By Rebecca Kelley
The children of America need you! Despite great movies like “Super 8,” “Hugo,” “The Muppets” and anything by Pixar, nefarious forces in Hollywood insist on cranking out movies that think a farting noise is the height of humor. Although, for the ages 5-12 demographic, it just might be. “Ticket or Click It” is here to explore your options from what is new On Demand to what is new in theaters. Click on the links for more info about ordering movies at home On Demand or buying tickets from Fandango before you go out. And if you’re looking for something for the kids, there’s plenty to choose from. Just keep an
open immature mind.
What’s On Demand?
Purely preposterous Mr. Popper, a divorced father of two, gets a shipment of penguins from his own father. Darn if the little guys don’t solve everyone’s problems, but not without mucking up Mr. Popper’s pad first.
Our take: Do you like poop? Because the majority of this movie is jokes about penguin droppings. The penguins are occasionally cute and will probably entertain children, but adults will be banging their heads against the wall. This is the perfect film to distract the kids while you wrap gifts or enjoy a hot toddy. Just, please, be wise. You may not want to watch it with them.
Smurfette can do better The purple shirtless gang is back and this time they’re going to take Manhattan. Their nemesis Gargamel has chased them into New York City, where they have to find a way home. The film combines CGI animation and live action.
Our take: Just one New York rat could probably deal with those Smurfs, but this is not that kind of movie. It has a lot of meaningless action and some pretty smurfing adult humor, plus plenty of smurfing fart jokes. Children might enjoy it to some degree, but they deserve better than this. We all do.
What’s In Theaters?
Elementary, of course Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) reunite for another madcap adventure. Watson wants to marry, but the diabolical Moriarty threatens him and his new bride. It all leads, as these things so often do, to anarchist bombers, a Gypsy camp, a German munitions factory and an international peace summit.
Our take: Some of the action scenes are pretty good and some of the humor is quite funny. Especially, take note of Stephen Fry as Holmes’ brother, in a short scene that raises the bar for humor everywhere. However, the story is convoluted and murky and the rivalry between Holmes and Moriarty feels unimportant. This Holmes bears little resemblance to the iconic character. He hardly stops to collect any cigar ash for analysis, nor does he notice the wear patterns on a man’s shoes. He’s too busy being manic and quirky. An enjoyable effort at times, but adding up to be mediocre.
Shadows within shadows Gary Oldman stars as George Smiley, a retired top operative in Britian’s MI6 spy agency in the 1970s. The Cold War is in full swing, tensions are high and there just might be a Soviet mole in the agency. Smiley must investigate the men he thought were his friends and compatriots.
Our take: The film relies on silence and small cues to tell the story, which, at times, adds to the sense of menace and, at times, just confuses the audience. The characters, however, are acted amazingly well. From a geo-political scope, their focus has narrowed to just the men in the trenches with them. The spy story becomes a story of friendship and betrayal, trust and backstabbing. By the end, I was hooked despite confusion in the beginning.
Where’s a mousetrap when you need it? Alvin and his little rodent friends take a cruise to relax. As expected, they end up shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island.
Our take: I did not see this film, but all the same, the Chipmunks’ grating, hyperspeed little voices are in my head. Make it stop. Please make it stop. If you take your children to see this film, it will only encourage Hollywood to make more. And nobody wants that. Do they?
No couches were jumped, however. The fourth “Mission: Impossible” stars Tom Cruise (with “Rock of Ages” on the way, could he be making a comeback?) as Ethan Hunt. After the death of his wife, Hunt finds himself in a Russian jail. It doesn’t take long for him to escape and lead his team on a mission to stop a global bombing plot.
Our take: You go to “Mission: Impossible” movies to see physics-defying feats, and this movie does not disappoint. As Cruise leads his team through a sort of stuntman ballet, you’ll wonder how he did it all. You’ll be on the edge of your seat. Later, you won’t remember the plot, just bodies dangling or falling through the air. Enjoy!
Ticket or Click It?
Ticket! Go see “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.