GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

November 7, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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A&E | SHORT TAKES intellectual challenges as he can within the structure of a crowd-pleasing action movie. –JB Theaters: AL, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS Enough Said AAABC Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener. Directed by Nicole Holofcener. 93 minutes. Rated PG-13. The latest from writer-director Holofcener stars Louis-Dreyfus as a masseuse who starts dating a man (Gandolfini) and massaging/befriending his ex-wife (Keener) without telling either one that she knows the other. It's a gentle, wise comedy trapped in the body of a broad, dumb comedy, but all of the actors—especially Gandolfini— are superb. –MD Theaters: GVR, ST, VS Escape Plan AABCC Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel. Directed by Mikael Håfström. 116 minutes. Rated R. Twenty-five years ago, an action movie teaming Stallone and Schwarzenegger as inmates trying to break out of the world's most secure prison would have been the box office event of the year. But Escape Plan is mostly a dumb, sloppy thriller that probably would have been a disappointment even in 1988. –JB Theaters: AL, BS, CH, COL, FH, ORL, PAL, SC, SF, TX The Fifth Estate AACCC Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Anthony Mackie. Directed by Bill Condon. 128 minutes. Rated R. Despite a solid performance by Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, this docudrama about the WikiLeaks scandal fails to illuminate, mostly because it hopes that bombarding the audience with choppily edited, techno-scored information will make up for its lack of any cogent viewpoint. –MD Theaters: VS Free Birds AACCC Voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler. Directed by Jimmy Hayward. 91 minutes. Rated PG. This chaotic and yet empty animated movie follows two turkeys as they travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to prevent turkeys from becoming the go-to holiday meal. With its muddled historical allegory, strained humor and bland visual style, Free Birds is on par with a forgettable TV holiday special. –JB Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, TS, TX Gravity AAAAC Sandra Bullock, George Clooney. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. 90 minutes. Rated PG-13. From the moment that two astronauts (Bullock, Clooney) receive an urgent message that flying debris is headed their way, Cuarón keeps the suspense at a breathless level for nearly the entire running time. As a story of survival, Gravity is nearly unparalleled, although some sappy backstory-illuminating speeches threaten to undermine the intensity. –JB Theaters: AL, BS, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, TS, TX Grown Ups 2 CCCCC Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade. Directed by Dennis Dugan. 101 minutes. Rated PG-13. This plotless sequel may be the laziest Hollywood movie of all time, with the male stars playing barely concealed versions of themselves (rich Hollywood layabouts) and the actresses playing interchangeable wives. The overall impression of this movie is contempt: for women, for alternative sexuality, and most importantly for the audience itself. –JB Theaters: ST, TC Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa AAACC Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll. Directed by Jeff Tremaine. 92 minutes. Rated R. Far from genius, or even coherence, the latest from the Jackass crew provides a very loose plot upon which to hang its tricks, jokes and stunts. In this road/bonding movie, 86-year-old Irving Zisman (Knoxville) and 8-year-old grandson Billy (Nicoll) provide some heart as well as a few moments of Borat-like satire. –JMA Theaters: AL, CAN, CH, DI, FH, GVL, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS Krrish 3 (Not reviewed) Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi. Directed by Rakesh Roshan. 152 minutes. Not rated. In Hindi with English subtitles. A superhero is called back into action to defeat an evil genius. Theaters: VS Last Vegas AACCC Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline. Directed by Jon Turteltaub. 105 minutes. Rated PG-13. Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline play a quartet of old friends who head to Las Vegas for the quickie wedding of Douglas' character. The Vegas scenes are shot like an LVCVA commercial, but with less creativity, and the Vegas clichés compete with the old-age clichés for the title of most obvious. –JB Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, TS, TX Lee Daniels' The Butler AAACC Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo. Directed by Lee Daniels. 132 minutes. Rated PG-13. Whitaker plays a White House butler who observes the civil rights movement through the eyes of multiple presidents, as well as his own son (Oyelowo), who marches with Martin Luther King Jr. It's a clumsy, maudlin film, but at least it shows that there might be a useful context for Daniels' overheated, punishing style. –MD Theaters: VS Monsters University AAACC Voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren. Directed by Dan Scanlon. 102 minutes. Rated G. It's a mostly pleasant, if familiar and predictable, story, set at a time when Monsters, Inc. main characters Mike (Crystal) and Sully (Goodman) were college rivals. There aren't any surprises in the plot, but, as usual for a Pixar production, the details are fantastic. –JB Theaters: TC Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters AABCC Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith. Directed by Thor Freudenthal. 