Denzel Washington plays the most dangerous renegade from the CIA, who comes back onto the grid after a decade on the run. When the South African safe house he's remanded to is attacked by mercenaries, a rookie operative (Ryan Reynolds) escapes with him. Now, the unlikely allies must stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them dead.For the past year, Matt Weston (Reynolds) as been frustrated by his inactive, backwater post in Cape Town. A housekeeper who aspires to be a full-fledged agent, the loyal company man has been waiting for an opportunity to prove himself. When the first and only occupant he's had proves to be the most dangerous man he's ever met, Weston readies for duty. Tobin Frost (Washington) has eluded capture for almost a decade. One of the best ops men that the CIA's known, the ex-intelligence officer has given up assets and sold military intel to anyone with cash since he turned. From trading secrets to North Korea to aiding splinter cells, the damage he's done to the U.S. is immeasurable. And he's now back on the reservation with a secret. As soon as Frost is brought in for debriefing, mercenaries come and tear apart Weston's safe house. Barely escaping, the unlikely partners must discover if their attackers have been sent by terrorists or someone on the inside who will kill anyone standing in the way. Now it's up to Weston to figure out who he can trust before they're both eliminated from the game. Vitals: Director: Daniel Espinosa. Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Ruben Blades, Nora Arnezeder, Robert Patrick.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 115 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $122.582 million, Universal.
Machine Gun Preacher
Inspirational true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. When ex-biker-gang member Childers makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war, he is outraged by the unspeakable horrors faced by the region's vulnerable populace, especially the children. Ignoring the warnings of more experienced aide workers, Sam breaks ground for an orphanage where it's most needed -- in the middle of territory controlled by the brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens. But for Sam, it is not enough to shelter the LRA's intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible, he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory as part of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization to retrieve kidnapped children, restoring peace to their lives -- and eventually his own.
Vitals: Director: Marc Forster. Stars: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monagha, Kathy Baker, Madeline Carroll, Michael Shannon, Souleymane Sy Savane.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 129 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.531 million, Fox.
War-weary, former military captain John Carter is inexplicably transported to the planet Barsoom (Mars) where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris. In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands. Screen adaptation of the classic novel "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Vitals: Director: Andrew Stanton. Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Dominic West, Samantha Morton, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 132 min., Fantasy Action Adventure, Box office gross: $69.032 million, Disney.
Act of Valor
An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, "Act of Valor" stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a powerful story of contemporary global anti-terrorism. Inspired by true events, the film combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the minute battlefield technology and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home. Each time they accomplish their mission, a new piece of intelligence reveals another shocking twist to the deadly terror plot, which stretches from Chechnya to the Philippines and from Ukraine to Somalia. The widening operation sends the SEALs across the globe as they track the terrorist ring to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they engage in an epic firefight with an outcome that has potentially unimaginable consequences for the future of America.
Vitals: Director: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh. Stars: Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano, Emilio Rivera, Gonzalo Menendez, Ailsa Marshall, Drea Castro, Alex Veadov.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Action, Box office gross: $65.921 million, Fox.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
The family adventure begins when 17-year-old Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. Unable to stop him from tracking the signal to its source, Sean's new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest that will take them first to the South Pacific, and then to a place few people have ever seen. Or lived to tell about. It's a place of stunning beauty, strange and threatening life forms, volcanoes, mountains of gold and more than one astonishing secret. Together with Gabato (Luis Guzman), the only helicopter pilot willing to risk the trip, and Gabato's beautiful, strong-willed daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone human inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island underwater and bury its treasures forever. Follow-up to 2008's "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
Vitals: Director: Brad Peyton. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman, Kristin Davis.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 94 min., Action, Box office gross: $97.139 million, Warner.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Fast-paced and exciting sequel to 2009's blockbuster "Sherlock Holmes." Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has always been the smartest man in the room ... until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large -- Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) -- and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder -- a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction -- all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.
Vitals: Director: Guy Ritchie. Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Rachel McAdams, Eddie Marsan, Stephen Fry.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 129 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $186.523 million, Warner.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
In this follow-up to"Ghost Rider," the world's darkest hero takes on the ultimate bad guy: the devil, himself. Johnny Blaze, still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter, is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy from the devil. At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy and possibly rid himself of the curse forever. Vitals: Director: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, Christopher Lamber, Idris Elba.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 95 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $50.350 million, Sony.
