As a film critic and natural lover of cinema, I see a lot of movies. In doing so, I can help others avoid some of the bad ones on the market and steer their hard working cash into the right theater. If they are at home, I can help them not waste their time, because sometimes that’s as bad as a movie burning a hole in your wallet. Here, I will present what to AVOID in theaters, on demand, on DVD or soon to be released. Take it or leave it.
Vacation(November 3rd on DVD)
Don’t waste your time on this film because it’s plain stupid and the laughs run out. Ed Helms is the Griswold patriarch trying to enliven his family by taking them to Wally World and the truth is I didn’t make it through this film. There comes a time where the light shining outside the theater is worth exploring more than the cinematic world you are sitting in. The old National Lampoon films were glorious and wickedly fresh. Instead of dishing Chevy Chase a cameo here, they should have sent seniors on a road trip. They were funny. This is not. Unless you adore Chris Hemsworth, who has a cameo, skip this one.
Selfless(November 10th on DVD, now playing On Demand)
Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley swap bodies. No, this is not a drill but a real life movie idea that got green-lit because hundreds of people needed work. Kingsley is an old rich guy who is dying and wants to stick around so he takes the body of Reynolds and likes it a bit at first before predictable side effects enter. Suddenly, halfway through, an action film breaks out and the film tries to tie a bow on things at the end instead of being remotely edgy. Do yourself a favor and watch Reynolds’ other new flick, Mississippi Grind instead.
Tomorrowland(available On Demand and DVD)
George Clooney and the director of The Incredibles!!! What could go wrong? The reveal is a lot. The early hype on this fantasy space land, aliens, and superpowers starts off intriguing enough and has a few dazzling action sequences but in the end when the big reveal happens, it’s flat and bland. My wife fell asleep and I picked up my phone and checked college football scores and I don’t even like college football. Clooney and a young girl team up to escape to this magical place where dreams come true and there’s an ultimate meaning to it all and…well I just yawned. Moving on.
Paper Towns(available On Demand and on DVD)
The writer of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green, penned this tale about a shy kid who falls for the wild girl who suddenly runs away, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for loverboy to follow. Nat Wolff is a compelling 20 year old actor and Cara Delevingne is a edgy enough cohort with killer eyes, but the supporting ingredients lack real juice. The kid’s friends are a drag played by bad actors, belonging on a Nickelodeon series and not a feature film. The chase across the country isn’t exciting and the ultimate message about the end of innocence is as tired as a McDonalds commercial. Skip it and watch Fault instead.
Knock Knock(On Demand and In Theaters)
Eli Roth torturing Keanu Reeves didn’t sound cool or nice in the trailer and premise and the execution didn’t prove my initial theory wrong. This is a movie about a happy husband and father who is alone one rainy evening before a couple of mysterious pretty women show up at his door. When he lets them in, the audience knows bad things will happen. The ensuing torture sessions, intentional yet irritating humor and terrible performances plays like a bad joke from a respected horror mind in Roth. Reaves just got back on his horse playing John Wick and doesn’t help his cause here. He is bad and so is the rest of this trashy flick.
That’s it. If you need a movie to see in theaters, check out The Walk or The Martian. If you are staying at home, check out Fury Road or Pitch Perfect 2. Until next time, enjoy your next flick.