STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS || December 18th, 2015
ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS: ROAD CHIP || Having not seen the other two “Alvin & The Chipmunks” films I cannot completely judge, but from the trailer of “Road Chip,” I can say the only way I’m seeing this movie is if I have to bring my two-year-old daughter to it. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be much here for adults in the way of humor. They do somehow get Jason Lee back in the role of Dave and the animations of the chipmunks looks fine. But otherwise this looks like a dud.
EXTRACTION || Bruce Willis plays the hostage this time around in the action film “Extraction,” while rising action star Kellan Lutz (“The Expendables 3”) plays Willis’ son that is the only hope to save him. Well, him and Gina Carano, seemingly the only female action star around these days. The big kicker in the plot, the men that have Willis also have codes for all the missile silos across the world and they are all aimed at, you guessed it, the United States.
NOMA: MY PERFECT STORM || All that “Noma: My Perfect Storm” teaches me is a) people really will eat anything and b) some chefs really are insane. René Redzepi runs Noma, a restaurant in Denmark, where he creates his own food, sometimes even scouring nature for his creations (moss or live ants anyone?) but his real passion lies in yelling at his staff and answering questions like what it’s like to be called the number one restaurant in the world.
SISTERS || Tina Fey and Amy Poehler really do feel like real life sisters, so for them to play on-screen sisters in a film called “Sisters” really isn’t that much of a stretch. Tina plays the rowdy sister that spent her teenage years experimenting and partying, while Amy plays the nerdier one, who stayed home with her clarinet and rock collection. Now that they’re older, both with their own shortcomings, they want to throw one last party at their parents house before its sold. Cue the disco ball and a tattooed John Cena selling drugs.
SON OF SAUL || You’re most likely looking at the winner of the Best Foreign Language Feature at the Academy Awards. “Son Of Saul” is from Hungary and portrays a captive at Auschwitz whose job it is to burn the dead. But when he takes a small boys body as his own son, that’s where things likely get interesting. Having won almost all the critics awards and still on the shortlist, it will be a shock to many if this one doesn’t end up winning.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS || Recapturing the magic that was likely felt while watching “Star Wars: A New Hope” in 1977, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” makes the audience truly feel like they are apart of something. Revitalizing a franchise that many were turning their backs on, flipping Hollywood’s script by having a female and a black man, both mostly unknowns, leading the charge, the film allows enough nostalgia to keep everyone excited, enough action to keep everyone cheering, and enough new elements like BB-8 and Kilo Ren, to keep everyone wanting more.
ANGUISH || Even though it just came out last year, we are already being treated to “the best horror film since It Follows,” believe it or not. “Anguish” definitely has some practical effects going for it and some jarring visuals, which are the only things that really even make you want to see this film. Otherwise it feels like very low production value and a bit sparse in the acting department. Trust me, I loved “It Follows” just as much as the next person. But not every Indie horror film will being following in its footsteps.
DREAMS REWIRED || As narrated by Tilda Swinton, every generation thinks they are living in the technological revolution, with things like phones and television becoming new things over hundreds of years ago. But in “Dreams Rewired,” Swinton gives us current day narration about technology with the backdrop of old, mostly black-and-white archival footage from over 200 films, linking the past and present in a very interesting way. So in a collage, mosaic kind of way, this is an original film.
THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES || Russell Brand seems to be taking a stand for everything these days. And he’s such a charismatic man, that I really don’t mind. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” puts him on the soapbox for the economic crisis and how it went down in the United Kingdom, from what I can gather, with the help of director Michael Winterbottom (“The Killer Inside Me”). This involves going to high profile banks and making a scene, asking to talk to some of the perpetrators, and holding rallies.
HE NEVER DIED || Gray haired Henry Rollins steps into another action film, this time playing a character from the Bible that has lived to see 2015. He cannot die, he cannot be hurt, and so this puts him in the path of a lot of dangerous men. When he finds out he has a daughter, however, and so do the bad men, he must go on a mission to save her. Which would be impressive if, you know, he could actually be hurt or die. “He Never Died” apparently mixes comedy with action. But none of it feels very impressive to say the least.
MOJIN: THE LOST LEGEND || Previously titled “The Ghouls,” this Chinese film “Mojin: The Lost Legends” brings some worthwhile effects to a far-too-out-there mythology that lands all over the place. But perhaps that’s just a faulty interpretation of Chinese film-making, from a Westerner that doesn’t know that much about it to begin with. The story follows a tomb explorer who decides to settle down with his wife, only to find out that his first love, who had died 20 years ago, is actually not dead. Cue the dun-dun-duns.