Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Connie Britton, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo Rated: R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, drug use and some sexual content. There are some movies whose trailers don’t quite do them justice, and whose theater runs are all-too-short. “American Ultra” seems destined for that fate: It’s a cross between the Bourne movies and a stoner comedy. Our hero has all kinds of amazing combat skills whose origin he doesn’t remember, and people are trying to kill him – but he’s just some stoner who works at the Cash-and-Carry and is trying to figure out when to propose to his girlfriend. This is not a movie for everybody, but for the right audience, it’s just about perfect. Fans of Simon Pegg’s Cornetto Trilogy and other genre mashups will probably feel right at home here. The tone wavers between stoner comedy and black comedy, and once the
The moment the opening credits for “The Man with the Iron Fists” start to roll, you can tell exactly what kind of movie it is. There’s an explanatory voiceover and a massive fight, paused periodically for over-saturated, old-school-style still frames for each credit — and the credits are all in both English and Chinese. By the time it got to “Quentin Tarantino Present” (sic), I was sold. This is an homage to Hong Kong action flicks and exploitation films, a blenderized rendition of every trope and camera shot we’ve seen and loved a hundred times.
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference.
Westerns and alien invasion flicks both have their cliches, and the idea of mashing the two together is a clever one — that kind of genre smashing has done well in the past (“Shaun of the Dead” remains my favorite example). “Cowboys & Aliens” held great promise when its previews first started showing, and while it doesn’t quite live up to its potential, it’s still a lot of fun.
Co-written and Directed by: Zack Snyder Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn Rated: PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language.