by Rebecca Kelley
Looking for a movie this weekend? Should you head out to your local theater or catch something at home with XFINITY On Demand? “Ticket or Click It” is here to break down the options. Click on the movie titles for more information about ordering On Demand or buying tickets through Fandango.
What’s On Demand?
You know the drill: Sexy young things decamp to a remote cabin in the spooky woods for a weekend of partying and then are shocked –shocked! – when something sinister starts stalking them. Except, in this film, that’s just the beginning. All sorts of other things happen that turn the run-of-the-mill slasher film on its head.
Our take: If you enjoy slasher films, you’ll really enjoy this one. It plays with every convention of the genre while still delivering a compelling movie and more than a few jolts. Between the jolts, there is lots of wicked humor and sly nods to horror films great and small.
Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria star in this true story. In 1930s Mexico, a dictator outlaws the Catholic Church. A band of freedom fighters arises, stocked with people willing to die for the right to worship as they please. Led by the freedom-loving atheist General Gorostieta (Garcia), they demand religious freedom. But the greatest moments belong to the priests and children who choose martyrdom over denying their faith.
Our take: This film will please Catholics with its unabashed portrayal of martyrs who were later elevated to Saints by the church. Unfortunately, a heavy-handed script means it doesn’t translate to the rest of us. If you’re looking to be religiously inspired, you cannot do better. If you’re looking for an excellent movie, this one falls a wee bit short.
What’s In Theaters?
Clint Eastwood is an old, crotchety scout for a Major League Baseball team. When his job is threatened, his semi-estranged daughter hits the road with him. She can fill in the gaps left by his weakening eyesight and, maybe, she can find some answers for her own life.
Our take: With a fairly run-of-the-mill script, this movie would be much worse without the superb acting of Amy Adams, Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake. The journey taken by the characters never wavers from the expected, but the cast sells it well. Plus, it’s always fun to see Eastwood in his “get off my lawn” mode.
Joaquin Phoenix plays a World War II vet completely consumed by his demons of drink and lust. When he comes across the mesmerizing leader (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) of a band of seekers, he is drawn in even as the teaching becomes more and more erratic. Amy Adams plays the leader’s relentless wife.
Our take: Joaquin Phoenix could not be better as a deeply disturbed loser. He slouches, laughs, cries and fights with complete abandon. He probably deserves an Oscar. Hoffman and Adams are fantastic, as usual. The visuals of the movie range from stunning to challenging. If that was all that was needed for a great film, there could be no doubt about “The Master” being great. Unfortunately, the movie suffers from a script that, while well written in its dialog, completely lacks any sort of storyline. The characters do not change internally or externally. The movie simply begins and then ends. Without that element, the film becomes a fantastically acted bore.
Things are dark in future America. A vast, sprawling city has neither law nor order. Criminals run amok. That is, unless they’re found by a Judge – part cop, part judge, part executioner. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is just such a man. And he aims to rid the city of a drug ring, even if he has to kill each and every citizen to do it.
Our take: For unexplained reasons, this film was not screened in my market. That’s a shame, because Twitter and the rest of the Interwebs are alive with talk of what an awesome movie it is. They’re never wrong, are they?
The setup is pretty basic: Two young L.A. cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena) cruise their beat –talking and mocking each other, and stopping to discover and confront crime. Along the way, they unknowingly become a thorn in the side of a Mexican Cartel. Then, all bets are off.
Our take: This movie is so much more than a buddy cop movie. Gyllenhaal and Pena have a nice chemistry together, which draws you in as things become increasingly dire for the partners. Gritty and violent, the movie plays like an homage to police that an actual police officer might watch.
Ticket or Click It?
Ticket! Skip “The Master” and catch “End of Watch.”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.