Hailee Steinfeld stars as a teenage government assassin in the high… MoreHailee Steinfeld stars as a teenage government assassin in the high school comedy Barely Lethal. Trained from childhood to be a black ops agent for the government, Megan dreams of being a normal teenager and decides to fake her death in order to take a shot a regular life by posing as an exchange student at a suburban high school. Co-starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba, and Sophie Turner, the film has a fairly good cast. But the writing's not that strong, and isn't able to pull off the usual high school tropes without seeming cliché. Still, some of the humor works and the action is kind of fun. An entertaining romp, Barely Lethal has its moments, but it's a pretty stereotypical teen comedy overall.
A thought-provoking political drama, The Runner explores the allures… MoreA thought-provoking political drama, The Runner explores the allures of power and corruption. Nicolas Cage stars as a Louisiana congressman who champions the recovery efforts after the 2010 BP oil spill, but he's soon brought down by a sex scandal and must struggle to rebuild his life. While it's an interesting character study, the plot's fairly mundane and predictable. Also, the pacing is rather slow and doesn't really build any tension. Yet despite the film's weaknesses, The Runner provides an intriguing look at the nature of politics.
Inspired by an article from The New Yorker, The Bridge is a… MoreInspired by an article from The New Yorker, The Bridge is a provocative documentary about suicide. Focusing on jumpers from the Golden Gate Bridge, the film interviews the family, friends, and witnesses of several suicides. Also included is some raw footage of a couple of jumps and attempts that were caught on film. However, no context is provided to understand why people choice the bridge as a method of suicide or how they die. And there's no deeper discussion of suicide and its aftereffects. Yet despite its rather surface approach, The Bridge is an oddly fascinating documentary.
Another needless reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is rather… MoreAnother needless reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is rather unremarkable and generic. And while the original films may be a little quaint and passe, they also had a bit of magic and earnestness to them. This new version has better acting and better special effects, but that's all. The plot is ludicrously stupid, even for a kids' film, and the music is horrendous (especially the theme song). Still, the action sequences are dynamic and exciting, and bring a lot of energy to the film. Despite its lack of ambition, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still entertains and is able to deliver a few good laughs.
Unbelievably stupid, Accidental Love is an absurd piece of political… MoreUnbelievably stupid, Accidental Love is an absurd piece of political satire. Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Marsden, and Catherine Keener star in this ridiculous tale of a woman who seeks out her congressman in order to pass an emergency health care bill after she is impaled in the head by a nail gun and lacks the insurance needed to get the nail removed. The politics are incredibly heavy handed and undercuts the comedy. And the performances are just awful. A crazy mess, Accidental Love is a poorly made film that's over stuffed with lame characters and bad jokes.
Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara team up for the screwball comedy… MoreReese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara team up for the screwball comedy Hot Pursuit. Wacky hijinks ensue when an uptight police officer goes on the run with an eccentric federal witness after escaping a hit by a drug lord. The performances are terrible, especially Vergara; who's just intolerable as a sassy Hispanic stereotype. And the comedy is incredibly cheesy and cliché. Hot Pursuit is a loud and obnoxious film that only manages to deliver a hand full of laughs.
An entertaining dark comedy, Kill Me Three Times delivers some fun… MoreAn entertaining dark comedy, Kill Me Three Times delivers some fun laughs. The story follows a hitman named Charlie Wolfe who's hired to kill a businessman's wife, but the job goes sideways when she's abducted by a couple that's plotting an insurance scheme. It's a little convoluted, but it's told in an interesting nonlinear way. Starring Simon Pegg, Alice Braga, and Teresa Palmer, the film has a pretty decent cast that does well with this type of humor. Yet the tone is a little uneven, and most of the characters are undeveloped. Kill Me Three Times has some weakness, but overall is a fairly entertaining indie comedy.
Jason Statham returns...oh wait, he doesn't. And that's a real… MoreJason Statham returns...oh wait, he doesn't. And that's a real problem for The Transporter Refueled; as newcomer Ed Skrein doesn't have much charisma or personality. Additionally, Transporter Frank Marin takes a backseat in this adventure, with the story centering on a team of prostitutes in the French Riviera who pull off a series of robberies to bring down their crime boss. It's a pretty convoluted plot and does a rather poor job at developing the characters. However, the chases and fight scenes are fairly well choreographed and full of energy. Though entertaining, The Transporter Refueled is an underwhelming attempt to restart the franchise.
Derivative tripe, the second chapter of the Divergent series,… MoreDerivative tripe, the second chapter of the Divergent series, Insurgent, is a generic and passionless sci-fi thriller. Picking up where the last film ended, Tris and her friends go on the run and are branded as renegades; meanwhile Jeanine searches for a Divergent with the ability to unlock a mysterious cubic that contains a message from the founders. The script is pretty weak and a rather poor adaptation of the novel. And Shailene Woodley is wholly unsuited to be an action hero; giving a bland and vacant performance. Additionally, the special effects are remarkably bad for a big budget film: as the CGI backgrounds really stand out and look fake. Yet the action sequences are exciting and action-packed. A lackluster film that doesn't really go anywhere, Insurgent fails to deliver a compelling adventure.
Incredibly lame and lifeless, Burying the Ex is a poorly made… MoreIncredibly lame and lifeless, Burying the Ex is a poorly made horror-comedy from Joe Dante. The love life of a shop keeper named Max gets complicated when his ex-girlfriend rises from the grave several weeks after getting hit and killed by a bus. Starring Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, and Alexandra Daddario, the film has a pretty good cast. Their performances however, are rather weak. And the plot is quite perfunctory, endlessly dragging out Max's attempts to breakup with his dead girlfriend. Still, the film has its moments and delivers a few laughs. But overall, Burying the Ex is a lackluster effort by Dante that fails to deliver anything clever or original.