Now Playing

Forgetting Now Playing

By: Jeff Ford
By: Jeff Ford

Previews of The Five Year Engagement, The Raven, The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Safe

Welcome to this week’s edition of Now Playing. Four films are coming out this week, so let’s not dillydally. First up to the altar is…

THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT
A comedy that charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple's relationship. *
The reteaming of writer Jason Segel (LolliLove) and his Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) may be the comedic high point of the early season. The two have previously collaborated on last year’s The Muppets, writing the screenplay for one of the best family films in the past few years. This film also falls under the Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) production label, a label that to me means quality. The trailers look funny and the characters come off as likeable. It would be a pleasure to devote two hours (as opposed to 5 years) with their march to the altar. I’m getting on my knees and proposing 4 cubic zirconia rings out of 5. The Five Year Engagement is rated R for sexual content, and language throughout.

THE RAVEN
When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's works, a young Baltimore detective joins forces with Poe to stop him from making his stories a reality. *
From the director of Ninja Assassin, James McTeigue, comes this Tell Tale mystery, combining the stylings of From Hell, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and the recent Sherlock Holmes’ series, with a heavy dose of the pilot episode from ABC’s Castle. It’s an odd mixture but it does have the potential to work. It’s the director that concerns me. I am not a fan of his previous films, the aforementioned Ninja Assassin and the rather dull V for Vendetta. Both of those movies chose a style before substance approach that detracted greatly from the narrative. Will his third swing of the pendulum strike, or will it end up bricking his career into a wall? Time will tell. For me, I’ll be wearing 2 Masques of the Red Death out of 5. The Raven is rated R for bloody violence and grisly images.

THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. *
Aardman Animation makes its return to the animation style for which it is known. After last year’s CG animated Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! Band of Misfits is primarily stop-motion animation, with CG used mostly for the background. A few of their offerings (Chicken Run and the Wallace and Gromit series) I count as some of my favorite family films. They are clever and never pandering to its intended audience. Hopefully the quality streak continues as Hugh Grant (White Mischief) lends his voice to the Pirate Captain and boisterous Brain Blessed (Prince Vultan from Flash Gordon) to the Pirate King. I’m shivering me timbers and stealing 3 Pirate’s booty out of 5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits is rated PG for mild action, rude humor and some language.

SAFE
Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail. *
This is a Jason Statham (Ghost of Mars) action movie. If you have seen one, there is a good possibility you’ve seen them all. Only those who like this type of movie need apply. In case you were wondering, I will be applying. I love a dumb action movie, and Jason Statham’s output usually fits the bill. I’m just not going in looking for anything substantial. For this, I’m knocking out 3 mooks out of 5. Safe is rated R for strong violence throughout, and for language.

That’s all for this week. Next week, a group of superheroes assemble (finally). Until next time, nevermore.

*all summaries taken from IMDB.com
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