Lately I’ve been quite busy seeing movies. I saw three of the films that came out last week and I already caught one that opens this week. My review of the one premiering this week will be in next week’s column.
I subjected myself to “Sex and the City 2” last Monday which I appreciated it about as much as any man probably could: not very much. It was not a terrible film by any means though. Fans of the show should have a good time. My Grade: B-
Tuesday I saw “Prince of Persia” which I describe as a funnier version of “Clash of the Titans” since the dialogue is more entertaining. As a video game adaptation, it does not really pretend to be a high class picture, but it does not aspire to be much more either. The parkour stunts add some decent visuals though the rest are mired by close angles that obscure the action of individuals fighting. My Grade: C+
Yesterday I rented George Romero’s “Survival of the Dead” on demand and was quite disappointed with it. It presents a story with serious potential: an island where warring families have different ideas about what should become of the undead. At points the families seem like those in "Romeo and Juliet," blind with anger and willing to slaughter each other. There is not nearly enough explanation behind this feud, and even though there are a couple of hilarious zombie kills, the film is largely uninventive. My Grade: C
The first week of June brings us the action comedy “Killers,” the silly jaunt with Jonah Hill and Russell Brand “Get Him to the Greek,” the family film “Marmaduke,” the sci-fi thriller “Splice,” and the modern day fairy tale “Ondine.”
Jen (Katherine Heigl) has the perfect life and a loving spouse; however she meets a bump in the road three years into her quiet suburban marriage when she finds out a dark secret about her husband Spencer (Ashton Kutcher). Not only does she discover that is he an undercover assassin with a price on his head worth millions of dollars, but she also learns a crew of fellow assassins have been trailing the couple since they met.
Robert Luketic, the director of last year’s “The Ugly Truth,” helms this romantic comedy. “Matchstick Men” and “Ocean’s Eleven” scribe Ted Griffin teams up with Bob DeRosa to pen its screenplay.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Moviegoers searching for a generic action comedy with some romance stirred in there should see this film. If you like Katherine Heigl’s comedic roles and you believe Ashton Kutcher can play a suave assassin convincingly then you should watch “Killers.”
GET HIM TO THE GREEK
A record company intern (Jonah Hill) is tasked with escorting the wild rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) from London to Los Angeles so that he can perform at the city’s famous Greek Theater.
You should not be surprised if you have heard the name Aldous Snow before because it is the very same character featured in 2008’s comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Nicholas Stroller, one of the creative minds behind “Sarah Marshall,” writes and directs this spin-off.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Audiences that laughed at the rocker Aldous Snow in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” should check him out in his latest adventure. If you think the combination of Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, and the music mogul P. Diddy is a recipe for hilarity then you should see “Get Him to the Greek.”
The Winslow family moves to a new neighborhood with their mischievous Great Dane Marmaduke (voiced by Owen Wilson), who has a tendency to cause trouble in his own oblivious way.
Based on the titular comic book character, this movie brings Marmaduke to life using a combination of live action and CG. The man responsible for 2006’s “Failure to Launch,” Tom Dey, directs this family film. Frequent collaborators Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio join forces yet again to write its screenplay.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Parents looking for an inoffensive family comedy should bring their children to see this movie. If you are not a parent but you have a morbid curiosity to find out if they are able to make the comic book character funny, then you should catch “Marmaduke.”
Two scientists (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley) combine DNA samples to create a new creature: a human-chimera they name Dren. As Dren rapidly matures from a deformed female infant into a winged organism, her once happy bond with her creators turns deadly.
Science fiction filmmaker Vincenzo Natali directs this combination sci-fi/horror/thriller. Natali also assists Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor in creating the film’s screenplay.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Horror junkies looking for a movie that combines scares with the edge- of-your-seat pacing a thriller provides, should see this film. If you are fascinated by the dark scientific possibilities of splicing human DNA with other species then you should watch “Splice.”
This fairy tale focuses on an Irish fisherman (Colin Farrell) who catches the mysterious Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) in his net. After the pair falls in love though, a dark figure from Ondine’s past resurfaces to threaten their relationship.
Irish auteur Neil Jordan both writes and directs this tender drama that incorporates elements of fantasy. Jordan is best known to American audiences for his work on 1994’s “Interview with the Vampire” starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Fans of Colin Farrell who want to see him veer away from action movies toward more serious roles should be the first ones in line for this drama. If you are the type of moviegoer that likes fantasy more closely grounded in reality then you should see “Ondine.”