“Riddick,” a movie that might have been titled “A Diesel and his Digital Dingo Dog,” is built to mirror the signature traits of its star. Like Vin Diesel, it has bulk, lumbering clumsily along as it repeats Diesel’s greatest hits - the ones that don’t require him to drive a fast and furious car.
Raymond Chandler once offered a foolproof formula for holding readers’ attention: Whenever the story flags, throw in a dead body. “You’re Next,” with 14 actors and almost as many corpses, scarcely gives you a chance to breathe, let alone daydream. A taut, garish gut-wrencher about a family attacked by masked gate-crashers, it’s presented with audacious mastery of its pulp material.
There is most certainly an audience for the film “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” fans of the six (planned) novels about demons, supernatural demon fighters, vampires, werewolves, witches and warlocks.
Occasionally moving, sweeping in ambition yet often haphazard in execution, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is an epic that more closely resembles a made-for-TV movie or miniseries, albeit one from the high-minded heyday of TV movies, the ‘70s. Think “Backstairs at the White House,” if your memory goes that far back.
“Elysium,” the second movie from writer-director Neill Blomkamp, isn’t quite as inventive or fresh as his knockout debut, 2009’s “District 9.” But the new picture is cut from the same cloth — furiously exciting sci-fi, carefully considered and loaded with allegories and social commentary.
Get yourself into a Smurfy frame of mind, hum a few notes of “The Smurf Song” and try to remember your cartoon watching primary school years. Cross your fingers that actors Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays and Brendan Gleeson will find something funny to do.
There are the recently dead instead of aliens and a cantankerous Jeff Bridges instead of Tommy Lee Jones, but this is nothing more than a cheap, lifeless knockoff of “Men In Black.” The only thing standing in the way of a copyright infringement lawsuit is that Ryan Reynolds was cast to play the new recruit rather than Chris Rock or Kevin Hart.