Following the pattern of his last two films (Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve) director Garry Marshall‘s Mother’s Day is a cookie-cutter ensemble dramaedy set around a particular holiday. Filled with paper-thin characters who all can be described by a single characteristic who are marginally connected through themes of mothers and their daughters, Mother’s Day is a lazy film filled with sitcom humor and blase drama that asks the bare minimum of its cast. If it were a meal, Mother’s Day would be a lukewarm McDonald’s extra-value meal that no one bothered to put under the heat lamp. If it were a color it would be beige.
Nearly a decade since the last time he appeared as the character, first trailer for Jason Bourne gives us Matt Damon as the world’ most dangerous man who may now remember his past but that doesn’t mean all of his questions have been answered. Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, and Tommy Lee Jones also star. It’s unclear what, if any, relation the movie has to the 2012 spin-off The Bourne Legacy. The movie opens in theaters on July 29th.
The Hateful Eight is neither the best nor least of writer/director Quentin Tarantino‘s oeuvre. Like most of his work, the film is highlighted by the mix of snappy dialogue and gruesome violence. And, sadly like much of his work, the film is hampered the filmmaker’s indulgences (such as shooting a film shot almost entirely in close-ups on a sound stage in 70mm simply because he felt like doing so) which don’t always serve the final product. The result is a film with terrific sequences, hampered by dark humor that doesn’t always find the right note, which eventually overstays it’s welcome.
The film begins with the chance encounter of a pair of bounty hunters (Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson) both fighting to get ahead of the oncoming blizzard. Before all is said and done the two men, along with one man’s bounty (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the carriage driver, and a host of other strangers, will all attempt to seek shelter from the storm in Minnie’s Haberdashery.
The premise behind screenwriters Douglas Cook and David Weisberg‘s Criminal is fairly ridiculous, even for B-movie action flick. Sadly, it’s not nearly as entertaining as the pair’s 20 year-old collaboration – The Rock. Set in present day, the death of Agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds), who alone has vital information to keep backdoor access into the missile command of the United States out of the hands of a terrorist (Jordi Mollà), causes the CIA to attempt an experimental procedure to implant Pope’s memories into a brain-damaged convict named Jericho (Kevin Costner).
As with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and 101 Dalmatians, Disney’s latest attempt to offer a live-action version of one of their classic animated movies offers mixed results. Originally based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling, 1967’s The Jungle Book took us into the jungle to follow the adventures of Mowgli the Man Cub (Neel Sethi), a young orphan raised by wolves. Rather than offer a straight reinterpretation of Kipling’s work or a direct live-action version of Disney’s animated feature, the new movie attempts to do both leading to an uneven story that is too dark for its lighter moments and simple bizarre when it tries to recreate animated sequences (such as Mowgli and Baloo singing “Bare Necessities” down the river) in realistic CGI.
If the set-up for “Hard Knox” sounds familiar it’s because Scorpion has used nearly the identical template before. Tricked by a government official into what is obviously a very bad idea, Walter (Elyes Gabel) and his team are hired to break into Fort Knox to test out the facility’s security. And yes, despite being tricked into similar circumstances in the past, no one on the team questions the validity of their assignment. Of course while this is going on Walter works out his troubled relationship with Linda (Brooke Nevin) while the show continues to tease the a romance between Paige (Katharine McPhee) and Tim (Scott Porter) that no one (I’m betting this even includes the show’s writers) want to see happen.
Originally released in 1967 The Jungle Book may not have aged as well as some of the older Disney films, but the spirit and legacy of the film has lived on through countless films from Disney (and other animation houses) over the years. Several current filmmakers, including Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), credit the movie for getting them interested in animated filmmaking.