‘Star Trek,’ ‘Transformers’ co-writer Alex Kurtzman shows his softer side with ‘People Like Us’

Elizabeth Banks in 'People Like Us'
Elizabeth Banks in ‘People Like Us’

People Like Us comes to us from first-time director/writer Alex Kurtzman (his writing partner Robert Orci and Jody Lambert share writing credit) and it’s actually good for a debut picture.  Considering that Kurtzman is best known for penning big screen blockbusters like Star TrekTransformers and Cowboys and Aliens, a drama about a man and woman who were fathered by the same man but have never met is not what one would have expected.

Read more‘Star Trek,’ ‘Transformers’ co-writer Alex Kurtzman shows his softer side with ‘People Like Us’

‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ doesn’t die soon enough

 

Keira Knightly and Steve Carell in 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World'
Keira Knightly and Steve Carell in ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’

It’s another “the end is near” film only this time the object isn’t saving mankind or the planet.  Instead, inSeeking a Friend for the End of the World, the purpose is to see how people would behave knowing that everything on the planet is doomed and doomsday is three weeks hence.

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Love stories collide in Woody Allen’s ‘To Rome With Love’

Penelope Cruz in 'To Rome With Love'
Penelope Cruz in ‘To Rome With Love’

[rating=3]Starring: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Begnini, Penelope Cruz, Alison Pill, Flavio Parenti, Alessandro Tiberi, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page
Director(s): Woody Allen
Writer(s): Woody Allen

To Rome With Love is not an homage to a Sidney Poitier film about a teacher, although perhaps that’s a misnomer.  There are lessons to be learned by almost every character we are introduced to in this film, the third stop on his “tour” of Europe (Midnight in Paris and Vicky Christina Barcelona being the others).

Read moreLove stories collide in Woody Allen’s ‘To Rome With Love’

‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ gets axed

Benjamin Walker (left) and Dominic Cooper in 'Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter'
Benjamin Walker (left) and Dominic Cooper in ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’

[rating=3]Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anthony Mackie, Jimmi Simpson
Director(s): Timur Bekmambetov
Writer(s): Seth Grahame-Smith, from his own novel

Okay class, it’s time for today’s alt-history U.S. History prior to 1865.  Open your books to the chapter on Abraham Lincoln.  Our story today begins when Lincoln was just a young boy, living in Indiana.  It was there that he encountered his first vampire.

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‘Your Sister’s Sister’ has improvised charm

Emily Blunt in 'Your Sister's Sister'
Emily Blunt in ‘Your Sister’s Sister’

[rating=3]Starring: Emily Blunt, Mark Durplass, Rosemarie DeWitt
Director(s): Lynn Shelton
Writer(s): Lynn Shelton
Company: Ada Films, IFC Films

Your Sister’s Sister opens with “Jack” (Mark Durplass) is at a celebration of the one year anniversary of the death of his brother, Tom.  One of Tom’s friends is proposing a toast and it’s one that remembers everything about Tom that made him such a wonderful person.

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‘Rock of Ages’ is a bit off key

Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in 'Rock of Ages'
Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in ‘Rock of Ages’

[rating=2]Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Malin Ackerman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston
Director(s): Adam Shankman
Writer(s): Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo and Allan Loeb – screeplay, Chris D’arienzo – musical book

Eighties era rock music.  An iconic Sunset Strip club that is struggling to survive.  A rock “god” who got his start there who is willing to help.  A young girl who followed the seemingly nonsensical advice of others to pursue her dream of being a singer and left small-town USA for Hollywood.  A young barback who works at this club, but is pursuing his own dreams of music stardom with his own band.  The wife of the newly elected mayor of the city who is focused on shutting that club down once and for all.

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‘That’s My Boy’ is an Adam Sandler movie that doesnt suck

Adam Sandler in 'That's My Boy'
Adam Sandler in ‘That’s My Boy’

[rating=3]Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice, Tony Orlando, Milo Ventimiglia
Director(s): Sean Anders
Writer(s): David Caspe

“Donny Berger” is an 8th grade boy who is as the Van Halen song says, “hot for teacher.”  Teacher happens to be “Mary McGarricle” (Eva Amurri Martino) and after a proposition from Donny in the hallway, she sentences him to a month in detention as punishment.  But in detention she seduces him and their torrid affair goes on unchecked until they are discovered in a very public coupling.

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‘Peace, Love and Misunderstanding’ fails to deliver on its promise

[rating=3]Starring: Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Elizabeth Olsen, Nat Wolff, Chace Crawford, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyle MacLachlan
Director(s): Bruce Beresford
Writer(s): Joseph Muszynski and Christina Mengert

Jane Fonda stars in 'Peace, Love and Misunderstanding'
Jane Fonda stars in ‘Peace, Love and Misunderstanding’

Diane (Catherine Keener) has two kids, one in college and one soon to be there as well, a successful law practice and a husband.  As she is preparing for a dinner party, her husband (Kyle MacLachlan) informs her that he wants a divorce, now that the kids are older.  He is packing to depart after the dinner is over when she informs him that she’s taking their kids up to her mother’s house and he informs her that they will be doing what he wants when she returns.

Mother’s house is an old place near that famous town of Woodstock, where Grace (Jane Fonda) lives and has done so without contact from Diane for 20 years.  Chickens wander in and out of the house, and according to Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen), the older of the two kids, the place “reeks of pot”.  Turns out that Grace sold pot and that was one way she made ends meet, but hopefully she isn’t doing that now.

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