Film capsules, May 16
Summaries and mini-reviews of movies playing now, from e3 magazine:
- AMC = AMC Village Mall, Danville.
- ART = The Art Theater, Champaign
- HAR = Harvest Moon drive-in, Gibson City
- NOR = The Normal Theater, Normal
- ONA = The Onarga Theater, Onarga
- PRI = Princess Theatre, LeRoy
- SAV = Savoy 16, Savoy
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP. (Opens Friday). Robert Redford directs and stars in this intriguing drama about a man whose past comes back to haunt him and must go on the run to clear his name. The filmmaker assembles an impressive cast, including Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Stanley Tucci and Chris Cooper among others, while youngster Shia LaBeouf holds his own as a reporter trying to uncover the truth about past events that haunt a group of people who simply want to live their lives in peace. Solid and well-acted, this is the sort of adult drama that's rarely made anymore. 3 stars (Chuck Koplinski). 121 minutes. Rated R. ART.
THE CROODS. This surprising animated feature follows the trials of Eep (voice by Emma Stone), a teenage cave girl who's trying to free herself from her overprotective father (Nicolas Cage). She gets the chance when their home is destroyed in an earthquake and the family is forced to trust a newcomer (Ryan Reynolds) who can lead them to safety. Though the film could use some trimming, its 3-D visuals are among some of the best yet done and its focus on the importance of being able to adapt to survive is well-told and poignant. 3 stars (Chuck Koplinski). 98 minutes. Rated PG. SAV.
FAST & FURIOUS 6. (Opens Thursday, May 23). Agent Luke Hobbs enlists Dominic Toretto and his team to bring down former Special Ops soldier Owen Shaw, leader of a unit specializing in vehicular warfare. (Internet Movie Database). 130 minutes. Rated PG-13. SAV.
FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF (1986). (Thursday, May 23). Matthew Broderick as Ferris, a bright high school senior from the North Shore who fakes an illness so he can spend a day in town with his girlfriend, Sloane, and his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck). 103 minutes. Rated PG-13. HAR.
FOOTLOOSE (1984). (Thursday, May 23). A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace. (Internet Movie Database). 107 minutes Rated PG. HAR.
42. Writer-director Brian Helgeland's noble biography of baseball great Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is a bit uneven structurally, but there's no denying that this is a moving and heartfelt tribute to the man who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Though the film does contain its share of corny moments, Helgeland doesn't let them eclipse the movie's theme. Boseman is quite good as is Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. 3 stars (Chuck Koplinski). 120 minutes. Rated PG-13. SAV.
THE GREAT GATSBY. Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the seminal American classic is an ambitious, flawed marvel that adheres closely to F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, though the director's grandiose style sometimes tramples on the author's subtle tone. Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the title role of the mysterious millionaire who transforms himself in order to win back Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). There's an undeniable energy to the film and the cast, in particular Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway and Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan, is impressive. Unfortunately, Luhrmann's overwrought style trumps the substance of Fitzgerald's work at times, making for an uneven but still watchable effort. 3 stars (Chuck Koplinski). Rated PG-13. 143 minutes. AMC, SAV.
HANGOVER PART III. (Wednesday). This time, there's no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off. (Internet Movie Database). 110 minutes. Rated R. SAV.
IRON MAN 3. Marvel Films' first misstep finds Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) on the run from a maniacal terrorist (Ben Kingsley) with a vendetta against him while he tries to deal with post-traumatic stress syndrome stemming from the events in "The Avengers." The film, as directed by screenwriter Shane Black, is a scattered affair that never builds up a full head of steam while it lacks the sense of fun that buoyed the first two entries in the series. Equally troubling are the many lapses in logic contained in the screenplay, which become too numerous to ignore. 2 stars (Chuck Koplinski). 130 minutes. Rated PG-13. AMC, HAR, ONA, SAV.
NO. (Opens Monday). A 2013 Oscar nominee (best foreign-language feature), "No" stars Gael Garcia Bernal as an ad executive who comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile's 1988 referendum. "Take the backroom political machinations of 'Lincoln,' add in the showbiz sleight of hand of 'Argo,' and you'll get something like 'No,' a cunning and richly enjoyable combination of high-stakes drama and media satire from Chilean director Pablo Larrain." 4 stars (Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail). 118 minutes. Rated R. ART.
OBLIVION. Though director Joseph Kosinski has fashioned a visually dynamic film, the story at the center of this dystopian epic is nothing more than an amalgam of plot points borrowed from other movies. Tom Cruise plays a futuristic repairman whose job it is to keep an army of drones repaired on Earth, which has been left ravaged by a group of aliens that has been repelled. Nothing is quite as it seems, and as the truth about the aliens is slowly revealed, the film feels less and less dynamic. Cruise and Morgan Freeman as a fellow survivor of the invasion deliver the sort of solid work we've come to expect from them. 2 stars (Chuck Koplinski). 126 minutes. Rated PG-13. PRI, SAV.
OLDBOY (2003). (Starts Friday). From Park Chan-Wook comes "Oldboy," a beautiful and deranged neo-noir with elements of Greek tragedy. Don't miss this acclaimed dark masterpiece! "Anguished, beautiful and desperately alive, Oldboy is a dazzling work of pop-culture artistry." (Stephanie Zacharek, Salon). 120 minutes. Rated R. ART.
PAIN AND GAIN. Michael Bay's account of perhaps the worst kidnapping scheme ever committed is tailor-made for his hyperactive, kinetic style as the film contains characters that are larger than life and situations that dictate they be rendered in a hyper-realistic manner. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie are three dimwitted bodybuilders who abduct a Florida businessman (Anthony Shalhoub) and try to extort his riches from him. The ineptitude these three display has to be seen to be believed, and though the film gets rather dark, it's such an engaging tale, you have to see it through to the end. 3 stars (Chuck Koplinski) 129 minutes. Rated R. AMC, SAV.
PEEPLES. A good-natured children's entertainer crashes his girlfriend's family weekend in the Hamptons to finally meet her imperious father and win his approval. With Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington and David Alan Grier. Written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism. (Los Angeles Times). 95 minutes. Rated PG-13. AMC, SAV.
THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES. This fascinating documentary follows the efforts of a wealthy couple to build an elaborate replica of the mansion at Versailles only to have this dream shattered when the economic collapse of 2008 occurs. Instead of holding David and Jaqueline Siegel in disdain, the viewer ends up sympathizing with them as we see them scramble to hold onto their piece of American Dream before it slips away from them, one missed mortgage payment at a time. 3 stars (Chuck Koplinski). Rated PG. 100 minutes. NOR.
A ROYAL AFFAIR. (Starts Thursday, May 23). Director Nikolaj Arcel's historical epic about the mad Danish King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Foelsgaard), his radical physician Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) and the queen (Alicia Vikander) who helps bring about radical reform is an engaging, sweeping epic that is far more a political statement than a bodice-ripping melodrama as the title would suggest. Gripping from the start and brisk in execution, this export is surprisingly timely in what it has to say about government and those who would dictate our lives. 3 stars (Chuck Koplinski). 137 minutes. Rated R. NOR.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew. (The Film Stage). 123 minutes. Rated PG-13. AMC, HAR, SAV.
STOKER. (Opens Friday). The first English-language film from cult Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook stars Nicole Kidman in a creepy family mystery. "'Stoker' is Park's darkly funny, deliciously depraved riff on Hitchcock's 'Shadow of a Doubt,' in which a young girl bonds with her serial-killer uncle. ... Take 'Stoker' for what it is: a thriller of savage beauty." 3 stars (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Reviews). 96 minutes. Rated R. ART.