In the past two weeks, we have seen “The Lorax,” “Safe House,” and “Wanderlust” – cute, violent, and over-the-top respectively.
Of course, “The Lorax” is for kids; however, several adult couples were in the theater with us and our grandchildren. I never read Dr. Seuss as a child, and when I had children, I never read his books to them either. The rhyming was okay, but I did not like their illustrations. They just seemed too weird and scary. (I did not like “James and the Giant Peach” or “Coraline” either.) I can take spooky but not creepy…Anyway, Danny Devito’s voice brought “The Lorax” to life. (It’s difficult to reconcile his work on this movie with his disgusting work on Fox’ “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Of course, most of Fox network’s television shows are repulsive in several ways.)…Anyway, again :-), “The Lorax” was cute and moralistic, but, for me, all of Seuss’ work is suspect because he did not like children. The animation was great, as usual, and there was lots of laughter in the theater. The adolescent crush of Ted (Zac Efron) for Audrey (Taylor Swift) is touching, funny, and well-done.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
“Safe House”: You cannot beat Denzel Washington for good drama. He has a great smile, but you won’t see it often in this movie. Set in South Africa, Ryan Reynolds plays a young CIA agent, Matt Weston, who feels underused, when a dangerous rogue agent/fugitive, Tobin Frost (Washington), is brought into Weston’s lonely outpost in Cape Town. Violent mercenaries are after Frost for a secret file he is carrying. The CIA wants the file, too. Someone at the CIA is leaking Frost’s whereabouts to the mercenaries and Weston finds himself in charge of Frost in escape after escape from death. Lots of violence, some language, and views of Cape Town life are presented in this action thriller. However, the CIA leaker is pretty easy to identify among those in charge – Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard), Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga), and David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson).
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
We saw “Wanderlust” last night…Shortly after buying an expensive studio apartment in NYC, Linda (Jennifer Aniston) and George (Paul Rudd) are suddenly unemployed. With as much as they can pack into their tiny car, they head south to Atlanta, where George’s repulsive potty-mouth brother, Rick (Ken Marino) lives with his sad wife and obnoxious son in a mansion built with Rick’s port-a-potty business. After driving non-stop, they find themselves exhausted outside of Atlanta and stop at Elysium, a rural bed-n-breakfast. However, Elysium, owned by motorized wheelchair-bound Carvin (Alan Alda) turns out to be an alternative-living, vegan commune where love rules. The only room with a door is the one for paying customers. This movie is soooo raunchy and disgusting that laughter is your only recourse, next to walking out. Within Elysium you will find the most absurd weirdos anyone could ever imagine. Well, you could probably imagine weirder characters, but why on earth would you want to? Lots of nudity and foul language here, folks! This is not a film that we will be recommending to most of our family members.
Rating: 2.8 out of 5 stars.