106 minutes. Rated PG. This is a thoroughly second-rate franchise, and its latest installment features a rote storyline about teen demigod Percy (Lerman) and his friends on a quest to find the mythical golden fleece and save the world. The special effects are adequate, the life lessons are family-friendly, and the characters are blandly likable. –JB Theaters: ST, VS, TC Planes ABCCC Voices of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett. Directed by Klay Hall. 92 minutes. Rated PG. This spinoff of the Cars series, which tells the story of a cropduster (voiced by Cook) who follows his dream of competing in an around-the-world airplane race, is dull, lifeless and predictable, with a cast full of forgettable characters distinguished mostly by their exuberant embrace of ethnic stereotypes. –JB Theaters: DI, TC Prisoners AACCC Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. 146 minutes. Rated R. Prisoners tediously lays out every detail of the increasingly despairing efforts to find two missing young girls in a Pennsylvania suburb. The relentlessly downbeat movie takes itself incredibly seriously, but the last hour reveals it as nothing more than a cheap thriller with some pseudo-philosophical nonsense tacked on. –JB Theaters: ST, VS Pulling Strings (Not reviewed) Jaime Camil, Omar Chaparro, Laura Ramsey. Directed by Pedro Pablo Ibarra. 112 minutes. Rated PG. An American diplomat and a Mexican mariachi fall in love in Mexico City. Theaters: ST Riddick AACCC Vin Diesel, Matt Nable, Jordi Molla. Directed by David Twohy. 119 minutes. Rated R. Intergalactic fugitive/ badass Riddick (Diesel) returns in a poorly paced, generic action movie with cheap-looking special effects. The plot is largely a retread of original Riddick movie Pitch Black, set on a barren, inhospitable planet populated by deadly creatures, where Riddick must fight and/or team up with a group of one-dimensional space mercenaries. –JB Theaters: ST R.I.P.D. AACCC Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon. Directed by Robert Schwentke. 96 minutes. Rated PG-13. A mismatched pair of undead police officers track down fugitives from the afterlife in this perfunctory Men in Black ripoff. Bridges makes for an amusing curmudgeon, but otherwise the performances are unimpressive, the effects and design work are ugly, and the plot is a bunch of tossed-off nonsense. –JB Theaters: TC Runner Runner AABCC Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Ben Affleck. Directed by Brad Furman. 91 minutes. Rated R. Timberlake plays a college student who's lured into the employ of a shady businessman (Affleck) after being cheated on the guy's online poker site. But where Rounders (from the same screenwriters) made illegal gambling seem exciting, this disappointing follow-up merely uses that world as a generic backdrop for its moldy thriller template. –MD Theaters: SC Rush AABCC Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde. Directed by Ron Howard. 123 minutes. Rated R. The racing scenes are the strongest elements of Howard's otherwise bland Rush, based on the real 1970s rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Brühl). Their attempts to defeat each other behind the wheel are often suspenseful, but the depiction of their off-track lives is mostly generic. –JB Theaters: GVR, SC The Saratov Approach (Not reviewed) Corbin Allred, Maclain Nelson, Nikita Bogolyubov. Directed by Garrett Batty. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13. Two Mormon missionaries are kidnapped and held for ransom while serving in Russia. Theaters: ST She's the One (Not reviewed) Bea Alonzo, Dingdong Dantes, Enrique Gil. Directed by Mae Czarina Cruz. 110 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. A morning show host realizes what he wants when his best friend turns out to be the subject of a romantic viral video. Theaters: VS Turbo AACCC Voices of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña. Directed by David Soren. 96 minutes. Rated PG. A snail acquires magical speed powers and attempts to race the Indy 500 in this dull, predictable animated kids' movie. Ironically, the plot moves at a snail's pace, while the characters are bland and the life lessons are obvious. –JB Theaters: TC Wadjda AAAAC Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani. Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour. 98 minutes. Rated PG. In Arabic with English subtitles. The first movie from Saudi Arabia ever directed by a woman, Wadjda deftly balances its social and political significance with a tender, entertaining and beautifully told story. Rather than a dour examination of oppression, it's a sweet and ultimately heartwarming coming-of-age story about the 11-yearold title character. –JB Theaters: VS We Are the Nobles (Not reviewed) Gonzalo Vega, Karla Souza, Luis Gerardo Méndez. Directed by Gary Alazraki. 108 minutes. Rated PG-13. In Spanish with English subtitles. Three spoiled children are cut off from their family fortune and forced to do the unthinkable—get a job. Theaters: TS We're the Millers AACCC Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. 110 minutes. Rated R. Four small-time criminals pose as a wholesome family on vacation in order to smuggle a massive shipment of marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border. Things, of course, do not go as planned, and while that sometimes leads to amusing misunderstandings, it more often leads to disingenuous lesson-learning and emotional bonding. –JB Theaters: TC > TOO OLD FOR THIS The aging stars of Last Vegas. JMA Jeffrey M. Anderson; JB Josh Bell; MD Mike D'Angelo NOVEMBER 7–13, 2013 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM 50-51_Short_Takes_20131107.indd 51 51 11/6/13 1:38 PM

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