No plans for this weekend? Well, there’s always the movies . . . if you don’t have terribly high expectations.
If you don’t know what Power Rangers are, well, what exactly was your childhood? But for those not in the know, Power Rangers features a set of five (then later, six) teenagers that are given dinosaur-influenced fighting powers by an interdimensional entity in order to fight an evil sorceress bent on taking over the world. But this isn’t Marvel adaptation. It’s produced by a Japanese company, so throw in cheesy martial arts and battles with villains the size of skyscrapers and the rangers fighting in giant robotic dinosaurs and you’ve got the original Power Rangers show.
So let’s be honest here. This is probably not going to be a great movie. In fact, the vast majority of reviews have very disparaging things to say, with it turning a quirky kids show into shallow, flashy action without a consistent sense of tone and direction. It has something of a Transformers vibe about it, with overproduced action and special effects taking the spotlight. But like Transformers, it could have some entertaining elements, shallow though they may be. The casting of Bryan Cranston as Zordon is a plus, as is Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. The PG-13 upgrade does seem almost unnecessary, but it could still be a fun action flick. But unless you’re just really that bored this weekend, I would wait for it to come to RedBox.
Power Rangers is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, language, and for some crude humor.
Much unlike the popular board game, Life is a film about an international space research team that finds an alien lifeform and wants to bring it back to Earth to study. But before they can get back to Earth, this new lifeform turns out to be a true horror, aiming to take out the ship and its crew. No, really, this is a new movie. No, it is not directed by Ridley Scott, and no, it is not called Alien.
I have conflicting thoughts on this. On the one hand, the trailer and premise both make this look like it’s going to be just another cliche, conventional genre film with little to add. On the other hand, the talent on the cast includes Jake Gylenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson. It probably has the best shot of the new releases this weekend to be worthwhile, so while my hopes for it aren’t very high, they are higher than, you know, Power Rangers.
Life is rated R for language throughout, some sci-fi violence and terror
In this latest over-the-top comedy, a rookie cop gets paired with a seasoned veteran in an effort to take on corrupt cops within the LAPD. The thing that makes it more interesting (or so the filmmakers think) is that this secret infiltration happens on a highway patrol, and supposed hilarity ensues.
The biggest thing this film has going for it is Michael Pena, who became a massive fan favorite after his hilarious supporting performance in Ant-Man. Dax Shepard, who directed and co-stars in the film, also seems to have comical appeal. But unlike Ant-Man, in which Pena had a firm grasp of a goofy and quirky sidekick humor, the comedy of CHIPS appears to rely entirely on vulgar and sexual humor. There’s hardly anything to give me hope for a good film here. It may have a few good moments, and certainly there are funny moments even in the trailer, but raunchy R-rated comedies seldom have anything of value to offer us. I see now reason why this should be any different.
CHIPS is rated R for crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.
Recommendation: Power Rangers is cliche and shallow eye candy, and CHIPS is dressed-up vulgarity. Just by the process of elimination, that leaves Life, which I don’t have great expectations for, but will probably be a decent little popcorn flick.