Playing this week: Crime caper, murder, LEGO heroes
MANILA, Philippines – A thrilling lineup of films awaits audiences this week, with unlikely con-men and machine crime fighters. By some twist of fate, a troubled spirit and a confused LEGO minifigure strives to save the day.
Take your pick from this week's new films:
Some people hustle for love, for respect, for truth, for survival, but some hustle as a way of life.
David O. Russell's American Hustle takes viewers back to the '70s, to the world of con artists and mafia bigwigs. The comedy-drama, loosely based on the FBI's real-life political corruption investigation, follows con-man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) as they are forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). As they make their way into the dangerous and enchanting world of the mafia, Rosenfeld's capricious wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) puts the operation in jeopardy.
The film was lauded during the recently held Critics' Choice Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. In addiition, the film has earned 10 nods at the upcoming Academy Awards.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes agreed with the award-giving bodies, giving the film a 93% rating, coupled with a 79% viewer satisfaction. RogerEbert.com gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, describing it as a "ridiculously entertaining, thrilling and satisfying experience." To add, the film's "zany and infectious vibe" compensates for its long running time.
Today's grown-ups will rejoice at the return of '80s and '90s super hero, RoboCop, now played by Joel Kinnaman.
After being caught in a horrific explosion, hardworking cop Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) stuggles for his life, with 80% of his body severely injured. OmniCorp, a multinational conglomerate at the center of robot technology, sees the accident as an opportunity to use him to reap billions of dollars. From what remains of his badly burnt body, they build a part-robot, part-man machine. But his creators soon find that his humanity still rules over his mechanism.
The film has been well received by reviewers and audiences in Rotten Tomatoes, with 89% for critics and 83% for viewers.
An early review by Empire rates the film as excellent, giving it 4 out of 5 stars. According to Empire, the film's "satirical critique of the totalitarianism" helped raise RoboCop to heights above the common sci-fi thriller.
What would you do if you found out you were dead? Even worse, how would you feel to know you have been stuck, living the day of your murder over and over again. In Haunter, Lisa (Abigail Breslin) discovers this hard-hitting truth, and she's not the only one.
With other troubled spirits murdered in her house, she struggles to save another girl from suffering the same fate.
Critics and viewers on Rotten Tomatoes weren't all that horrified, rating the film 50% and 36% respectively. Variety notes that the film's logic eventually turns "fuzzy," but lead actress Breslin was engaging enough to compensate for the gap.
The Lego Movie
Who would have thought that building blocks could be turned into full-length blockbusters?
Assembling on February 6 are your favorite childhood LEGO minifigures in an epic adventure. The film follows Emmet (voice of Chris Pratt), an average LEGO minifigure, who is mistaken as a hero, with the ability to save the world. Together with other minifigures, Emmet goes on a quest to battle an evil tyrant, a quest for which he is hilariously unfit for.
The response seen via Rotten Tomatoes has been largely positive, 96% of viewers are excited to see it. A review on Huffington Post reveled in the "audacity and imagination of the images," saying the antics will amuse kids and parents alike.