Anytime a comedy is rated R, it’s generally not a good sign. The trailer has some funny moments interspersed (“You look pretty when you’re mad”), but it isn’t going to be worth it. The best example is when the main character dresses his young grandson up as a girl and has him perform as a stripper. The intention is for it to be comical, but it’s depraved, disturbing, and not something that anyone should want to see, much less pay to see. It’s a no-go.
What is The Counselor about? Your guess is as good as mine. The trailer was so obsessed with introducing the actors, violence, and sexuality that it forgot to tell me why I was supposed to care. According to IMDb, it’s about a lawyer who “finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.” In other words, it’s another movie in which we’re supposed to be rooting for criminals. It’s rated R for, among other things, strong sexuality. Avoid it like the plague.
Still in Theaters
12 years a slave
This film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who is abducted and sold into slavery. Not only was Solomon a free man, but he had a family and also happened to be a very successful violin player. It has an all-star cast that includes Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, and Michael Fassbender. My advice: it’s going to be a must-see. However, the film includes two sex scenes and other points of nudity. So wait until it releases on DVD so it can be edited.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwartzenneger star in this movie, about an expert at breaking out of prisons, who’s betrayed and thrown into a high-security prison off the grid. He, along with the help of another inmate, tries to break out so he can find the person responsible and find out why they did it. I’m a big fan of anything with Stallone in it, and it ought to be good, but I’ll wait on this one. It has a copious amount of language, with over 50 f-bombs. It isn’t worth it.
This is a reimagining of the “classic” horror movie, based on a Stephen King novel. There are two kinds of films in the horror genre: thrillers and bloodbaths. This one will be a pointless bloodbath. Carrie is a shy girl rejected by everyone around her who develops telekinetic abilities, which we are led to believe by the trailer are due demonic powers, or at least her mother thinks so. The mother, played by Julianne Moore, is very religious and uses that to even abuse her daughter, saying “Go to your closet and pray!” The film is based on a Stephen King novel, so it won’t be your typical blood and gore horror movie, but that doesn’t mean it will be good. My guess is that Carrie’s mother will be used to portray religion is the reason for death in the world. Don’t waste your time.
The Fifth Estate
Of all the films coming out this weekend, this one has to be at the top of the list. Everyone’s list. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. It explores the question of whistleblowers – are they heroes or menaces? The trailer gives you a pretty good idea of what it’s going to say, but it appears to do so in a way that admits the faults of Assange. More so than just him, however, it really appears to be about corruption and the access of information. According to pluggedin.com’s review, it has 7-8 f-words and twice that many s-words. Might be worth it, might not. Whether you see it in theaters or not, though, I am confident that it will be a phenomenal film.
The One to See
Based on a true story, this realistic thriller tells the story of a captain whose ship is hijacked by real-live pirates. It’s utterly fantastic and I highly recommend it. It’s one of the best performances ever by Tom Hanks, and Captain Phillips himself shows a lot of selflessness and sacrifice throughout the film. Read my review here.