Monday, October 22, 2012

Wknd Box Office: Alex Cross, Paranormal Activity 4

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post some of the movies from last weekand THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to chosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: Alex Cross, Paranormal Activity 4

By Debbie Schlussel

Nothing that great among the new movies at theaters, this weekend. Ironically (or maybe not), the low-budge movie is far better than the big budget one subsidized by the Michigan Film Tax Credit.

* “Alex Cross“: Absolutely awful. Just laughable, and not intentionally so. Tyler Perry assumes the role of police detective and profiler Alex Cross, previously played by Morgan Freeman in a couple of other, far better thrillers. The movie, paid for in no small amount by Michigan taxpayers, this movie is set in Detroit, and it stinks. The funniest part–which wasn’t meant as comedy–was when Cross’ wife isn’t sure she wants to movie to Washington, DC, because, she says, “I don’t even know what the public schools in Washington are like.” As if the public schools in Detroit are so shout-from-the-rooftops awesome. The audience at the screening I attended hooted and snickered with laughter.

A good mystery/whodunit gives the viewers some sort of hint as to the murderer (or his handlers) and why the murders are being done. There is no such hint in this flick, until the man pulling the strings and his reasons are unmasked. And I really didn’t care. This movie is just that G-d-awful bad. Alex Cross’ sidekick, played by actor Edward Burns, has a perfect Detroit accent . . . if you come from the Brooklyn, New York borough of Detroit. And there are so many other ridiculous things about this joke of a horribly violent, gruesome movie, not least of which is that it’s rated PG-13, and misguided parents will actually think it’s a good idea to bring their kids to this movie chock full of brutally graphic scenes of people dying while on fire, a woman having all ten of her fingers cut off, and a woman having had her eyes gouged out, along with facial disfigurement. Yup, it’s an incredibly disgusting unbearable movie.

And it’s filled with silly, unbelievable, soap-opera-like melodrama that is so over the top and overwrought, it’s absurd. The movie was neither thrilling nor entertaining. It was just slow, boring, and pointless. And the acting is terrible.

Then there’s the “story,” if you can call it that. Perry and Burns are on the trail of a crazy serial killer (Matthew Fox), the motivation of whom they cannot figure out, other than that he’s targeting a wealthy German man and his employees. Soon, he is also targeting the cops and their loved ones. But I just wanted everyone to die quickly, so this horrible piece of garbage would end and I could leave the theater.

You’ll do better than I did, if you just skip it altogether. I’m cross that I spent nearly two hours of life (I’ll never get back) on this.


* “Paranormal Activity 4“: This wasn’t the best of the “Paranormal Activity” movies. I liked the last one better, but this is better than the first. And it’s fine for its apparently target audience, which is teens and 20-somethings, other than the constant four-letter words. While it’s slightly scary, it’s not nearly as scary as “Paranormal Activity 3″ (read my review) and some of it is slow-moving.

The movie begins with a scene showing an aunt taking her baby nephew away from a house. The aunt is the character from a previous Paranormal Activity movie, but you needn’t have seen it to understand this movie. We are told that they’ve never been seen again. Then the movie flashes forward to a new, unrelated story, or what appears to be. A cute, blonde teen girl (Kathryn Newton) and a teen guy friend of hers communicate via a laptop (it might be an iPad). The girl also has a video camera. Both the iPad and the video record what is happening in her house, and it appears to be haunted, as strange things keep happening. Some of the strange things appear to be connected to a boy from the house across the street. His mother has become ill, and the girl’s family takes him in. That’s when the strange things really start to happen at great frequency.

The movie is a tiny bit violent and it’s clearly not for young kids. But, as I said, it’s fine for the target audience and isn’t objectionable, so much as it is bland and seems like old hat after three previous “Paranormal Activity” movies with somewhat similar storylines.


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