The Valdosta Daily Times
“The Three Stooges” (Comedy: 1 hour, 32 minutes)
Starring: Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso
Directors: Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly
Rated: PG (Comedic violence and thematic elements)
Movie Review: Slapstick is outdated, but the comedy inspires insightful lines. The best parts are the manner in which this film uses words to convey astute intellectual dialogue. The moments are short but provide plenty of laughter.
Nuns raise three orphans, Moe (Sasso), Larry (Hayes) and Curly (Diamantopoulos) at a religious orphanage. Still there years later, the three men are nitwits, constantly getting in trouble with lame — albeit humanitarian — ideas. When the orphanage faces closure, Moe, Larry and Curly set out to save the orphanage. The Three Stooges travel away from orphanage for the first time to a big city. There, they encounter new technology, a faster pace of life, reality television and Lydia (a very beautiful Sofía Vergara), who wants them to kill her husband.
“Stooges” manages to generate laughs via clever means. This mainly comes via a script that throws unexpected events at its audience. The plot is clever once the comic trio leaves the orphanage and encounters people with ulterior motives. Moe, Larry, and Curly’s naïveté makes them absurdly funny in a decent manner and in innocence of yesteryear’s comedies.
Gracing audiences with comic routines since 1925, The Three Stooges are a part of many generations’ most remembered movie moments. The Stooges are still gathering laughs through this comedy.
Chris Diamantopoulos is the best as Curly. His lines are on key for the best humor. Hayes and Sasso are intriguing. The three men provide plenty of laughs that should entertain any audience.
Grade: B- (The three knuckleheads inspire laughs.)
“The Cabin in the Woods” (Thriller/Horror: 1 hour, 35 minutes)
Starring: Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Jesse Williams
Director: Drew Goddard
Rated: R (Violence, gore, sexuality, profanity, nudity and thematic elements)
Movie Review: Five college-aged students take a vacation trip to a quaint cabin in the woods. Just moments after settling in, they are confronted with horrors.
At this film’s beginning, it is difficult not to think about Scooby Doo. The young people are similar: the smart woman, the cute woman, the handsome man of which there are two and the pot head who should remind people of Shaggy.
The cast and the setting are the typical horror/thriller sequences. A group of young people are warned to avoid a place by a spooky old man, and they do not. Later, they face death.
While the initial setup is similar to most thriller, horror and slasher movies, this film is much more creative. It mixes scare tactics, reality television with fantasy and science fiction to produce something that is unique and entertaining.
“Cabin” takes the stereotypical and dumb moments associated with thrillers and horrors and exaggerates them by giving the moments meaningful reasons to exist.
The talented Joss Whedon, creator-producer of iconic television shows such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly,” and director-writer Drew Goddard have put together a very creatively clever movie. It attempts to be multiple genres at once. It frightens, inspires laughter and should stimulate audiences’ thinking processes continuously.
The movie is strange, but its candid nature to be some of everything, mainly farcical, makes it a treat. It is a diversion from the tired, repetitive moments usually seen in thrillers and horrors.
Grade: B (An unexpected treat!)
“The Raid: Redemption” (Action/Martial Arts: 1 hour, 41 minutes)
Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy and Joe Taslim
Director: Gareth Evans
Rated: R (Violence and gore)
Movie Review: Rama (Iko Uwais) is member of an elite SWAT team. He and other members of the team are sent on a covert mission to extract ruthless crime lord Tama (Sahetaphy) who is housed at the top of a multistory, rundown apartment building. The SWAT team, led by Lt. Jaka (Taslim), was supposed to be on a simple extraction mission. Instead, they find themselves surrounded by enemy forces and trying to survive, fighting Tama’s men the entire time.
This is mostly an action-oriented film. The violence is extreme. Some of the stunts are choreographed superbly to the point the deaths appear realistic. As a part of martial arts, “Redemption” is energetic and worth every minute. This is an adrenaline rush.
Gareth Evans, writer and director, keeps upping the action in every scene. Soon, the story matters little. Besides, little dialogue and acting happens in between the constant fighting. Instead, this is an action film. It is meant to thrill with fight scenes and shoot-outs. It works as a very entertaining plot that easily turns into a survival tale with honor.
Grade: B+ (Storm movie cinemas for this good action.)
“Lockout” (Action/Science-Fiction: 1 hour, 35 minutes)
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace and Peter Stormare
Directors: James Mather and Stephen St. Leger
Rated: R (Violence, profanity and sexual innuendo)
Movie Review: CIA operative Snow (Pearce) is wrongly convicted on charges to commit espionage against the United States in 2079. Snow is told the charges would be dropped if he rescues Emilie Warnock (Grace), the president’s daughter, from M.S. One, an orbital, maximum-security prison in outer space. The prison is taken over by 497 violent inmates who are holding the president’s daughter and several others hostage.
Comparable to a SyFy channel original movie, the science fiction here is mainly action and violence. Think Bruce Willis’ “Die Hard” (1988) in outer space.
“Lockout’s” star is gifted actor Guy Pearce (“Memento,” 2000, and “L.A. Confidential”). He stars as the action hero, and he does his best. Pearce fits the part, but this film does not fit him.
“Lockout” entertains but is shabbily put together. It is poorly written and terribly acted. Grace, as the leading female, is especially lackluster. Even more, she is as unconvincing as a mosquito buzzing in your ear.
Other problems plague this film, too, with two directors at the helm. The special effects are pitiful, and stunts are equally disappointing. Inadequate funding appears to be this motion picture’s tragic fault. It appears cheap and quick.
Grade: C- (Walkout.)