Oh man, this week’s new releases are all kind of not-very-good, and we still have two weeks to go before Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s a tough week for cinema folks, maybe use this opportunity to catch up on last week’s big releases if you haven’t seen them yet.
Black or White
BLACK OR WHITE is the story of a grandfather who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter. When her paternal grandmother seeks custody with the help of her brother, the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply. With the best intentions at heart, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding.
While its heart might be in the right place, Black or White does little to escape being clichéd and unsubtle. Even considering the fact that interracial politics is always a hot topic, it doesn’t really pack much of a punch and ends up raising more questions than it manages to answer, leaving behind an indifferent 37% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Former special-ops agent James Terrier is suddenly targeted by some of the world’s best hitmen. Terrier must dig into his top-secret past to figure out who wants him dead, and why.
The Gunman sees Sean Penn does his best to take over from Liam Neeson as the go-to gritty older tough guy action hero. Unfortunately for him, The Gunman falls way short of the mark, with a boring plot, tedious action and worn-out cast, earning a depressing 13% on Rotten Tomatoes. Oh well, it’s not like Taken 3 was any better.
A breathtaking family adventure film about a group of teenagers headed by Sean, Alex, Nathan, and young Connor. They have been trapped in their homes for three years, since an invading force of deadly robots arrived on Earth to study the human race. When the group of friends unexpectedly discovers a way of evading the deadly robots that monitor their every move, they grab it gleefully and head off in search of Sean’s missing father.
I don’t know how much you’re expecting from a low budget British sci-fi kids movie, especially one as unimaginatively named as Robot Overlords, but don’t expect too much. It’s brisk and decently entertaining but still ends up lacking, even with Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson bringing some heavyweight talent. If the plot sounds appealing, then don’t let the 58% on Rotten Tomatoes deter you.
SPARE PARTS is a true life story about four Hispanic high school students who form a robotics club under the leadership of their school’s newest teacher, Fredi. With no experience, 800 bucks, used car parts and a dream, this rag tag team goes up against the country’s reigning robotics champion, MIT. On their journey, they learn not only how to build a robot- they learn to build a bond that will last a lifetime.
Based on a true story? Check. Rag-tag team of underdogs? Check. Inspiring teacher? Check. Feel good camaraderie? Check. High stakes and life lessons? Check, check, check. Spare Parts seems to take its name pretty seriously, assembling a movie from all the bits and pieces of other, better inspirational movies. All in all it’s a serviceable movie, but besides for the interesting back-stories of the undocumented Hispanic students and their lives outside the classroom, it’s going to play out exactly as you expect.
Last Updated: April 10, 2015