Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:55 AM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films May 3 to May 9, 2013
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of May 3 – May 9, 2013
1. Iron Man 3 (PG-13)
2. Oblivion (PG-13)
3. The Sapphires (PG-13)
4. 42 (PG-13)
5. Evil Dead (R)
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. Mud (PG-13)
2. To The Wonder (R)
3. The Sapphires (PG-13)
4. The Place Beyond the Pines (R)
5. Disconnect (R)
Iron Man 3
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall
Recommended To: Anyone who enjoys a somewhat unfocused but generally appealing summer blockbuster.
Synopsis: When a terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) unleashes a wave of terror across America Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) risks everything to prove to himself and the world that he’s still Iron Man.
Review: Iron Man 3 is not only a return to the unassembled stand-alone films following The Avengers it is also the first film that has to fully acknowledge the vast scope of the Marvel Universe. Following the alien invasion that nearly took out New York City Tony Stark now inhabits in a universe where aliens, mutants and superheroes claiming to be gods exist. He’s suffering from a bit of a bruised ego. It would seem that being the biggest fish in Earth’s pond isn’t nearly as impressive as it once was. And yet not much seems to have changed as Iron Man 3 has Stark squaring off against a terrorist and a mad scientist. The galactic battle for Earth is paused and S.H.I.E.L.D. is on hiatus as Iron Man 3 treads some cinematic water. Still, if you’re going to tread water you might as well make a massive spectacle out of it and that’s exactly what director Shane Black has done. It’s big, loud and a whole lot of fun. It just never feels as dangerous, relevant or witty as Iron Man or The Avengers. It does at least improve upon Iron Man 2, which was what I had hoped for.
Black, who co-wrote the script with Drew Pearce, knows how to make an exciting action film infused with comedic elements. He’s just not nearly as adept at handling the more serious aspects of the story. Iron Man was a great film because it managed to make its fantasy seem possible. Even The Avengers seemed rooted in something real. Iron Man 3 occasionally tries to say something about the modern world, but in the end it would rather dazzle you with its amazing special effects and have you leave the theater laughing rather than thinking too much about the social commentary that lingers beneath the chaos.
To the Wonder
3 out of 5 Stars
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams
Recommended To: Die-hard Terrence Malick fans and art house junkies.
Synopsis: While traveling in Europe Neil (Ben Affleck) falls in love with Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a woman with a 10-year-old daughter. Neil invites Marina to live with him in Oklahoma. Once in America their relationship slowly loses its passion leaving Neil and Marina to look for fulfillment elsewhere.
Review: Terrence Malick is one of my favorite directors. He’s the master of the internal monologue and even when he misses the mark, as he does here, he still has something poignant to say about the human condition. The problem with To the Wonder is that it is all subtext. We’re given access to Marina’s thoughts, but Neil essentially has no voice. Even when he strays towards Jane (Rachel McAdams), an old flame, he’s a muted participant. To The Wonder is an interesting and lovely experiment; it just lacks the weight and resonance of The Thin Red Line or The Tree of Life.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)