Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy: Class Warfare

Frank Grillo leads a ragtag group who are fighting for their lives.

How do you feel about 20% of Americans owning nearly 90% of the country's wealth?
Your answer to this question will determine your reaction to this movie.

It's a sequel to the 2013 film, which was generally dismissed as a "clunker." The Movie Slut missed that one, but heard this year's installment was superior, so she gave it a try. And is happy she did.

The action takes place in 2023. Life is peachy for the wealthy and they're determined to keep it this way. Which brings us to the annual purge— a 24 hour stretch when all crimes can be committed without repercussions. It's a bad guy's paradise and serves to reduce the population. You know, less drain on resources.

Guess who is culled from the year's census? Not the wealthiest 20%, of course. They call themselves the "New Founding Fathers." But they're The Enemy to the rebels determined to change the status quo.

The Purge: Anarchy is an edge-of-your-seat thriller and despite the futuristic time frame, a good old fashioned battle between good and evil.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sex Tape: Digital Disaster

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal are a married couple trying to spice up their love life.

For better or worse, Sex Tape is not that sexy. And definitely for worse, it's not that funny either.

"Amusing" is as far as the Movie Slut will go.

It's a story about a married couple that decides to spice up their marriage. You know how. But for young thirty-somethings, they are not as computer savvy as you might think.

Part of the humor of this mildly entertaining flick is the incomprehensibility of the Internet. Their cluelessness, however, would be more believable if they were sixty-somethings.

The couple is also clueless about the problems in their marriage and here, actor Jack Black appears as an Internet porn mogul/therapist. What should have been laugh-off-your-seat hilarious falls flat.

Cameron Diaz, proving once again, how facile she is as a comedic actor, lifts this flick out of the snore zone.

Third Person: He, Him, His

From top right to bottom left: Lian Neeson, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Maria Bello, Adien Brody, Kim Basinger, Michele Melega

Michael (Liam Neeson) is the main person in Third Person. He's a writer who writes in third person. If he wrote in first person, this would be an easier movie to understand. But probably not as good.

Michael's story is a tragic one and he's holed up in a Parisian hotel to write it. He has a wife back home (Kim Basinger), and a lover in Paris, (Olivia Wilde.) And then there are a bunch of other characters, also with sad and tragic stories.

Screen writer and director Paul Haggis also gave us the amazing Crash, another movie with interlocking stories. But he's not working with the same mold in this flick. And despite what some critics said, in the end, moviegoers will know what Third Person is all about and why Michael is writing in third person.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Hail Ceasar

Malcolm (James Clarke) and Caesar (Andy Serkis)

If there's anything scarier than a bad guy with a gun, it's a snarling ape with a gun.

And you'll see plenty of them in the the eighth Planet of the Apes movie. (In case you're wondering, the first was in 1968 and starred Charlton Heston.)

This sequel follows the 2011 film in which James Franco is a scientist, who adopts and educates a baby chimp he names Caesar. Now, Caesar is all grown up and the leader of the ape pack.

Alas, a virulent strain of  simian flu decimated the human population. One group of survivors lives in an apocalyptic San Francisco. They must go across the bay to rebuild a power plant. And Eeeeeee, that's where the apes live.

That's all the Movie Slut will give away. But she will say this was a terrific addition to the franchise and she's looking forward to the next installment in 2016.

Chef: More Is Less

Emjay Anthony with Jon Favreau, writer, director & star

Chef is a lot like the Olive Garden. It serves up quantity. Not quality.

Having said that, the flick mixes together a bunch of fine ingredients. Just too many of them.

It's a foodie movie, of course. It's also a family flick. It's also a road trip film. Those are the major ingredients. But then it adds a pinch of this, a sprinkle of that and a few garnishes. Slow cook for one hour and fifty-five minutes and serve with popcorn

There's lots to like in this earnest movie. Too bad you can't tell a waiter to "Hold the schmaltz."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow: And Tomorrow And Tomorrow

Loyal readers of this blog know the Movie Slut is a sucker for time-travel flicks. The genre grabbed her when she saw H.G. Wells's The Time Machine. And then there was the delightful Groundhog Day. More recently, she enjoyed the dopey Winter's Tale. Yeah, she is a major fan of skidding around the space/time continuum.

And in Edge of Tomorrow, the stakes could not be higher. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt can only save our planet by going back in time to change the past.

Come to think of it, the plot is not unlike Stephen King's inspired 11/22/63, a novel in which the protagonist attempts to alter history by thwarting President Kennedy's assassination.

It's all good fun. And that includes this new summer popcorn flick.

Ida: The Girl in the Gray Wimple

It's 1962 in Poland and a young woman, who grew up in a convent,  is about to take her vows. But before she does, the Mother Superior tells her she must visit her only living relative: her deceased mother's sister.

What Ida learns from her aunt is a startling story about the family she never knew. Will it affect her decision to become a bride of Christ?

You'll have to see this thoughtful, intriguing, heart-wrenching story to discover the answer. And once again, the Movie Slut warns against reading reviews that insist on giving away the whole story.