What Are You Seeing This Weekend? ‘Parker’ & ‘Hansel & Gretel’ Have A ‘Knife Fight’ For ‘The Taste Of Money’
What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Parker' & 'Hansel & Gretel' Have A 'Knife Fight' For 'The Taste Of Money'
Park City may be aflutter with cinematic thrills, but it’s still January in the rest of the country. Which means we have another weekend of lackluster studio releases banking on the bevy of visuals distracting you from the fact that they were written by a robot without feelings. On the other hand, the schedule is punctuated by a few vibrant indies and flicks from overseas. Emphasis on the few, but still: beggars, and all that jazz. So, fellow panhandlers — what’s getting your hard-earned dollar bills this weekend? Tell us in the comments below!
“Parker.” Directed by Taylor Hackford. Starring Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Wendell Pierce, Michael Chiklis and Clifton Collins Jr. Our review: “Instead of being the swiftly constructed thriller it ought to be, a pulpy blast of all killer/no filler fun, it seems to be almost exclusively made of the fatty excess that these kind of stories immediately dispense with. Westlake’s novels were punchy and suspenseful. Not here.” Metacritic: 51 Rotten Tomatoes: 31% The Playlist: D
“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.” Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, and Peter Stormare. Our review: “There are many problems with ‘Hansel & Gretel,’ and every one of them leads back to the dud of a script they are working with.” MC: no reviews yet RT: 8% PL: D
“Movie 43.” Directed by Bob Odenkirk. Starring Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, and 438 other famous people. Our review: “Not released in theaters as much as inexplicably materializing in front of our very eyes, ‘Movie 43’ has no moral, no overarching story, and no point other than the opportunity for Hollywood stars to play silly for a short while.” MC: no reviews yet RT: no score yet PL: C
“Noobz.” Directed by and starring Blake Freeman. Also starring Jason Mewes, Matt Shively, and Moises Arias. Our review: “If not for Mewes and the occasional laugh, the film would be a complete letdown. Instead, it’s a passable bottom-of-the-barrel comedy that paints an unfriendly portrait of many professional gamers as, well, pricks.” MC: n/a RT: no reviews yet PL: C-
“John Dies At The End.” Directed by Don Coscarelli. Starring Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Clancy Brown, and Paul Giamatti. Our review: “There’s a lot thrown together here and patched from the three separate stories that made up the original ‘John Dies At The End’ collection. But when dealing with adaptation, the film allows Coscarelli the rare chance to flex his dark sense of humor with the occult characters that are becoming accepted in mainstream storytelling now…It may be tough to accept, but this is precisely the smart, confusing and engaging story we need to smack us in the face and inject the Sauce into our eyes.” MC: 53 RT: 56% PL: B+
“Supporting Characters.” Directed by Daniel Schechter. Starring Tarik Lowe, Alex Karpovsky, Kevin Corrigan, and Arielle Kebbel. Our review: “This decidedly Noo Yawk tale of an editing team in New York City and their satellite friends wouldn’t be at home as an extended pilot on IFC, with these two best friend leads getting into all sorts of middle-aged male troubles. It’s good, and bad, just like TV.” MC: 63 RT: 86% PL: C
“Knife Fight.” Directed by Bill Guttentag. Starring Rob Lowe, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jamie Chung, Julie Bowen, and Richard Schiff. Our review: “The film can’t help but show its seams as a cheap, somewhat amateurish production, utilizing as few extras as possible and limited locations (it’s also obnoxiously, and perhaps unintentionally, scored like a bad campaign commercial) despite a story that spans an entire country.” MC: 31 RT: 15% PL: D+
“Happy People: A Year In The Taiga.” Directed by Dmitry Vasyukov and Werner Herzog. A pleasurable, even celebratory look at Siberian woodsmen, though the fact that Herzog served mostly as an editor for Vasyukov’s footage creates a certain disjointedness; at the least, it’s not quite up to par with other studies the German documentarian has recently delivered. MC: 70 RT: 86%
“The Taste Of Money.” Directed by Im Sang-soo. Starring Kang-woo Kim and Baek Yoon-sik. This story of the “1 percent” may not be relevatory, but it is sumptuous, horrifying, and true. Our review: MC: 67 RT: 33% PL: