Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases for 7/29/11
Cowboys and Aliens (PG-13)
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Expect a little bit of “Rango,” a little bit of “Westworld,” and little bit of “War of the Worlds” (the George Pal version) when an amnesiac stranger finds himself on a dusty street in old New Mexico Territory. Cliches abound and tongues are firmly planted in the cheeks not filled with chewing tobacco as the film’s title becomes reality. A lot of my fellow critics panned this film, but if you’ve got enough popcorn, soda and candy, it will take you back to the feel of an old-fashioned Saturday Matinee. Not a great movie, but enjoyable.
2 and 1/2 pieces of these aliens are from outer space toast
The Smurfs (PG)
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria and the voices of: George Lopez, Jonathan Winters, Paula Kay Perry, Katy Perry, Fred Amison
Directed by: Raja Gosnell
I actually thought Jonathan Winters had died years ago, but he voices Papa Smurf and joins the other blueberry-hued critters Grouchy and Brainy and the unnamed Smurfette in a 3-D driven homage to a kinder gentler time before the Smurfs had to contend with this weak script and some over-acting humans. Wait for the video, then let the kids watch it without you. You won’t miss a thing, but will gain an hour and 42 minutes of time to do something for your soul.
1 and 1/2 pieces of uninspired but generally sweet toast
Crazy, Stupid Love (PG-13)
Starring: Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Recqua
Steve Carrel’s pleasant enough life is suddenly turned topsy-turvy when he discovers his wife is having an affair and wants a divorce. Floundering in the dating world of today, he gets advice from a well-known womanizer, help from a new haircut, and some great clothes and tries hard to appreciate the females that literally fall in his lap while still missing being married to someone he loves.
3 pieces of Steve Carrell rules! toast
Starring: Craig Roberts, Yasmine Page, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine
Directed by: Richard Ayoade
Wearing the dark-colored school uniforms de-rigeur, angst-filled Welsh teen-agers cope with their burgeoning sexuality (and that of their parents) in novel and anarchic ways. The girl is a pyromaniac, the boy’s life is made up of cliches learned from American TV shows, and the two of them have sex to cross it off their respective “To Do” lists. Reminiscent of other films (i.e. “Gregory’s Girl,” and “Rushmore”), this one still has a core all it’s own, and the parents, (played by Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) make it memorable.
3 pieces of of Welsh coming-of-age toast
NEW ON DVD
Source Code (PG-13)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhall, Vera Farmiga, Michael Arden, Michelle Monaghan
Directed by: Duncan Jones
This week’s physics-bending, paranoid thriller starts aboard a Chicago-bound commuter train a few minutes before it is destroyed by a terrorist bomb. A passenger wakes up surprised to be onboard and becomes agitated and confused when a beautiful stranger starts talking to him like she has known him a long time. It seems he has volunteered for a military experiment where he can go back in time and replace someone for the last eight minutes of their life. He has replaced the terrorist, and like “Groundhog Day” he keeps going back over and over again until the outcome is a positive one. The woman, however, is a complication. He falls in love with her and wants to save her life which may mess up other things in the future.
3 pieces of the laws of physics don’t apply toast
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (PG-13)
Starring: Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Taye Diggs, Peter Stormare
Directed by: Kevin Munroe
Based upon a 1986 Italian comic book, a New Orleans-based paranormal investigator and his undead assistant load their weapons with silver and wood-tipped bullets to battle the nightmarish creatures who populate the dark and damp back alleyways of the French Quarter. Fans of the comic book hated it in theaters and vow to boycott it on video.
1/2 piece of don’t spend a cent on this film toast