Ticket or Click It: Into the Wilderness

by | January 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Movies, Ticket or Click It

Liam Neeson in 'The Grey' (Photo: Open Road)

By Rebecca Kelley

What’s the best way to unwind as you bid goodbye to January? Should you curl up on your couch and watch a movie On Demand or head out with friends to a local theater? “Ticket or Click It” is here to break down your options. Click on the movie title for more information about ordering On Demand or ordering tickets online with Fandango.

 

What’s On Demand?

Real Steel

Boxing has gone proxy, with boxers fighting vicariously through large robots in the ring. Hugh Jackman is a down-and-out promoter with one last shot at both glory and a relationship with his son. Does the bot he drives have the heart to go all the way?

Our take: I know, I know, it sounds stupid. Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots on steroids. But everything in this movie works to make it completely enjoyable and a great family film. I was as surprised as anyone.

Paranormal Activity 3

This third horror movie in the series goes back in time to when Katie and Kristi were little girls messing around with spooky forces – forces that just begged to be captured on their mother’s boyfriend’s clunky 1988 camcorder.

Our take: You’d think people would learn not to watch old video footage they find lying around. This third installment has some fun moments, the best involving a camera strapped to a rotating fan, but it’s mostly more of the same jumps and jolts as the first two movies. Considering they were pretty scary, that’s a good thing.

50/50

When a young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets cancer, his best buddy is right by his side, helping him keep life (and girls) in his heart.

Our take: Touching and irreverent in equal measures, this excellent movie was on many people’s list of films that should have been nominated for Best Picture (instead of that stinky “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”).

 

What’s In Theaters?

Man on a Ledge

A cop (Sam Worthington) convicted of theft breaks out of prison and stakes out a nice ledge on a high-rise hotel. He’s innocent, by gosh, and he will prove it to the world or die trying. Luckily, he’s got a team working for him and a jaded but honest police negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) trying to talk him down.

Our take: If you need any more evidence it’s January, when studios dump their less-than-great projects, look at this film. It’s not horrible, it’s just very predictable and somewhat dumb. It’s just “meh.” Everything from the acting to the effects to the script needed to be about 27% stronger to raise it to “pretty good.”

One for the Money

Katherine Heigl plays a newly minted bail bondsman-woman. Jason O’Mara plays a cop on the run – and he’s also a man she used to date. Buckle your seatbelts.

Our take: This movie has five strikes against it: 1) It wasn’t screened for critics. 2) Katherine Heigl. 3) The trailer shows unsafe gun handling practices which the NRA and gun restriction lobbyists would frown upon. 4) “Good-cop, bad-cop hookers.” 5) Katherine Heigl. Three strikes is my limit.

The Grey

Liam Neeson stars in this thriller as an Alaskan oil worker who no longer cares if he lives or dies after his wife leaves him. When his plane full of rugged, coarse men crashes in the wilderness, the group is stalked by a pack of wolves. Life and death are no longer theoretical and everyone discovers they care very much whether they live or die.

Our take: This film is surprisingly good. Like a Jack London story come to life, it builds tension with just a puff of hot wolf breath in the air. As the tension mounts, so does your concern for each character. Fine acting, a tight concept and good, sparse directing by Joe Carnahan make this a fantastic movie. Violent, but fantastic.

 

Ticket or Click It?

Click it! And Ticket! It’s a near draw between “The Grey” and “50/50.” Why not watch both?

 

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.