Friday, October 26 2012, 01:21 PM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films October 26 - November 2
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of October 26 – November 2, 2012
1. Argo (R)
2. Looper (R)
3. Frankenweenie (PG)
4. Seven Psychopaths (R)
5. Pitch Perfect (PG-13)
1. Frankenweenie (PG)
2. ParaNorman (PG)
3. Hotel Transylvania (PG)
4. Here Comes the Boom (PG)
5. Won’t Back Down (PG)
1. The Master (R)
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13)
3. Elena (NR)
4. Searching for Sugar Man (PG-13)
5. How to Survive a Plague (NR)
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Directors • Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski
Starring • Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those looking for an extremely ambitious sci-fi epic that looks wonderful, but doesn’t quite reach its potential.
Set in the past, the present and the future “Cloud Atlas” explores the impact that one soul can have over multiple lives. The cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon and Keith David. Each actor plays at least four or so characters as their soul progresses through a millennium’s worth of lives.
Clocking in at just less than three hours “Cloud Atlas” is the sort of film that is too dense to really evaluate after one viewing. Visually speaking the film is fantastic, but the stories and all their layers don’t quite add up. If Tom Hanks hadn’t played all the roles that his character’s soul inhabits I don’t know that I would be able to recognize them as the same being. Maybe if I were to watch the film and concentrate only on one actor and piece together the fragments of their character’s soul I might find that the writing is stronger than one viewing suggests. Those who have read David Mitchell’s novel might be able to connect the dots a bit more easily that I was, but a working knowledge of the source material shouldn’t be required when viewing a film.
1.5 out of 5 Stars
Directors • Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson
Starring • Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler and Elisabeth Shue
Rated • PG
Recommended to • Those looking for a feel-good film and don’t mind if it’s a steady stream of clichés, uneven acting and somewhat confusing message.
Early in his childhood Jay (Jonny Weston) discovered a passion for surfing that enabled him to escape from the hardships and emptiness that faced him at every turn. Now he wants to conquer the largest waves in the world, but in order to do that he’ll have to convince his neighbor, surfing legend Frosty (Gerard Butler), that he’s strong enough.
“Chasing Mavericks” tells a decent story but is so artistically bankrupt that you’d think it was co-directed by amateurs and not by Michael Apted, the president of the Directors Guild of America and Curtis Hanson (“L.A. Confidential”), an Oscar winning writer/director. At least cinematographers Oliver Euclid and the always-inventive Bill Pope (“The Matrix,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. theWorld”) are able to keep the film from looking terrible. Performances are all over the place. Butler and Elisabeth Shue are steady, but the rest of the cast, particularly the child actors, are less than believable. Artistry aside the film checks off all the expected feel-good elements (although the ending is a bit strange) and should appeal to anyone who cares more about good intentions or just wants a non-offensive (content wise) night out at the movies.
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Lee Daniels
Starring • Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those looking for an uneven film that wastes the good performances of Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron.
Ward Jensen (Matthew McConaughey), reporter, returns to his hometown to investigate the murder of the town’s sheriff.
Lee Daniels’ “Precious” was one of the most acclaimed films of 2009. It wasn’t an easy film to watch, but it was undeniably a well-made picture that took major risks like casting musicians Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz along side an unknown lead in Gabourey Sidibe and comedian Mo’Nique in a brutally dramatic role. With “The Paperboy” Daniels plays it a little more safely by casting McConaughey, Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack in the major roles (singer Macy Gray does have a featured role). Unfortunately the bigger names don’t equate into equally as pleasing results. Not that it is the actors fault, McConaughey and Efron are quite good and Kidman fairs well enough (the same can’t be said for Cusack). The problem is the film lacks focus. It’s a dark tale that can’t decide if its about love or murder and while that dynamic could make for an extremely interesting film “The Paperboy” is too concerned with being sensational to allow the story to have the intended emotional impact.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)