by Rebecca Kelley
In tribute to writer and director Nora Ephron, who died this week, should you check out a movie on XFINITY On Demand or head to your local theater after you watch “Sleepless in Seattle”? We’re here to break down the options. Click on the movie titles to see more information about ordering On Demand or buying tickets through Fandango. And, Nora, in your honor, we’re having what she’s having.
What’s On Demand?
The Snow White story in all its classic glory. When the evil stepmother takes over the kingdom, she sends the huntsman to kill the princess Snow White. But he frees the girl instead and leaves her to find a tribe of outlaw dwarves in the forest.
Our take: Visually beautiful, with lovely costumes, this movie is quite good. It’s a fresh take on the old story, lovingly made for little girls. It has none of the hard edge of the Kristen Stewart version in theaters now.
A silent movie star is the talk of Hollywood until a new technology edges him out. With the “talkies” craze hitting theaters, who needs the silent stars anymore? Only, perhaps, one of his young fans, who is on the way to fame herself.
Our take: This sweet, funny story is surprisingly engaging, given that it is almost entirely a silent film. There is music in the background, but no dialogue or ambient sounds. Somehow, through facial expressions and gestures, you know exactly what the characters are saying and who they are on the inside. I suppose they’re right when they say communication is only 10% verbal.
Two bumbling cops go undercover to bust a high school drug ring. One is a former jock and one is a former nerd, but they’re both shocked to find the rules of high school have completely changed.
Our take: This is how to revive a franchise. With a wink and a nod, and more than a little hilarious commentary on the ’80s and now, this movie is way better than it has any right to be. Channing Tatum is actually funny and Jonah Hill remains his hilarious self. Add in a few fantastic cameos, and it’s a nearly flawless movie.
The inexplicable sequel to “Clash of the Titans,” this film continues the war between the Greek gods and the semi-divine Titans, with half-human, half-god Perseus (Sam Worthington) caught in the middle.
Our take: I’m gonna level with you. I saw this movie. I even reviewed it. I don’t remember the plot or any particular scenes. That should tell you something.
What’s in Theaters?
Woody Allen tries to recapture the European magic of “Midnight in Paris” with a trip to Rome. One couple finds romance in the arms of others. An American man relives his wild Roman youth. An American couple meets their daughter’s fiancée and his family. And an ordinary guy becomes the object of paparazzi adoration.
Our take: Parts of this movie are shockingly amateur, with stilted dialog and poor acting. Other parts are bizarre, with a weird blend of magical realism and ordinary realism that makes no sense. Yet other parts are trite and stock, which feels like Woody Allen’s bag of tricks rehashed. Still others – but sadly few in number – are fresh and funny and wonderful. This is not Woody Allen’s best work. Not by a long shot.
John (Mark Wahlberg) got a wish granted as a kid: His teddy bear came to life (voice of Seth MacFarlane). Then they both grew up. And the bear is still there.
Our take: You know how humor has gotten cruder and cruder, pushing the limits to shock and make us laugh with its grossness? Well, turns out you can do that even more with a stuffed bear. Who knew? Very, very crude and very, very funny.
A young man (Alex Pettyfer) comes into a strip club with a dream in his heart: To find greatness within himself and to dance for women in (and out) of a sparkly codpiece. He finds a mentor in Mike (Channing Tatum), who’s found the Zen of stripping and is happy to share the secret. Together, they let it all hang out for the ladies.
Our take: Neither a seedy drama nor a preachy affair, this film treats the world of male stripping with a light hand. There are lots of sweaty torsos and lots of excellent dancing, but no apologies or wallowing either. If you’re into light dramadies about male strippers, you’ll like it. It’s a rather narrow market, though. Most women would rather have a nice bowl of chocolate ice cream and watch “When Harry Met Sally.”
Ticket or Click it?
Click it! There are lots of good options this week, but it’s your chance to finally check out the Oscar winner, “The Artist.”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.