By Rebecca Kelley
How to spend a lazy Saturday or wind down a work day? With a movie of course! Is it better to watch something on XFINITY On Demand or head to your local theater? “Ticket or Click It” is here to help. Just click on the movie titles for more information about ordering On Demand or buying tickets easily through Fandango.
What’s On Demand?
Harold and Kumar have grown apart. Harold is now responsible, married, working and boring, while Kumar still sits around smoking pot all the time. When fate reunites the two, Kumar burns down Harold’s father-in-law’s sacred Christmas tree. So begins a quest to find a replacement tree that takes them through New York, midnight mass, a Russian mob party, a stoned toddler and other sundry adventures.
Our take: Moments in this film are spot-on, especially Neil Patrick Harris as a straight creeper who pretends to be a nice gay guy just to get girls naked. Other parts are, well, Harold and Kumar-ish. The movie plays with 3D tricks for comedic effect, so if you have a 3D TV, be sure to watch it in 3D.
Pretty much the opposite of “Harold & Kumar,” “The Way” tells the story of a grieving father (Martin Sheen) who finishes his deceased son’s (Emilio Estevez) pilgrimage. He travels the Camino del Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route through France and Spain. As he walks the path, he meets other people who are seeking an answer to life in the most ancient of practices, even as their modern, cynical minds second-guess it every step of the way.
Our take: Without being overly sentimental or preachy, this film by Estevez and Sheen, themselves son and father, explores the mystery of faith in a modern age. When everything seems rational, and yet nothing makes sense, sometimes you have to step out in faith and do the irrational thing. Like walk a pilgrimage route. This is a quiet, well-acted and subtly profound movie. Highly recommended.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (On Demand starting 2/11)
Bella Swan finally marries her sparkly, undead boyfriend. Even as they begin to experience lifelong bliss, problems rear their fanged heads. Bella is pregnant and there ain’t nobody who likes the idea. Daddy Edward doesn’t want to risk her life. The wolf pack senses danger and must stop it. And those pesky Italian vampires, the Volturi, can’t let a human/vamp hybrid enter the world. Be aware… this is just part one.
Our take: Ah, Bella, Bella, at last you show some spunk, protecting your unborn child. It’s a wan, skinny, lifeless spunk, yet spunk nonetheless. If only you stood up for yourself more and bounced that semi-abusive Edward, I’d like you more.
What’s In Theaters?
Ryan Reynolds is a bored, low level CIA agent in South Africa until he gets the break of a lifetime. A rogue agent (Denzel Washington) named, improbably, Tobin Frost, has been apprehended. Things go terribly wrong, as they so often do, and the poor lowly spy has to fight the legendary Foster, as well as the evil underbelly of the CIA.
Our take: You’ve seen this movie before. Many times before. But Reynolds and Washington do such a good job that you don’t really mind. As twist piles upon twist, and surprises emerge again and again, it all gets to be a bit too much. The movie works, but barely – and only because Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are such pros.
It’s the age-old story: Boy meets girl. Boy wins girl. Girl gets bonked on the head and forgets boy. Boy sets out to win girl all over again. What? That’s not an age-old story? This is based on a true story and stars Rachel McAdams (as the girl) and Channing Tatum (as the boy).
Our take: It’s weepy and sweet and just about as cheesy as can be. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. If you’re looking for a good, romantic Valentine’s Day saga, this is it. It is love with a capital L and romance in all caps. Like this: ROMANCE.
A young Obi-Wan Kenobi escorts the lovely Queen Amidala as she tries to avert war by making a trade agreement between nations. Instead, she meets her destiny in the form of Anakin Skywalker, whose own destiny is tied up with the Sith.
Our take: Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away a man released a sequel to the most popular franchise in history that was also a prequel. And, lo, it did not measure up to the beloved original, which was also a sequel. And so, the man, who was named George of the Lucas, did take the sequel that was also a prequel and he did remaster it in 3D and thus, he rereleased it to the world. In truth, however, none of the 3D-ness in the universe could make the sequel that was also a prequel as good as the original, which was also a sequel.
A teen (Josh Hutcherson) and his beefy stepfather (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) solve the age-old mystery of Jules Verne’s mysterious island. Accompanied by a pretty girl (Vanessa Hudgens) and her helicopter-pilot father (Luis Guzman), they crash on the island where elephants are tiny, bees are huge and Atlantis is preparing to sink into the Earth all over again.
Our take: This movie works despite all the silly effects and questionable science, because Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has developed into a leading man who fills the screen. Whether he’s doing the pec-pop-of-love or bickering with Michael Caine (as the grandfather), his easy banter and self-deprecating humor is just fun to watch. The adventure scenes are duly adventurous, but Johnson and Cane make the movie come alive. It’s better than you’d expect.
Ticket or Click It?
Click It! Leave all the “meh” movies for the one truly excellent choice this week – “The Way.” Of course, I know y’all will be watching “Twilight.” Oh well.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.