Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
Films Opening 7/26/13
Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (NR)
Starring: Michael Cera, Gaby Hofman, Juan Andrea Silva, Jose Miguel Silva, Agustin Silva
Directed By: Sebastian Silva
An American in search of a psychedelic cactus soup hires a driver to ferry him through the Chilean countryside. Two brothers come along for the ride, and on the way, they encounter a sky-clad, American hippie girl on her own quest. The freewheeling style of all involved makes for a multi-layered “good trip.”
3 and 1/2 pieces of talented toast
The Smurfs 2 (PG)
Starring: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris,Brendan Gleason and the voices of: Katy Perry, Chritina Ricci, Jonathan Winters, Alan Cumming, George Lopez, Anton Yelcihin, John Oliver
Directed By: Raja Gosnell
This feeble attempt to rake in some bucks from parents desperate to find a late summer movie to park their youngsters in before school starts, is just plain dull. Forget the nasty kinkiness of a magician who kidnaps ,imprisons and tortures little blue girls to extract their Smurf Essence, only the magician’s CG cat is fresh and lively.
1 and 1/2 pieces of Smurfly dullness toast
Directed By: Gabriella Cowperthwaite
Orcas are commonly known as killer whales for a reason, so the headline-grabbing stories of the multi-ton carnivore occasionally killing their human trainers shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. But it does. In this documentary expose, we learn that marine parks like Sea World sell more stuffed toys when families believe Orcas are cuddly friendly creatures who like swimming around and around in a little cement swimming pool instead of a seal devouring killing machine roaming free in the world’s oceans. We also learn (surprise ,surprise) that captivity greatly reduces the life-span of Orcas, and even more quickly (based on the graphic video footage) reduces the lifespans of their trainers.
3 pieces of killer whales aren’t toy-like toast
Dirty Wars (NR)
Directed By: Richard Rowley
This warts and all documentary follows journalist Jeremy Scahill as he reports on the depressingly familiar tale of American forces secretly sanctioned to kill people in foreign lands just because we can. The soldiers are an post-9/11 elite unit called the Joint Special Operations Command, and they report directly to the President of the United States—first Bush, now Obama.
3 pieces of it’s not quite like Zero Dark Thirty portrayed toast
2 Guns (R)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, James Marsdon, Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos, Fred Ward, Paula Patton.
Directed By: Baltasar Komakur
The plot is a confusing tale of double-crosses and triple-crosses in this cordite and plasma-fueled testosterone pumping film. To prove all this macho-posturing doesn’t have a “gay agenda,” the captured female DEA agent is quickly stripped naked.
1 and 1/2 pieces of ugh toast
Starring: Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel, Sam Worthington, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Robyn Malcolm
Directed By: Ben Nott, Morgan O’Neill
There’s a surfing revolution brewing in Western Australia circa 1972—the short board. A pair of brothers fall for the Hawaiian girl who arrives with a short board under her arm and photographer in tow. Just add water and voila—a low-key, very predictable story of boards, beer, boys, girls and surfing evolves—lots and lots of surfing.
2 and 1/2 pieces down under surf toast
NEW DVD RELEASES
Filly Brown (R)
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jennie Rivera, Edward James Olmos
Directed By: Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos
This story of a talented Latina who aspires to lifting herself out of her hard-scrabble life through her musical ability has been portrayed before with different ethnicities and musical styles. Propelled by fine acting, great singing, and a realistic ambiance, the formula still works. The “tattoos as a way to make money, demand respect and reflect self-identity” sub-plot is fresh and well-played too.
3 pieces of see it for the breakout performance by Gina Rodriguez toast
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (R)
Starring: Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, RZA, Jonathan Pryce
Directed By: Jon Chu
Snake Eyes and Jinx return to the big screen to battle the ninja-warriors of COBRA in an attempt to replace POTUS with an impostor in this wants-to-be-louder-than-Transformers movie. But it is wrestler-turned actor Dwayne Johnson who resurrects a dying movie franchise from death by shrinking box-office. The man formerly known as The Rock, adroitly turns a minor character named Roadblock, into the only guy we watch and the one we miss when he’s offscreen. Even so, it’s a movie best left to the youngsters of all ages who like this type of popcorn-fueled frenzy.
2 pieces of yet another action-hero sequel toast