Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:55 AM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films for March 29 - April 4
By: Ryan Painter
(KUTV) Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of March 29 – April 4, 2013
1. Silver Linings Playbook (R)
2. Lincoln (PG-13)
3. Warm Bodies (PG-13)
4. Admission (PG-13)
5. Oz the Great and Powerful (PG)
1. The Croods (PG)
2. Oz the Great and Powerful (PG)
3. Life of Pi (PG)
4. Beautiful Creatures (PG-13)
5. Wreck-It Ralph (PG)
1. The Gatekeepers (PG-13)
2. Stoker (R)
3. Like Someone in Love (NR)
4. Lore (NR)
5. Amour (PG-13)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Jon M. Chu
Starring • Dwayne Johnson, D.J. Cotrona, Adrianne Palicki
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Those looking for a brainless action film that doesn’t desecrate your childhood memories of Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye and Storm Shadow.
With Cobra Commander locked away Zartan (Arnold Bosloo) launches a plan that will not only release his leader from prison but wipe out the G.I. Joes altogether.
“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” was shockingly terrible and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” all but acknowledges that by bringing in new writers, a different director and dropping most of the cast from the first film in favor of Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock) and Bruce Willis (General Joe Colton) and the lovely Adrianne Palicki (Jaye). I would have liked to see Rachel Nichols return as Scarlett at some point, but beggars can’t be choosers. Those returning include Jonathan Pryce (the President), Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow) and Ray Park (Snake Eyes) and Arnold Vosloo (Zartan). Oh, and lest I forget, Channing Tatium also drops in for a couple cups of coffee.
“Retaliation” isn’t particularly original in any regard, but it does have enough sense to not go to lengths to try and be a “Transformers” film like “The Rise of Cobra” did. There are still some silly gadgets and sci-fi elements that feel out of place, but for the most part this film is about the characters rather than the super suits that they’re wearing. The dialogue is fairly witty and produces its fair share of laughs. The action is well done, particularly the extended fight between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes (which is all we really wanted in the first place).
“Retaliation” is infinitely more satisfying that “The Rise of Cobra” and ultimately that’s all I was realistically hoping for.
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Andrew Niccol
Starring • Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Fans of the novel and Stephenie Meyer devotees.
An alien race has come to Earth and enslaved mankind by taking control of their bodies by erasing their memories and destroying their will. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) proves to be a difficult host to be controlled, as her love for her brother and the mysterious Hared (Max Irons) somehow enables her to retain some of her independence from the alien being that has been placed inside of her.
With “The Host” Stephenie Meyer looked to combine the love-triangle formula of “Twilight” with a variation of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The sci-fi aspects of the story are decent, but the majority of the film’s focus is the same sort of teen fantasy that made “The Twilight Saga” inaccessible to many of us. Melanie’s journey is essentially the same as Bella’s, only the second voice in Melanie’s head isn’t her own. Well, technically it is hers, but that’s only because Wanderer (Wanda to her friends), the alien, gets control of their shared body’s vocal chords. Having two voices inside of one mind works fine in a novel, but in a film it winds up being ridiculous and distracting. It’s sort of like watching a movie with a bad comic who has to comment on everything that happens. Had I been writing/directing the film I would have experimented with taking as much of the inner monologue out and letting Ronan, who has been fantastic in the past, use her talent to convey the conflict inside of her. As it stands “The Host” is better than the first couple “Twilight” films, but it is still strictly for Meyer fans.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Dror Moreh
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Anyone interested in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.
Dror Moreh’s documentary focuses on six former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli Secret Service, and their direct involvement in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict that has divided Israel for decades. The interviews are extremely candid and go off into directions that you would never expect. This candidness is partly due to Moreh’s willingness to ask the difficult questions as well as the desire of those being interviewed to be completely frank and honest. It’s amazing what hindsight and a strict self-analysis can do to a person’s perspective. “The Gatekeepers” is a fantastic documentary; more importantly it is a vital slice of history uncensored.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)