Red Rental Reviews: January 2014

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With 2 Redbox locations within walking distance of my house, I have ample opportunity to get caught up on all the movies that I didn’t get to see in the theaters this past summer. This month, I got to finally see 2 that I have been dying to see and a couple I didn’t think I would really WANT to see but was pleasantly surprised! Let’s get started!

The Conjuring (Horror)

It’s about time Hollywood came to its senses and got back to good, old fashioned scares. Things that go bump in the night (or go clap in the basement) can be just as jolting as seeing someone getting hung up on a hook…and this film is a great return to classic horror. Patrick Wilson & Vera Fermiga play the Warren’s, a couple who specialize in tracking and ridding our world of demons and evil spirits. And they find a doozy in the house of the Perron’s (played by Ron Livingston & Lili Taylor). It’s all set in the 70’s and this movie reminds me of classics like “Poltergeist” or “The Amityville Horror.” Very little gore, lots of scares. Its perfect for a fun date night and will have you on the edge of your sofa!

Overall Rating: A

We’re The Millers (Comedy)

A terrific cast is bludgeoned by poor writing and not-so-funny situations as a group of misfits band together to try to smuggle drugs across the Mexican border, only to find that they need one another more than they need the dough. It’s not even a funny premise, to be honest, and to waste the comedic talents of Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston is a pity.

Overall Rating: D+

The Wolverine (Action)

I didn’t care much for the first Wolverine movie and so I had no interest in seeing this one in the theater or otherwise. But it was a slow week and I like superhero movies so…I rented it. I’m happy to report that this one actually is more of what I expected the first time around out of our favorite, moody superhero and when he lets the claws out? This one ain’t so bad. The final act is a little clunky though and I found myself wanting it to end quickly. If anything, I’ll just say this is a standard, by the numbers action film with little beyond the firepower of Hugh Jackman to keep you interested.

Overall Rating: B-

Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters (Kids/Action)

Can I just say that I really liked the first Percy Jackson so I was just as eager to see the return of Poseidon’s son as my daughter was! Unfortunately, this movie quickly gets bogged down by too many effects and silly situations and becomes a bore after about 45 minutes. I wanted to like it, but it doesn’t hold up. Which is too bad because I really like all of the characters and I was hoping Percy Jackson could become better than a low rent Harry Potter…but I guess not.

Overall Rating: D+

The Family (Dark Comedy)

At some point, mob leader Giovanni Manzoni ratted out his family and is now living under the protection of the United States government. Unfortunately, he and his family have a hard time acclimating to their new home in Normandy. And once the mob finds out where they’re living, it’s an all out war in the streets as Manzoni (Robert DeNiro) and his family must come together as a family to stay alive. If you like mob movies, then this one is for you. It has some funny moments, some decent acting (thank you Michelle Pfeiffer) and has some scenes that are engaging. But overall, as an entire film, it doesn’t hold up. It’s not dark enough, funny enough OR interesting enough for its almost 2 hour runtime and eventually becomes tedious. As a rental though? It’s not the worst thing you could do with your time.

Overall Rating: C

Kick Ass 2 (Action)

While the first Kick Ass was ultraviolent and dark, this one goes into this weird teen angst mode and never seems to get on its feet. It starts up where the first one left off. Kick Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is a senior in high school, living with his dad and trying to be a normal kid with normal problems. Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a freshman who just wants to fit in while also dealing with her need to be a superhero. Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) seeks to avenge his father’s death at the hand of Kick Ass by becoming the first supervillain, known as “Mother#$%@.” Despite some fun action sequences and the same stylized violence of the first one, Kick Ass 2 never really becomes anything more than a John Hughes action film. And I don’t mean that in a good way. I had MUCH higher expectations for this film and it failed on almost every level except for Moretz, who manages to keep Hit Girl interesting even when the script isn’t above grade. Even Jim Carrey, in a role that seemed fit for him, seems out of place in this one.

Overall Rating: C-

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