The story of Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi-occupied city in Poland, who encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto and hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town's sewers beneath the bustling activity of the city above. What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something very unexpected: The unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews, as the enterprise seeps deeper into Socha's conscience. The film is also an extraordinary story of survival as the men, women and children in hiding all try to outwit certain death during 14 months of ever-increasing and intense danger. Based on a true story. Academy Award-nominee for Best Foreign-language film.
Vitals: Director: Agnieszka Holland. Stars: Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Furmann, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Schrader.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 145 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.959 million, Sony.
Tyler Perry's Good Deeds
A successful, wealthy businessman, Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) has always done what's expected of him, whether it's assuming the helm of his father's company, tolerating his brother's misbehavior at the office or planning to marry his beautiful but restless fiance e, Natalie (Gabrielle Union). But Wesley is jolted out of his predictable routine when he meets Lindsey (Thandie Newton), a down-on-her-luck single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. When he offers to help her get back on her feet, the chance encounter with someone so far outside his usual circle ignites something in Wesley. This one good deed may finally spark his courage to exchange the life that's expected of him for the life he's always really wanted.
Vitals: Director: Tyler Perry. Stars: Tyler Perry, Gabrielle Union, Thandie Newton.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 110 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $34.798 million, Lionsgate.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Dispatched from his basement room on an errand to buy wood glue for his mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his slightly more accomplished brother as the latter tracks his possibly adulterous wife. As he encounters a host of problems, Jeff uses the universe as his guide, looking for signs to help determine his path. He just may find the meaning of his life ... and if he's lucky, pick up the wood glue as well.
Vitals: Director: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass. Stars: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 83 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $4.138 million, Paramount.
Three seemingly anonymous high school seniors attempt to finally make a name for themselves. Their idea is innocent enough: Throw a party that no one will forget ... but nothing could prepare them for this party. Word spreads quickly as dreams are ruined, records are blemished and legends are born.
Vitals: Director: Nima Nourizadeh. Stars: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Dax Flame, Kirby Bliss Blanton.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $54.637 million, Warner.
George and Linda are an overextended, stressed out Manhattan couple. After George is downsized out of his job, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George's awful brother in Atlanta. On the way there, George and Linda stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community populated by colorful characters who embrace a different way of looking at things. Money? It can't buy happiness. Careers? Who needs them? Clothes? Only if you want them. Is Elysium the fresh start George and Linda need? Or will the change of perspective cause more problems than it solves?
Vitals: Director: David Wain. Stars: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda, Malin Akerman.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $17.115 million, Universal.
Will Gerard (Nicolas Cage) is a happily married man whose quiet life is turned upside-down when his wife, Laura (January Jones), is brutally attacked while leaving work. At the hospital, waiting for news about his wife's condition, Will meets Simon (Guy Pearce), a concerned stranger who offers to aid Will's family in finding her attacker, in exchange for a favor, sometime in the future. Overcome with grief and fear, Will consents to the deal, unwittingly pulling himself into a vigilante organization that will lead to frightening and deadly consequences.
Vitals: Director: Roger Donaldson. Stars: Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $.390 million, Anchor Bay.
This incredible rescue adventure is the amazing true story that inspired the world and captured the hearts of millions. When a family of whales is trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle, a small-town reporter (John Krasinski) and an animal-loving volunteer (Drew Barrymore) rally an unlikely coalition of Alaskan natives, oil tycoons and the Russian and American military to set aside their differences and free the whales before it's too late.
Vitals: Director: Ken Kwapis. Stars: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell, Dermot Mulroney, Ted Danson.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 107 min., Family, Box office gross: $19.966 million, Universal.
