The movie houses across America should be hopping this weekend as five new films hit screens that could not be more varied. The latest Disney animated film arrives in the form of Wreck-It Ralph, Denzel Washington gives another Oscar-worthy performance in Flight, RZA turns from Wu-Tang Clan rapper to film director with The Man with the Iron Fists, Back to the Future's helmer returns to sci-fi with the found footage The Bay and Christopher Walken gives a turn in A Late Quartet that should earn him his second Academy Award.
Wreck-It Ralph: John C. Reilly voices the title character, an 8-bit video game bad guy. It’s his game’s -- Fix-It Felix, Jr. -- thirtieth anniversary. The game resides in an arcade where once the lights go out, the characters from all the varied video games intermingle. Tired of being taken for granted, Ralph leaves his game and enters two video game worlds that might lead him to believe that there is no place like home. As we state in our Wreck-It Ralph review, get in this game… it is nothing but fun and Sarah Silverman steals the show!
Flight: Washington delivers again, this time out as a flawed individual who saves dozens of lives, only to discover his heroism challenged because the plane crash he averted as pilot, may have been caused by the fact that he was drunk at the controls. Robert Zemeckis has a triumphant, although sometimes heavy handed, return to live action. Check out our Flight review for more.
The Man with the Iron Fists: RZA leaps from music to movies with his big screen debut as writer, director and star of this tribute to martial arts films that falls more flat that we had hoped. The rapper shows immense talent and we look forward to seeing what else he comes up with. But, as we write in our The Man with the Iron Fists review, there is but one real shining light: Russell Crowe utterly losing himself in a crazed and violent British soldier stuck in nineteenth century China after the opium wars.
The Bay: Levinson tackles the movie subgenre of found footage and manages to craft an eco-horror film that is more often scary than silly. In fact, because its fear is rooted in what lies beneath our polluted waters, the terror is all that more real. Toss in the fact that it is found footage that tells the story… and the fear factor shoots through the roof. Although not a perfect movie, as reported in our The Bay review, it is one wild ride.
A Late Quartet: The story of a string quartet on the verge of their silver anniversary is moving, powerful and enlightening. Walken deserves an Oscar for his role as the group’s leader, a cellist who learns he has Parkinson’s. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener are incredible in supporting roles, but as our A Late Quartet review states: Give Walken the Oscar!