Among the new movies that were released Friday, Feb. 14 are an actioner that previously played in competition at the Phoenix Film Festival, a romantic drama starring Alex Pettyfer and a sci-fi flick set in 2028 Detroit.
John T. Woods plays a smuggler who is coerced by violent mid-level traffickers into designing a foolproof plan to bring several kilos of cocaine across the Mexico border and maneuvers to rid himself of their hold over him once and for all. (NR - 95 minutes)
“Down and Dangerous” is a spectacularly slick-looking flick. Writer/director Zak Forsman has an excellent cinematic eye as this crime thriller has the look and feel of a studio release, which is an accomplishment in and of itself when one is working with an independent filmmaker’s budget. However, while Forsman tells a story that is out of the ordinary and rarely regarded, he does so with a conventionality that otherwise obscures its originality. It is possible to predict each narrative move which, in turn, leads to one feeling as though they have already experienced this potboiler in the past. (Thumbs Down!)
Gabriella Wilde and Alex Pettyfer play a privileged girl and a charismatic boy, respectively, whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart. (PG-13 - 103 minutes)
“Endless Love” is dripping with so much cheese that even its target audience - naive teenage girls and other hopeless romantics - will barely be able to tolerate it. If said cheese was solely confined to the romanticism of writer/director Shana Feste’s new drama, then it could be classified as some sort of guilty pleasure. However, nearly each and every line of dialogue spoken during the flick is so laughably ooey-gooey that viewers are almost driven into sheer madness. The only thing that keeps male audience members from going completely insane is their ability to tune out their surroundings and focus on star Gabriella Wilde’s celestial beauty. (Thumbs Down!)
Joel Kinnaman plays a loving husband, father and good cop who, in 2028 Detroit, is critically injured in the line of duty. That is when multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees its chance to create a police officer that is part-man and part-robot. (PG-13 - 108 minutes)
“RoboCop” is a surprisingly smart and exceptionally exciting sci-fi actioner. The new remake of the 80’s cult classic leaves its predecessor in the dust, adopting a far more serious tone while saying something significant about both free will and the necessity of emotion. The movie’s only misstep is its attempt to incorporate humor and political farce through a series of scenes featuring Samuel L. Jackson while its grandest accomplishment is its audacious display of its title character’s organic torso - a shocking image that is certain to stay with you long after you leave the theater. (Thumbs Up!)