Friday, July 18, 2014

This Week's Movies: One for the Boys -- Real Boys

Only a couple of broadly available movies are being released today.  The one that I'm betting will get the most attention is Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue.

Most of my readers will not be personally interested in this, but those who are acquainted with children aged six to eight (and particularly boys) will want to pay attention.

This show is latest in the anthropomorphized vehicle series that started with Cars in 2006 and was followed by Cars 2 in 2011 and Planes last year.  Kids love them.

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle says, "The sequel quickly removes spunky hero Dusty Crophopper from his established past as a racing plane, and into the visually pleasing world of aerial firefighting. ... Much is made of Dusty's celebrity from the previous film and the more humble/noble work of his new comrades. ...the movie serves as a fitting tribute to smokejumpers and other real-life forest workers."

His conclusion:  "It's not a poor movie.  But it's definitely a better movie for the kids."

This sounds fair to me.  If you want to make a child happy this weekend, you probably cannot go wrong with a movie date to see this one.

Sex Tape

The only other new movie that is likely to be at your cineplex this weekend is  Sex Tape, which features Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as a married couple who make -- you guessed it -- a sex tape and then commit an Anthony Weiner error by sending it around on social media.

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter takes things from there.

"The technological aspects of this setup have already been attacked as bogus by those who claim to know about such things.  Should one of these experts have shown up at the couple's door at this point, the film could have ended there and we would have seen all the juicy stuff.

"But no such luck.  Instead, a staggeringly awful second act ensues...." blah blah blah.  You get the picture.

Critics agree that Sex Tape is not a fine piece of cinema.  Go to see it if you like, but don't say you weren't warned.

Other Movies

Two other films are opening this week, both in limited distribution.

One, Mood Indigo, a 2013 French film described as a fantasy/comedy-drama is about a two young married people; the wife somehow develops the odd disease of a lily growing in her lungs, and her husband sets out to do what he can to fix the situation.  Features Audrey Tautou; reviews are mixed.

The other, Wish I Was Here, was written by and stars Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State.) The Braff character, "a struggling actor, father and husband, tries to find identity and purpose in his life." Reviews are not kind to this movie, but Mandy Patinkin, who plays the lead character's father, is said to be quite good.

Really, if you are going to a limited-distribution theater this weekend -- and I'm talking about New York and Los Angeles here -- you probably should go see Boyhood, which I discussed last Friday.  It sold out in both cities this week, and there is now talk that it will be a nominee for the Best Picture Oscar next year.

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