Did anyone ask for another Smurfs movie?
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
If there’s a crowd for the Smurfs franchise, it’s the super young kids who are more delighted by the colors and squeaky voices than anything else. In another head-scratching Hollywood move, another chapter in the Smurfs story is unveiled this weekend, boasting an impressive cast and nothing else.
This time, Smurfette (Demi Lovato) leads a group of fellow Smurfs on a thrilling adventure after stumbling across a mysterious map. The evil Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) is hot on their trail and all try to find a lost village before the other.
The voice cast includes Lovato, Wilson, and this impressive lineup: Julia Roberts, Jack McBrayer, Mandy Patinkin, Jake Johnson, and Michelle Rodriguez, plus a billion others. But, having a collection of stars does not a good movie make. The writing is mediocre. The animation is nothing new. It’s a wonder how this became anything more than just a straight-to-video release.
GOING IN STYLE
Talking about impressive casts, Zach Braff‘s Going in Style has quite the lineup: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, and Ann-Margret!
The three former play best friends who decide, in their late years, to rob the bank which failed them and their pensions. It’s a high-stakes idea that pays off in laughs and a good time.
Braff, whose best directorial effort is still Garden State, loses a bit of his special touch here, turning out a more conventional heist comedy than anything else. It would’ve been interesting to see what artistic risks he would’ve taken, given the opportunity. The powerhouse performances, though, are exactly what they should be. All three of the film’s stars are at the top of the their game in regards to no holds barred fun.
This may be nothing new, but if you’re looking for a fun, cinematic escape, this is the one for you.
See It: Going in Style
Skip It: Smurfs: The Lost Village