I saw "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
" last week, and I really enjoyed it
. Apparently among critics I was in the minority on that one. The film certainly wasn't perfect, but I didn't think it was nearly as bad as people were saying.
The surprising thing for me though, was how divided people's opinions were about it. For the most part I found that people who viewed the film fell into two camps: those that loved it and those that hated it. I didn't really encounter a many people who fell in between.
July starts out a bit slow this week with "Public Enemies," "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," and "I Hate Valentine's Day" opening in theaters.
During the Great Depression, bank robber John Dillinger was an American folk hero. Dillinger's charisma and his daring jailbreaks made him idolized by Americans, who had little sympathy for the banks he robbed. J. Edgar Hoover, exploited Dillinger's fame as a criminal, declaring him Public Enemy Number One, and using his capture as a chance to turn his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force known as the FBI.
"Public Enemies" tells the story of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp
) and his rival FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale
). Purvis, who was known as the "Clark Gable of the FBI," was tasked by J. Edgar Hoover with capturing Dillinger's gang and putting an end to their crime spree.Michael Mann
, the person responsible for 2006's "Miami Vice
," writes, directs, and produces "Public Enemies." The film, which is also co-written by Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman, takes inspiration from the Bryan Burrough book Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34. SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
See it. I've never been a huge fan of Michael Mann's movies, but I do love Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. You can always count on Depp to give a deeply nuanced performance no matter what character he is playing. Admittedly Christian Bale's performance in "Terminator Salvation
" was nothing to write home about, but I'm confident he will bounce back with "Public Enemies."
In this third installment of the animated "Ice Age" franchise, mammoths Manny (Ray Romano
) and Ellie (Queen Latifah
) are about to have a baby, while the sloth Sid (John Leguizamo
) tries to start his own unusual family. When Sid gets into trouble, his friends Manny, Ellie, Diego, and Scrat all jump into action on a mission to save him. Along the way, the team discovers a strange variety of dinosaurs, plants, and animals.
Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier, the two men behind the previous two "Ice Age" movies, return to co-direct this film. "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" features the voice talents of returning characters played Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, John Lequizamo, Denis Leary
, and Chris Wedge, as well as a new character voiced by Simon Pegg
. SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
Skip it. Basically unless you are a parent or a kid, you don't have any good reason to see this film. I haven't seen the previous "Ice Age" movies so I can't base my advice on those, but other than celebrity voices, nothing in the trailer made this animated comedy appeal to me. "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" strikes me as just another sequel to a popular CG film without any new compelling ideas for the characters or the story, released simply because Hollywood knows audiences will go see it.
New York City florist, Genevieve (Nia Vardalos
), has her own set of rules when it comes to the dating game. She only goes on five dates with a man, so that she never gets hurt. After she meets Greg (John Corbett
), a good looking and funny restaurant owner, Genevieve is forced to confront her rules and decide whether a chance at true love is worth breaking them.
"I Hate Valentine's Day" is actress Nia Vardalos' second romantic comedy to be released this summer. Vardalos directs the film and co-writes it with Stephen David and Ben Zook. This is the first movie to reunite Vardalos with her co-star John Corbett from 2002's "My Big Fat Greek Wedding
."SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
Skip it. This romcom doesn't look especially funny or interesting. Its bland formulaic nature doesn't seem like it can be saved, even by reuniting the chemistry of John Corbett and Nia Vardalos. With other funnier looking romantic comedies out there, including Vardalos' own "My Life in Ruins
," you should pass on seeing "I Hate Valentine's Day."
Story by Starpulse contributing writer Evan Crean
, a movie trivia guru and trailer addict with a practically photographic memory of actors and directors. Get a first look at the movies premiering each week, which which ones will be worth your $10, which ones you should wait to rent and which ones aren't worth your time.