“Flight”: Denzel Washington stars as an extremely hard living airline pilot who has to come to terms with his addictions after a miraculous crash landing. The film has been rightly praised for Washington’s performance but aside from its realistically unglamorous screenplay by John Gatins, “Flight” is a mostly unremarkable film. This is largely because Robert Zemeckis’s obvious, generic direction. While Gatins script and Washington’s portrayal are clearly aiming for quiet revelation, Zemeckis’s always steers the film toward soapy melodramatics. Aside from the tension filled plane crash sequence at the beginning of the film, there’s nothing in this film that wouldn’t have been better if handled by one of “Mad Men’s” regular directors. Read my full review here. Also starring Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, and Bruce Greenwood.
Special features: A digital copy of the film, three featurettes and a Q&A.
“Here Comes the Boom”: Kevin James stars as high school teacher who becomes an MMA fighter to win enough money to keep his school’s struggling music program going. Despite the having the powerful culture cache of using a P.O.D. song as its title, this Happy Madison production failed at the box office, earning only $69 million against a $42 million production budget. After this films belly flop, and the back to back underperformance of “The Dilemma” and “Zookeeper” it seems the James’ tired fatty-go-boom schtick has fallen out of favor. I don’t often root for films to fail, but if Adam Sandler can only afford to make movies for himself and not all of his untalented buddies, it’d be a good thing for film as a whole. Also starring Selma Hayek as woman who finds Kevin James attractive, Henry Winkler, and Gary Valentine.
Special features: A digital copy of the film, gag reel, deleted scenes, and six featurettes.
“Alex Cross”: That movie where Tyler Perry took off the fat suit and failed spectacularly to be a proper dramatic lead. Adapted from James Patterson’s novel, the film sees Perry’s titular detective try and stop Matthew Fox’s psychotic assassin. Instead of casting a credible black actor, like say original choice Idris Elba, Summit Entertainment chose to effectively destroy the franchise by betting that relentless content producer Perry would be able to bring enough of his audience to the table to make it viable. Unfortunately, Perry’s fans only want to see him in a dress or moralizing his way through a series of contrived relationship problems. Hopefully the franchise will get chance in the next decade with someone other than Jaden Smith in the lead. I’d watch that. Also starring Edward Burns, Jean Reno, and Cicely Tyson.
Special features: A digital copy of the film, deleted scenes, a featurettes, and commentary with director Rob Cohen.
“Celeste and Jesse Forever”: Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg star as a couple who marry young, separate quickly and remain best friends throughout. Ostensibly the film follows the same immature loser gets involved with uptight grown up arc that most of Judd Apatow’s movies follow but has the female lead as the focal point instead of arrested male. While intentional not as funny as Apatow’s films, “Celeste and Jesse” is a considerable tighter production that approaches its gender politics with a sense balance. It’s nice to one of these movies play out in way that doesn’t have the woman as a shrew and the man as a child. Sometimes things just don’t work out and the blame lies with not being experienced enough to know what want. It’s also surprising to see how good Jones and Samberg can be outside of the confines broadcast television. Also starring Will McCormick, Elijah Wood, and Eric Christian Olson.
Special features: A featurette, deletes scenes, a Q&A, a commentary with Jones and Samberg, and another commentary with Jones, co-writer Will McCormick, and director Lee Toland Krieger.
Mario McKellop has written about film on Examiner for the last three years and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org