Based on the book by Mickey Rapkin 2012′s Pitch Perfect was an occasionally fun, if wildly inconsistent, story glorifying a bizarre college subculture where a capella groups were the biggest celebrities on a college campus. Picking up three years later, loner Freshman Becca (Anna Kendrick) has grown into the Senior leader of the three-time defending a capella champions who face new adversity when a complicated stunt goes wrong at a public event.
The Age of Adaline takes an intriguing premise about a woman who has lived for more than a century, through the rise of women’s rights, technological booms, two world wars, and the rise of an Information Age all of which it effectively turns into a Nicholas Sparks trashy romance novel. Blake Lively stars as Adaline Bowman who, through a ridiculous premise of laughable pseudo-science a narrator (Hugh Ross) is needed to help explain, stopped aging and looks the same today as she did in 1929. Hiding for most of her life with only a daughter (Ellen Burstyn) who knows her secret, Adaline sheds her identity every ten years to hide her condition. Preparing for just such a move, Adaline encounters a wealthy artist (Michiel Huisman) and, for the second time in her life, falls in love.
A product of its times Sharky’s Machine feels every bit the early 80s cop drama it is. Adapted from William Diehl‘s novel of the same name Burt Reynolds stars as Police Sergeant Tom Sharky. In the movie’s opening scene the reckless hero cop is demoted from Homicide to Vice after a drug bust goes bad. Stuck in the lowest rungs of the department, Sharky begins investigating a string of high-priced call girls one of whom (Rachel Ward) he falls for while surveilling for weeks.
Slow-moving with much of the plot centered around surveillance of a prostitute’s apartment where not much actually happens, Sharky’s Machine is an R-rated film that could probably be shown today on prime-time network television today except for language and a dark final act involving the torture of our hero. It’s also filled with bizarre WTF? moments (such as when a police informant is killed by ninjas). And it features some old school Bond-style romancing of damsels in distress by slapping them around a bit when necessary.
Released in 1983 Eddie and the Cruisers was a box office bomb despite a hit soundtrack that got the film a second theatrical release the following year. A rock and roll mystery, the film told the story of frontman Eddie Wilson (Michael Paré) through flashbacks and interviews with the other members of the band (primarily the keyboard player played by Tom Berenger) by a reporter (Ellen Barkin) hot on the story of the band’s missing second album and questions as to what really happened to Eddie Wilson. Despite it’s lack of response from both theatrical audiences and critics the movie has become a cult hit that even spawned a sequel in 1989.
Where the first film focused on the fallout of Eddie’s disapperance to those he left behind, Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! picks up the threads of the first film finding Eddie Wilson alive in Canada pushed to give music a second chance thanks to the release of the Cruisers lost “A Season in Hell” and an Eddie Lives! campaign by the studio that ruined his life.
We now have our second teaser for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens which will open in theaters December 18, 2015. The new teaser offers us some Mark Hamill narration to go along with a longer look at the new-look Stormtroopers (including John Boyega) and Daisy Ridley, a sneak peak of the film’s Sith villain, the Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighters, and a glimpse of Han Solo and Chewbacca.
Director Simon Curtis‘ Woman in Gold is an odd film not good enough for awards consideration but also choosing not to become an action-suspense film about stolen Nazi art. Much more a straightforward drama, I’d compare it to 1998′s A Civil Action, a more engaging film with a similar arc of a lawyer whose money-first philosophy is changed by taking on an emotional case he can’t possibly win.
Alien occupation has never been so cute. Based on the children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, Home begins with the invasion of Earth by an alien race known as the Boov who relocate the entire world’s population to suburban-style camps while taking the rest of the planet for their own.