Here is a summary of the films reviewed on today's show:
In an odd way, The Giver is an example of the very thing that the novel was railing against; this is a high profile feature film that attempts to commoditize and capitalize something ephemeral and emotional, forcing a complex text into the box of a mass market young adult movie adaptation. The result is cold, flat, and plastic.
The bar for the Expendables movies is low but somehow the filmmakers of the third (and hopefully last) installment have managed to limbo under it. It’s amazing that an action film written, starring and produced by the director of Rambo and the bulk of the Rocky series could fail this spectacularly.
What If is a fine picture. It does not break much new ground and it is ultimately a routine walkthrough of the romantic comedy formula but it’s done with such humor and has such great characters that its makers are able to overcome their reliance on conventions.
Let’s Be Cops is a better movie than its advertising campaign lets on. The movie has credible characters and a story that mostly comes together. It also manages to be a little subversive, even if the filmmakers dull that edge in their efforts to make the film more commercial.
Joe is a film that didn’t get much of a theatrical release but it deserves to be more widely seen now that it is available for home viewing. This film has a gritty style and some terrific performances, giving rising star Tye Sheridan a chance to shine and allowing Nicolas Cage to remind us why he became a star.
Remember you can find full text of every review featured on Sounds of Cinema at the review archive.