Redbox Roundup – July 5th 2014

Redbox Roundup – July 5th 2014

This week’s Redbox Roundup is (hee hee) exactly the same as last week’s! At least as far as the top ten is concerned. I’m adding a couple movies to the lower tiers:

Lone Survivor (2013)
I saw this movie in a theater, and I was not wildly impressed. There’s hardly any character development – one guy shows another guy a picture of his new baby, or some other Hollywood shorthand to establish the characters as human, and then they are off on their big adventure. Which mostly involves getting shot to pieces and endlessly falling down cliffs. It’s heroic, and patriotic, and whatnot, but not that great a movie. New to Redbox, this is going into the Desperation category.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Director/star Ben Stiller overwhelms James Thurber’s classic story with special effects and scenery. Plot twists you can see a mile away, and scenes that don’t even seem to be in the right order kill any charm that might be left. Good cameo by Sean Penn as a Zen photojournalist can’t save this wreck. (Not new to Redbox, but new to me.)

Joe (2013)
Nicholas Cage stars in this booze-soaked slice of white trash life, and surprisingly doesn’t chew the scenery. The movie takes its own sweet time getting moving, but there are pleasures along the way – an allusion to Flannery O’Connor, good supporting performances by Gary Poulter and Tye Sheridan – that make it worthwhile if you have the patience. I’m adding this to the Second String list.

TOP TEN:

Captain Philips – lives up to the hype. Tom Hanks kidnapped by Somali pirates. He’ll win the awards, but the Somalis steal the show.

12 Years a Slave – Powerful. Outstanding performances all around, and great direction by Steve McQueen.

Gravity – This was great in 3D, I don’t know how much it will suffer in 2D. Sandra Bullock stars.

Adult World – Fun hepster rom-com starring Emma Roberts, reviewed elsewhere on this site.

Fruitvale Station – Based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by transit cops in Oakland – a moving day-in-the-life story leading up to his death.

All is Lost – One man show by Robert Redford, adrift at sea. Barely any dialogue, it’s man vs. the elements if that’s your thing.

Flight – Denzel Washington drunk-flies an airplane heroically. I loved this when it came out, but I can barely remember a thing about it now.

Blue Jasmine – Great performance by Cate Blanchett as a delusional fallen rich woman in this Woody Allen movie.

Argo – Improbable but true escape-from-Iran story from Ben Affleck.

Her – Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his operating system in this Not Too Distant Future sci-fi rom-com from Spike Jonze. Beautifully filmed but I have to admit my attention wandered a bit.

SECOND STRING:

Dallas Buyers Club
Wolf of Wall Street
American Hustle
The Monuments Men
21 Jump Street
Elysium
Ted
Inside Llewyn Davis
Don Jon
Enough Said
The Armstrong Lie
Joe

DESPERATION PICKS:

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
The Sum of All Fears
3 Days to Kill
The Hunger Games
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Veronica Mars
Thor – The Dark World
The Avengers
Oldboy
Labor Day
Lone Survivor

AVOID AT ALL COSTS:

Endless Love
About Last Night
Pompeii
Homefront
The Counselor
Ender’s Game
Runner Runner
R.I.P.D.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty