by Rebecca Kelley
For some, the new school year is just around the corner. For others, it’s already started. How can you calm the back-to-school jitters? With a movie, of course. Is it better to watch something at home with XFINITY On Demand or head to your local theater? We have your options all spelled out. Click on the movie title for more information about ordering On Demand or buying tickets through Fandango.
What’s On Demand?
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is forced to compete with other children and teens in a televised, high-tech fight to the death. Can she stay true to herself while fighting for her life? And is there time for romance with Peeta or Gale?
Our take: This very well-done adaptation of the best-selling youth novel satisfies. It’s a fresh and compelling story that has hit a nerve with youth and adults alike. Jennifer Lawrence can do no wrong. She’s excellent here. There are a few minor detail changes from the book, but overall it’s a good adaptation and a great movie. It also leaves us looking forward to the rest of the movies in the series coming down the pike. Even if you haven’t read the books, you’ll be drawn into the movie.
An early feminist gets a job coaching the basketball team at a tiny Catholic women’s college called Immaculata. Against all odds, the quirky and clunky team begins to win. Based on a true story.
Our take: A safe and sweet family movie, this film has some really good moments. However, it pulls its punches a little too much and fails to rise above mediocre. Carla Gugino, who plays Coach Cathy Rush, does a fine job of filling her role, but the script and other actors don’t keep up with her. In the end, it’s more saccharine than stirring. If sports are a metaphor for life, then this film should have had more to say about life.
An elite team of police sets out to raid a crime lord’s hideout in a tenement building. This means they fight their way through the massive project, room by room and floor by floor.
Our take: This film is about action. That’s it. Tense, fast, hard-hitting action. They fight. They climb stairs. They fight some more. And for what it is, it’s very well done. If you’re the person always wishing the movie fight and chase scenes were longer, and that the director didn’t waste so much time on “dialogue” and “character development,” this is the film for you.
What’s In Theaters?
The legendary team of action stars reunites for another job. Sylvester Stallone. Dolph Lundgren. Jet Li. Jason Statham. Terry Crews. Mickey Rourke. And Chuck Norris. Oh, and someone named Arnold Schwarzenegger is also involved. The crew sets out on a new mission, but when something goes wrong and a team member is killed, the job becomes a mission of revenge behind enemy lines.
Our take: This movie wasn’t screened for critics, but this critic, for one, very much enjoyed the previous “Expendables.” Besides knowing how to wrestle a muscle-bound opponent to the floor, Sylvester Stallone knows how to piece together a fun action romp of a movie. You can bet we’ll be checking this one out.
Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton are would-be parents whose dream of having a child is fading. So imagine their surprise when a kid shows up one morning, partially grown and nearly perfect in every way.
Our take: A sweet family film, “Timothy Green” is more about the heart of parenting than anything else. The joys and heartaches are thrown into stark relief. It may be a tad on the sappy side, but isn’t that exactly the kind of movie you want to share with your kids? They’ll have plenty of time for dark and cynical subjects later. Luckily, this one is perfect for sharing as a family.
A trio of singing sisters, led by former “American Idol” Jordin Sparks, starts down the road to fame, but encounters pitfalls along the way. Their single mother (played by the late Whitney Houston) knows the traps all too well. Will their family and their music make it past sweet-talking men, the allure of drugs and the trappings of stardom?
Our take: This film is all about the music, and the music is good. There are lots of fine musical set pieces which will stand up in comparison to “Dreamgirls.” Houston, in her last role, casts a bittersweet shadow over the movie as her real life blends with that of the character. Still, it’s a powerful and enjoyable movie full of music and drama.
Ticket or Click It?
Click it! It’s your chance to watch “The Hunger Games” again in all its glory. If you didn’t see it in the theater, find out what all the fuss was about.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.