“The Bourne Legacy”
Action: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton
Director: Tony Gilroy
Rated: PG-13 (Violence and strong language)
Movie Review: Aaron Cross (Renner) and Dr. Marta Shearing (Weisz) find themselves running from corporate mercenaries linked to a rogue branch of the U.S. government. A program to create super spies and soldiers is dismantled. Cross and Shearing are loose ends as a powerful corporation wishes to eradicate its scientific experiments on humans.
This fourth film of the “Bourne” franchise is interesting, but it is merely action sequences that continue much too long. Based on Robert Ludlum’s novels, “Legacy” is entertainment in the form of action. This is a typical, formulaic action film: car chases, unbelievable stunts and an incomplete plot that leaves plenty of holes.
A motorcycle chase scene lasts about 10 minutes too long. With all of the action, this film has an open ending. The ending is not as thrilling as the action scenes. Additionally, it suggests more to come, but this screenplay should be the final showing for this series.
Director and screenplay writer Tony Gilroy masterfully directed “Michael Clayton” (2007). He should stick to crime drama, where he is more effective.
Grade: C (Action-packed but minor legacy)
Comedy: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott
Director: Jay Roach
Rated: R (Sexual innuendo, crude humor, brief nudity, profanity, sexuality and violence)
Movie Review: Cam Brady (Ferrell) is a Democratic, four-term congressman from North Carolina’s 14th Congressional District. For the record, the state only has 13 House seats. Congressman Brady appears to be the only candidate running for the seat, so he will win the election by default. Enter Marty Huggins (Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center and a Republican. Huggins enters the race as a hand-picked candidate of The Motch Brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd, who are a humorous attempt to poke fun at billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch), two CEO billionaires who plan to sell large portions of the district to house Chinese factories and workers.
A demonstration of United States politics, the goal is showing how politicians are bought and made to look better via stylists and consultants. Sure, citizens know politicians say half-truths to get elected. The problem is everyone believes their candidate is telling the truth, and the other is the liar.
“The Campaign” nicely portrays a message that Democrats and Republicans are very similar. The screenplay is savvy in its attempt to show the corrupt and immoral nature of politics. The problem is that “The Campaign” film goes overboard with the comedy. Ferrell and Galifianakis are evenly matched, but both men are silly beyond reproach.
Ferrell is Ferrell. He is playing Ron Burgundy from 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” without the mustache. Galifianakis is always funny. He plays the wired dopey guy well, even if not convincing as a politician. Both of their characters become ruthless eventually. They each give ample reasons to dislike their characters.
Ultimately, neither is likable as a politician, but they both arouse humor.
Grade: C+ (Campaign with laughs)
“Nitro Circus: The Movie”
Documentary: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Starring: Travis Pastrana, Tommy Passemante and Jolene Van Vugt
Director: Gregg Godfrey, Jeremy Rawle
Rated: PG-13 (Extreme and dangerous stunts throughout, sexual innuendo and strong language)
Movie Review: This is a not your usual documentary. Think of it as a less-funny version of “Jackass: The Movie” (Director Jeff Tremaine, 2002) with Evel Knievel-type stunts. It is not crude like “Jackass.” The stunts are definitely grander than Knievel’s and more dangerous. These long-term friends, some childhood friends, have been daredevils for years. They continue to dazzle with wild stunts. Amazingly, they all appear to walk away from the mishaps.
Several well-known people have cameos in this film. The notables are “Jackass” leader Johnny Knoxville and actor Channing Tatum. These familiar faces are a surprise, but they do nothing to help this movie. “Nitro” fails because it has no strong focus, one that lets you know where it is going before its conclusion.
Grade: C (Needs more nitro)
Drama/Comedy: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell
Director: David Frankel
Rated: PG-13 (Sexual innuendo, sexuality and strong language)
Movie Review: Kay (Streep) and Arnold (Jones) have been married for 31 years. After decades, the Omaha, Neb., couple find their lives have become mundane. Kay especially feels their marriage needs some life, so she signs up for couples counseling with Dr. Bernard Feld (Carell). To improve their marriage, Kay and Arnold travel to Great Hope Springs, Maine.
This is an adult comedy, a mature romance. The film follows a couple’s attempt to reconnect. It is humorous at points and dramatically moving at others. In its entirety, it charms as agreeable entertainment. This exists mainly because of a talented cast that more then ably provides enjoyable characters.
Streep’s clever talent is her ability to transform herself superbly to fit her roles. She more than accomplishes this task in each film. Her scenes with Jones are acting at its best. Jones serves as much of the comedy in this film. He plays a cantankerous husband with ease.
Carell is perfect as a marriage counselor. He is usually a comedic actor, but his ability to be serious here is uncanny and inspires humor despite Carell’s sincerity.
While some characters’ behavior appears out of place, these characters easily make you care for their cause. Their cause is a happy, loving relationship. That is something that should be easy for any audience to appreciate.
Grade: B (Springful.)
“The Bourne Legacy”
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Postal food drive returns this weekend
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