In theaters this week

Film Capsules 

In theaters this week

Total Recall Less campy than the Arnold Schwarzenegger 1990 version, and thereby less fun, this remake of Philip K. Dick's sci-fi story about a future where memory implants help folks escape their dismal realities often feels bloated and confused. And for good reason: Director Len Wiseman is responsible for the parade of mediocre Underworld movies made over the past decade. Colin Farrell steps into Schwarzenegger's massive shoes as a restless, unhappy, and haunted-by-his-dreams factory worker who receives an implant that reveals a deep secret about his past: Turns out he used to be a secret agent with 007-style skills. And there's a really good chance he was working with a resistance movement that's never fully explained but requisite in futuristic dystopias like this. Wiseman certainly knows how to stage action scenes. But he's also well-schooled in plowing through those scenes with little regard to coherency, character, or subtlety. (PG-13) (Michael Gallucci)

The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13) — This story picks up eight years after Batman (Christian Bale) went into retirement and Gotham branded him a criminal. It takes a hulking psychopath sporting a pain-suppression mask named Bane (Tom Hardy) to bring him back into action. A stellar cast of newcomers (including Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Marion Cotillard) join series veterans Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine in this deep-thinking epic. The film doesn't pack the same visceral punch as its predecessor, but it comes close. It's dark, despairing, rousing, and absolutely brilliant. (Gallucci)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG) The third movie based on Jeff Kinney's hit book series for preteens has the same problem as the first two Wimpy Kid outings: Protagonist Greg Heffley (played once again by Zachary Gordon) isn't very likable. He treats his best friend like crap, taking advantage of him to weasel his way into a posh country club, where he plans to spend his summer pursuing a cute classmate. And he lies outright to his dad (Steve Zahn) about his summer job so he doesn't have to take an internship at his father's company. Greg learns to admit his mistakes by the end of the movie, but it doesn't quite redeem his flaws. Kids will like the slapstick humor, but adults will have a hard time sympathizing with such a bratty wimp. (Jeff Niesel)

Ruby Sparks (R) — Calvin (Paul Dano) is a neurotic young writer crumbling under the pressure of his reputation as a literary genius. Then inspiration finally strikes when his shrink asks him to write a story about the fictional Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan), a quirky redheaded painter who also happens to be Calvin's idea of the perfect girlfriend. Through some unexplained movie magic, Calvin wakes up one morning to discover that his dream girl has become a reality and is standing in his kitchen. The movie starts sweet, but quickly turns dark as Calvin finds that he can't handle losing control of his creation. (Julia Eberle)

Step Up Revolution (PG-13) — Step Up Revolution has a message at its core: Don't let anyone determine your fate, Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Emily (Kathryn McCormick) tell each other as they try to overcome life's obstacles. Set in Miami, the fourth movie in the franchise features some incredible choreography made all the more incredible by snazzy 3D. But the plot about disaffected youth looking for meaning through dance is a tired one. (Niesel)

The Watch (R) — After a security guard is murdered in his store, Costco manager Evan (Ben Stiller) vows to catch the killer. When he receives no help from the lazy local cops, he starts a neighborhood watch. At first, no one takes them seriously. Then they stumble across a glowing silver orb that has the power to blow shit up. After responding to a call, they discover an alien at the crime scene, and suddenly the fate of the world is in the hands of this unlikely group of heroes. Most of The Watch's jokes are crude and kinda immature. Still, it's the best movie with aliens and dick jokes since Paul. (Eberle)

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