Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Films that I did not see in August (in support of our Archdiocesan campaign)

August was a month of travel, weddings / quinces for me as well as of our annual Annunciata Fest.  So there were actually a lot of movies that I missed both intentionally and sometimes unintentionally.  

As I've written before, as part of my contribution in our parish's participation in the Archdiocese of Chicago's Campaign "To Teach Who Christ Is," I've decided to forgo seeing (and therefore not reviewing here) one or two movies a weekend and instead contribute the money I would have spent to the campaign.  Here the list would seem longer than normal and admittedly some of the films I probably would not have seen anyway.  However, others I probably would have seen if not for time constraints and the campaign.

In any case as per my custom, I'm providing a list along with links to the usual line-up of reviews that I also consider as I write my own.

So in the past several weeks, these are the films that I did not see in support of the parish / Archdiocesan campaign:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [2014] - MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-II)  ChicagoTribune (2 Stars)  RE.com (1 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (C+) - I was already "not a kid" when the original toys / series came out.  To be truthful, I never understood the appeal except that one would never imagine "turtles" to be "like ninjas," so perhaps the appeal is "don't judge a book by its cover" - even someone "nerdy" / "slow" could actually be "quick" / "really cool."

Into the Storm [2014] - MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III)  ChicagoTribune (1 1/2 Stars)  RE.com (2 Stars)  AVClub (C+) - This summer's Hollywood disaster movie

Let's Be Cops [2014] - MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (L)  ChicagoTribune (2 Stars)  RE.com (1 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (B-) - This summer's (wannabe) cop "buddy movie"

The Expendables 3 [2014] - MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III)  ChicagoTribune (2 Stars)  RE.com (3 Stars)  AVClub (C+) - Silvester Stallone is actually a very talented screenwriter (the original Rocky [1976] and Rambo [1982] were both his creations) and he can honestly make just about anything work.  However, I've never particularly liked this "merceraries can be regular folk / good guys" story line.  His talents could be better used elsewhere.

When The Game Stands Tall [2014] - MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-II)  ChicagoTribune (2 Stars)  RE.com (2 Stars)  AVClub (C+) - This summer's pretty good inspirational high school sports film.

Land Ho! [2014] - MPAA (R) ChicagoTribune (3 Stars)  - Two older guys go on a "road trip" to Iceland.  Kinda like this year's The Bucket List [2007].

To be Tokei [2014] - MPAA (UR)  ChicagoTribune (3 1/2 Stars)  RE.com (3 stars)  AVClub (C+) - Documentary about the life of George Tokei, the Japanese American actor who played Sulu in the original Startrek Series.  He spent a good amount of his childhood growing-up in one of the Japanese-American internment camps set-up by the U.S. government during WW II.  That would have been a compelling enough story as it is, but it turns out that he's also gay.  So he was playing his role in the series / subsequent films as a gay man from the 1960s through the 1980s as a gay man without the public realizing this.

Love is Strange [2014] - MPAA (R)  ChicagoTribune (3 1/2 Stars)  RE.com (4 Stars)  AVClub (B+) - Story of a gay couple that after many years together finally get married, only to have one of them fired by the Catholic Archdiocese for which he worked for not complying with / living according to Church Teaching.

As Above-So Below [2014] - MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (L)  RE.com (2 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (C+) - Another "found footage" horror film, this time set in the catacombs under Paris, France

The Identical [2014] - MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-I)  ChicagoTribune (1 Star)  RE.com (1 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (C) - A faith-based film about the identical twin to a Elvis Presley-like superstar from the South of the 1950s.

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