May 22nd New Releases
“The Grey” is a solid survival movie starring Liam Neeson. He plays a man hired by an oil company to protect pipeline workers from attacks by predatory animals. After a plane crash leaves him and six others stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, he attempts to lead them to safety while a pack of wolves pick off the men one at a time. It’s a fairly bleak movie, which turned off some of the critics. But I quite liked it for the way it stripped down the “man vs nature” theme to its bare essence.
This Means War is a pretty average action-comedy, not unlike recent movies like “Knight and Day” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”. The banter between the main characters was entertaining enough, but a bit predictable. It’s a formulaic movie, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Anyone who is a fan of this genre will find lots to enjoy here.
Woman in Black is a gloomy, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night gothic thriller starring Harry Potter, I mean Daniel Radcliffe, who is using this movie to break his past connection to the mega-franchise. It’s a kind of ghost story, with a fairly authentic rural setting in the UK. Suspicious townspeople and plenty of fog add to the tension. People who don’t normally go in for horror movies would probably like this anyway, as it’s more story and character driven than your average slasher.
Red Tails had mixed results. The story, about the Tuskeegee airmen who became the first black fighter pilot squadron during WWII, could have been fleshed out a bit more, rather than glossed over with sub-plots like a silly love story involving one of the pilots and an Italian girl named Sofia (we never really learn much more about her). The action sequences are top notch, but unfortunately wander a bit too far into the Michael Bay school of blowing-stuff-up. I’m sorry, but any scene where a P-51 fighter blows up a destroyer with nothing more than .50 cal guns is absurd. They need to pull back the reins a bit more when it comes to this stuff. Your average 12 year old might enjoy it, but most moviegoers are going to roll their eyes. Still, the film is a decent enough watch if you can overlook some of this.