction, as well as footage of the attack itself, although this could also be fictionalized, as the quality is quite good.
PASS
RequiemForTheAmericanDream-poster REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM || A documentary that is almost completely comprised of an interview with Noah Chomsky, “Requiem For The American Dream” takes a look at socioeconomic equality and even how it dates back to the dates of the constitution, with the idea of protecting the minorities from the ideals of the majority, which this country has struggled with throughout its entire history. Money and power are unequal and Chomsky looks to let it all hang out so to speak.
PASS

THEATER

  • “Kung Fu Panda 3”
  • “The Witch”

RENT

  • “Jane Got A Gun”

STREAM

  • “The Clan”
  • “Fifty Shades Of Black”
  • “The Finest Hours”

PASS

  • “Greater”
  • “Lazer Team”
  • “Mountain Men”
  • “Rabin: The Last Day”
  • “Requiem For The American Dream”

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