Based on a true story, this glossy French comedy about the friendship between a rich paraplegic and his immigrant caretaker features fewer jokes about frustration, immobility or feeling(s) than you'd expect. What it provides (instead of the thematically clever dialogue of typically subtle French comedy) is biting wit, poignancy and, forsaking some structural nuisances, the summer's best bromance. Omar Sy plays caretaker Driss, and won last year's Caesar (French Oscar) for a performance of such bottomless charisma he trumps the amiable Jean Dujardin (his fellow Caesar nominee and America's Oscar winner). And while that infectious charm sways the story into "Magical Mystical Negro" territory, it's also crucial to lift the drab-factor of a journey about a man with no feeling beneath his neck..Read more
A relatively unknown chapter of recent Mexican history gets likely less than it deserves with For Greater Glory, a look at the Cristero War from 1926 to 1929 in which Catholics fought for the right to worship freely. Despite a cast that includes Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, Oscar Isaac and even Peter O'Toole, the film's length and muddled message will likely keep it from reaching much of an audience, even within the presumed Latino faith-based target.
A few years after the Mexican revolution, newly elected president Plutarco Calles (Rubèn Blades) pushed through a number of laws to crack down on religious practice. Catholic clergy were not to wear their vestments in public and church bells did not ring for 3 years.
Veteran music producer/manager Chris Stokes was one of the first to inaugurate the ongoing dance-film craze with 2003's You Got Served. While intended to draw the same audience, Battlefield America's choreographed showcases are comparatively minimal and poorly filmed. Less interested in the film's sole marketable aspect, Battlefield's focus is on delivering a stern message to black fathers on the importance of staying in their sons' lives. Hot shot ad exec Sean (Marques Houston) gets sentenced to 120 hours of community service for a DUI and ends up leading a troubled clutch of kids. By lecturing them about the importance of a positive attitude and teamwork, this business entrepreneur acts as his creator's mouthpiece while serving as a strong black role model.Read more
Ridley Scott has only two science fiction films on his resume, but both were massively influential. With Alien in 1979, Scott gave us clean white walls and dark, densely patterned bio-structures, plus a showdown between the kill-or-be-killed ethos of big business and its literal evolutionary equivalent. For Blade Runner three years later, Scott created a crowded, cold, multicultural urban tomorrow that was like today but tripled. Just try to imagine a science fiction film from the last 30 years since that doesn't reference one or both of his looks and themes. Hence the excitement to see Scott refresh his own visions in his return to science fiction with Prometheus.Read more
Prom night goes horribly wrong for one would-be swain after he turns down a classmate's invitation to the dance in Aussie filmmaker Sean Byrne's intensely visceral feature-film debut The Loved Ones. Like Carrie without the telekinesis, this horror movie replaces the supernatural with blunt brutality and dark humor to terrific effect. Moviegoers with an aversion to violence will stay away, but genre buffs with a taste for the extreme should ensure healthy ticket sales.
Lola (Robin McLeavy) doesn't stand a chance of getting a date with pretty, troubled Brent (Xavier Samuel, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse).
The recent resurgence of "revisionist" fairy tales means that audiences have been gifted not one, but two new takes on the Snow White tale in 11 weeks. In his feature debut, commerical director Rupert Sanders shows off his unquestionable flair and eye for style and design, but his Snow White and the Huntsman is an entirely different animal than Tarsem Singh's equally visually-bent Mirror Mirror. A dark and gritty take on the classic, Sanders succeeds mightily in the look and feel of his film, but his ability to direct his impressive cast is severely lacking—particularly his two leading ladies, Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart, who chew the scenery as if it were a delicious (and not poisoned) apple.Read more
It seems impossible that a sequel to a movie as ridiculous as Piranha 3D could disappoint but Piranha 3DD stops at mediocre before arriving at gloriously bad. Director John Gulager, who successfully shepherded the Feast series through three installments, ups the ante on a series whose central appeal is its utter gratuitousness of fish and flesh and still arrives at a final product that feels even slighter than its predecessor, not to mention shorter. Although Weinstein can expect limited theatrical appeal for this follow-up, Piranha 3DD should stay afloat with home entertainment sales.Read more