Tuesday, June 25 2013, 12:26 PM MDT
Box Office: Recommended Films for June 21 to June 27
(KUTV) Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of June 21 – June 27, 2013
1. Man of Steel (PG-13)
2. Star Trek Into Darkness (PG-13)
3. World War Z (PG-13)
4. Iron Man 3 (PG-13)
5. Now You See Me (PG-13)
1. Monsters University (G)
2. The Croods (PG)
3. Epic (PG)
4. Oz the Great and Powerful (PG)
5. Rise of the Guardians (PG)
1. Before Midnight (R)
2. The Kings of Summer (R)
3. Mud (PG-13)
4. Frances Ha (R)
5. Kon-Tiki (PG-13)
World War Z
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror
Recommended To: Those looking for a decent zombie flick that bypasses the gore and amps up the CGI mayhem.
Synopsis: Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), a former United Nations operative, is pulled from retirement when a zombie pandemic breaks out across the globe.
Review: Max Brook’s novel World War Z was a mix of great ideas and mediocre writing. For better or worse the film has nearly nothing to do with Brook’s narrative beyond sharing its title and involving zombies. Instead the film is essentially a vehicle to showcase its star: Brad Pitt. In all fairness the film is a fairly intelligent action film, but it isn’t the movie that it could have been. Lost is the political and social commentary and the occasional stroke of genius that made the novel worth plodding through. The film isn’t scary; it is practically bloodless and features the sort of plot that practically moves without the protagonist ever really having to make any choices. The few scenes of mass destruction are visually impressive but feel like empty cinematic carnage. There’s no soul amongst the chaos.
World War Z is an entertaining popcorn film, but like all of this summer’s blockbusters it doesn’t amaze from start to finish. Had they worked in a few of the more original aspects of the novel it could have felt fresh and unique. As it is it just feels too safe to be celebrated.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Dan Scanlon
Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Recommended To: Those looking for a good, but not great, prequel to Pixar’s brilliant Monsters Inc.
Synopsis: Before Mike and Sulley were decorated Monsters Inc. employees they were misfit students with clashing personalities at Monsters University.
Review: Prequels are difficult to pull off. The major problem is that in most cases the audience already knows where the story is heading and as a result it’s very difficult to create and sustain any sort of tension. The playful danger that made Monsters Inc. such a thrill is all but lost here. It almost doesn’t matter how the story plays out; we already know the future is bright for Mike and Sulley. Still, it’s a nice origins story and certainly will entertain those who seek it out. It just isn’t nearly as endearing (due in large part to the absence of Boo) or as adventurous as the original. At least it is leaps and bounds better than Cars 2 was.
The Bling Ring
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson
Genre: Crime, Drama
Recommended To: Art house fanatics that share a mutual love for TMZ and Bret Easton Ellis’ bitter resentment/fascination towards excess and celebrity.
Synopsis: A group of well-to-do teenagers break into A-list celebrities’ homes to pad their wardrobes and egos.
Review: The Bling Ring is essentially the same 15-minute sequence repeated over and over again. Insufferable teens break into homes, gawk at the opulence that is celebrity, try on clothes, go to a party, get wasted and start the cycle all over again. They’re soulless, shallow and incredibly uninteresting characters robbing people with the same sort of qualities. It’s slightly less ambiguous that Spring Breakers in its criticism of modern society, but a far cry from director/writer Sofia Coppola’s early films like The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation.
The Kings of Summer
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias
Recommended To: Those searching for a enjoyable comedy about being young, carefree and naïve.
Synopsis: Three teens runaway from home to build a house in the woods and live off the land.
Review: In high school I wasn’t particularly drawn to the works of Walt Whitman or Henry David Thoreau. I preferred the melancholy industrialism of F. Scott Fitzgerald to visions of rustic freedom. Still, I longed for a place that was uniquely mine. Somewhere self sustaining and removed from the trivialities of the high school regimen. So the adventures of Joe, Patrick and Biaggio in The Kings of Summer were something I could connect with. I’ve known these kids. I’ve probably even been parts of them from time to time. Their bravery mixed with a hefty dose of delusion has a certain beauty to it. Sadly, beauty does fade rather quickly when reality gets in the way. I wish they had managed to get a PG-13 rating so more teens could see it.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)