CHiPS – Rated R
This big-screen adaptation of the famous TV series from the 1970s and ’80s stars Dax Shepard and Michael Peña as a pair of California Highway Patrol officers. Ryan Hansen, Jessica McNamee, Kristen Bell, Vincent D’Onofrio, Maya Rudolph, and Adam Brody co-star. Shepard also wrote and directed.
Critics: CHiPS abandons the endearing innocence of its source material, using the titular cop show’s premise as a setup for aggressively lowbrow gags that prove only mildly arresting at best, according to Rottentomatoes.com. 28% LIKE
Blake: Yes, there’s a cameo from original CHIPS star Eric Estrada. Otherwise… yawn. Onward.
Wilson – Rated R
Woody Harrelson stars as Wilson, a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged misanthrope who reunites with his estranged wife (Laura Dern) and gets a shot at happiness when he learns he has a teenage daughter (Isabella Amara) he has never met. In his uniquely outrageous and slightly twisted way, he sets out to connect with her.
Critics: Rottentomatoes.com says, “Woody Harrelson delivers a solid performance as Wilson‘s titular grump, but the movie surrounding him can’t quite manage to make the character’s sour outlook consistently relatable.” 42% LIKE
Blake: my sources agree that Woody Harrelson’s good performance of a man who hasn’t grown up, deserves a better film, which is one reason it’s on a limited release at select theaters. The charm of one character is enough without a script that embraces it well.
Saban’s Power Rangers – Rated PG-13
A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.
Critics: per Rottentomatoes.com, Power Rangers has neither the campy fun of its TV predecessor nor the blockbuster action of its cinematic superhero competitors, and sadly never quite manages to shift into turbo for some good old-fashioned morphin time. 44% LIKE
Blake: It seems Power Rangers cannot find the power to connect, entertain and do so in a timely fashion, according to my sources. If you have nothing better to do during an afternoon, spend matinee money at best to see this less than thrilling B-scripted disappointment.
Life – Rated R
Life tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.
Critics: Life is just thrilling, well-acted, and capably filmed enough to overcome an overall inability to add new wrinkles to the trapped-in-space genre, according to Rottentomatoes.com. 67% LIKE
Blake: In this movie, billed as starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal… what happened to Ryan Reynolds? Is he in this movie more than 20 minutes? Taking out one of of your two spotlighted actors early in a movie makes their appearance like an extended cameo, and made me ask myself, “What happened? Did Ryan need to get to the set of another film he actually stars in, from beginning to end?”
Now, for the movie.
Life does nothing to breath new life into the sci-fi genre. It’s somewhat of a homage to the Alien franchise, which is certainly not needed, again.
In life, we need time to build a connection with others in order to feel for them. In Life, there is little time, therefore little connection. Before you know it, the cast is dealing with an intelligent and growing ‘Alien’ creature that pretty much sucks the life out of it’s victims in order to grow and become stronger. Familiar? All too much.
I found myself guessing as to the direction the movie would go, including wiping out the entire crew (except one, Jake Gyllenhaal, the pilot) in order to survive, and to manipulate him into taking the escape pod to earth. I was correct. Plus, leaving it perfectly set up for a sequel. Uh. Yawn…
The predictability of Life is just t-o-o easy. I took a buddy because my wife didn’t have time to go. After watching it, I told her a little about it and she said, “Oh, that sounds like Alien!”. That comes from a women who is nowhere near as into movies as I, and recently referred to Morgan Freeman as ‘Freedom Morgan’… hahaha! We’re still laughing together about that one:).
One great thing about sci-fi, is almost anything is possible. Too bad this movie didn’t try to go that direction. It’s very possible you could find something better to do with your time, including enjoying your own Life. 1 of 4 stars.