A heartfelt valentine to classic American cinema. Set during the twilight of Hollywood's silent era and shot on location in Los Angeles, the film tells the story of a charismatic movie star unhappily confronting the new world of talking pictures. Mixing comedy, romance and melodrama, the film is an example of the form it celebrates: a black-and-white silent film that relies on actors, images and music to weave its spell. Hollywood, 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is one of Hollywood's reigning silent screen idols. Starring in exotic tales of intrigue and derring-do, the actor has turned out hit after hit for Kinograph, the studio run by cigar-chomping mogul Al Zimmer (John Goodman). His success has brought him an elegant mansion and an elegant wife (Penelope Ann Miller). Chauffeured to the studio each day by his devoted driver Clifton (James Cromwell), George is on top of the world. For young dancer Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), the future will be what she makes of it. Vivacious and good-humored, with an incandescent smile and a flapper's ease of movement, Peppy first crosses George's path at his film premiere and then as an extra on his latest film; George even helps her out with her budding career. Peppy's star starts to rise in Hollywood. When the silent era ends, George wants no part of the new technology, and when Kinograph ends all silent film production, George falls by the wayside; he's eventually kicked out by his wife and he moves into a small apartment with Clifton, almost penniless. But Peppy, who is a natural with sound, goes on to become a gigantic star; and eventually George and Peppy met again ... with a much happier ending than either version of "A Star Is Born," which this so clearly resembles. An uplifting love story on all levels. Dujardin won the Best Actor Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival; the film won three Golden Globes, Best Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy, Best Original Score, and Best Actor -- Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Dujardin; it also won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius, and Best Actor for Dujardin. Vitals: Director: Michel Hazanavicius. Stars: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Ed Lauter, Malcolm McDowell, Uggie.2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Comedy-Romance-Drama, Box office gross: $31.779 million, The Weinstein Co./Sony.
21 Jump Street
Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) were enemies in high school who became unlikely friends in Police Academy. While they may not be the best cops on the beat, they have a chance to turn it around when they join the police department's secret Jump Street unit, run by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). They trade in their guns and badges for backpacks and use their youthful appearances to go undercover in a local high school to investigate a violent and dangerous drug ring. Trouble is, teenagers today are nothing like what they were just a few years ago, and Schmidt and Jenko discover that everything they think they know about being a teenager, from sex to drugs to rock and roll, is all wrong. More importantly, they both find they are still dealing with all of the adolescent problems they didn't address in their own teen years -- and both will have to confront the terror and anxiety of being a teenager again and all the issues they thought they had left behind. Vitals: Director: Phil Lord
Chris Miller. Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, DeRay Davis, Ice Cube.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $131.937 million, Sony.
Comedic take on Snow White. After a beloved King vanishes, his ruthless wife seizes control of the kingdom and keeps her beautiful 18-year-old stepdaughter, Snow White, hidden away in the palace. But when the princess attracts the attention of a charming and wealthy visiting prince, the jealous Queen banishes the girl to a nearby forest. Taken in by a band of rebellious but kindhearted dwarfs, Snow White blossoms into a brave young woman determined to save her country from the Queen. With the support of her new friends, she roars into action to reclaim her birthright and win back her Prince.
Vitals: Director: Tarsem. Stars: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Robert Emms, Sean Bean, Mare Winningham, Robert Emms, Michael Lerner.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 106 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $60.993 million, Relativity Media.
Wrath of the Titans
A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus (Sam Worthington) -- the demigod son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) -- is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston). The triumvirate had overthrown their powerful father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon that lies deep within the cavernous underworld. Perseus cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus' godly son, Ares, switch loyalties and make a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans' strength grows stronger as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth. Perseus must bravely embark on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind.
Vitals: Director: Jonathan Liebesman. Stars: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 99 min., Fantasy Action Adventure, Box office gross: $81.990 million, Warner.
A Thousand Words
Eddie Murphy (desperate for a big-screen comeback after many, many flops -- "Dreamgirls" aside)) plays Jack McCall, a fast-talking literary agent who can close any deal, any time, anywhere. He has set his sights on popular New Age guru Dr. Sinja for his own selfish purposes. But Dr. Sinja is on to him, and Jack's life comes unglued after a magical Bodhi tree mysteriously appears in his backyard one night. With every word that comes out of Jack’s mouth, another leaf instantly falls from the tree and he realizes that when the last leaf falls, both he and the tree will meet their end. Undeterred, he comes up with some outrageously funny ways to communicate, but ultimately he must face reality. Words have never failed the effusive Jack McCall before, but now he’s only got a thousand words left to discover what matters most in life.
Vitals: Director: Brian Robbins. Stars: Eddie Murohy, Kerry Washington, Allison Janney, Clark Duke, Cliff Curtis, Jack McBrayer.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 91 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $18.185 million, Paramount.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.