by Rebecca Kelley
With the wildly anticipated release of “Prometheus” this week, is it better to head to your local theater to see it or stay home and watch something on XFINITY On Demand? We’re here to break down your options. Click on the movie titles for more information about ordering On Demand or buying theater tickets through Fandango.
What’s On Demand?
A Civil War-era gunslinger finds a portal that takes him to Mars, where he has super-strength. Things are dicey on Mars, but maybe he can help. Plus, there’s a cute Martian princess who needs him.
Our take: A victim of high expectations, this movie is nowhere near as bad as you’ve heard. It’s actually kind of fun. There are some good characters, some fine adventures and some exciting battles. It’s not the next “Star Wars” or “Avatar,” as people had hoped, but it’s far better than, say, “Dark Shadows.”
Filmed during training missions with real Navy S.E.A.L.s, this movie is a fictional account of the work they do. In the film, the team targets a South American compound where nasty guys are torturing an American spy. The S.E.A.L.s not only extract her, but find the keys to a global terrorism plot. Quicker than you can assemble an MP7, they’re off from one hotspot of bad guys to the next.
Our take: This movie is a testament to unabashed patriotism and heroism of the Navy S.E.A.L.s. The scary thing about the film, however, is that it shows those people out there who want to do us harm and all the ways they could accomplish it. Watch this film and you’ll want to find a meaningful way to thank our Armed Forces.
Ryan Reynolds is a low-level CIA agent in South Africa when the agency’s most wanted rogue (Denzel Washington) comes through the door. Reynolds must contain him, protect him, figure out whether to trust him and figure out whom else he can trust. It’s a massive game of cat and mouse.
Our take: Good concept, good actors, mediocre execution. Reynolds and Washington are fine, but the movie devolves into a run-of-the-mill spy drama. There are some good action scenes, but nothing truly thrilling. It will keep you entertained for a few hours.
Sean’s (Josh Hutcherson) explorer grandfather has gone missing. Could he have found Jules Verne’s legendary island? Accompanied by his stepfather, a helicopter pilot and the pilot’s pretty daughter, Sean discovers that, yes, gramps has.
Our take: This movie is better than it has any right to be. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has developed into an actor who fills up the screen with his charm. The rest of the movie keeps up with him with wild rides on giant bumblebees and “pec pops of love.” It’s light, funny, airy and something to enjoy with the kiddos.
What’s In Theaters?
The critters from the “Madagascar” franchise have returned, once again trying to find their way back to the zoo in New York City. This trip takes them through Monte Carlo and onto a circus train, all the while avoiding an animal control officer hot on their tails. As they try to integrate into the circus, they find everybody has an act, and some of them are pretty cool. Then again, some are elephants performing Cirque du Soleil, which is cool in a whole other way.
Our take: Fun, fun and fun, this movie is a series of constant laughs with no real heart or meaning under the zaniness. Unlike a “Toy Story 3,” nobody wants to find beauty or meaning in this animated kids’ tale, they just want to laugh at giraffes snorkeling and zebras wearing afro wigs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Ridley Scott made “Alien” in 1979 and now he’s back with the fifth movie in the series. Set chronologically before “Alien,” the story follows the crew of the Prometheus as they travel into space to find the aliens who seeded Earth with life. But those who gave life can also take it away – in gruesome and terrifying ways.
Our take: Part sci-fi horror and part existential exploration of “what it all means,” this movie doesn’t explain everything from the “Alien” universe. In fact, hardcore fans of the “Alien” franchise will find a lot to dislike. The plot is downright nonsensical at times and many of the characters don’t pop. However, it is a bold, huge movie with fantastic 3D visuals and enough thrills to make the ticket worthwhile. Like “John Carter,” it may become a victim of too-high expectations, but it is worth seeing in theaters.
Ticket or Click It?
Ticket! Just when you think it’s safe to go back to outer space… watch “Prometheus.”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.