by Jeff Niesel
Lots of film action this weekend but Ron Howard's Formula 1 film Rush is the only movie opening hat we can truly recommend. Regardless, here are our reviews of the other major releases.
The 1970s was a golden age for Formula 1, a moment when the sport impinged briefly on the cultural mainstream. Director Ron Howard explores that moment, and the epic rivalry that made Formula 1 the most cutthroat entertainment of 1976 in Rush. Masterfully cast in the leading roles are Chris Hemsworth as the blond and brawny British playboy James Hunt, and Inglorious Basterds’ Daniel Bruhl as the methodical German mastermind and student-of-the-game Niki Lauda. With opening dual voice-overs, the film establishes Hunt and Lauda in immediate opposition. One of Howard’s most striking successes in Rush is the extent to which, despite their differences, you genuinely like both men. (Sam Allard)
Don Jon centers on the exploits of good-looking and charming Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote and directed the film) has no trouble getting laid. But his Achilles heel is that he’s addicted to porn. So when the super-hot Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) breaks up with him because of the porn, he rethinks his life and gets a little help from a much older woman (Julianne Moore) as he sets out to change his ways The acting is solid but the concept isn’t and the whole obsession with porn thing comes off as a flimsy plot device. The film is showing at the Capitol Theatre. (Niesel)
A dramatization of the shootings that took place in the Washington D.C. area in 2002, Blue Caprice revisits an incident that most of us would rather forget. The film paints a grim picture of the life of Lee (Tequan Richmond), a young boy whose mother abandons him at an early age. He enventually meets and befriends John (Isaiah Washington), who becomes a father figure of sorts and teaches him how to shoot a high-powered rifle. Well-acted, the movie is just such a downer, it’s hard to recommend. It’s showing at the Capitol Theatre. (Niesel)
Released three years ago, the original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs established inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) as the kind of loveable loser that you just can’t help feel sorry for. The guy has good intentions that always seem to get misinterpreted. That’s the case again in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. But this time, the plot revolves around a mad scientist (Will Forte) who turns food into angry animals that threaten to devour Flint’s hometown. Even kids won’t get the concept. (Niesel)