New this Week: ‘Captain America,’ ‘Friends with Benefits’ and ‘Limitless (DVD)’

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

Captain America: The First Avenger – Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones
Friends with Benefits – Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson

Movie of the Week

Friends with Benefits

The Stars: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson
The Plot: A guy (Timberlake) and girl (Kunis) try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.
The Buzz: Hmm, this premise is strangely familiar, and comes with an even more docile cast than No Strings Attached. I still have some faith in the film itself though, as director Will Gluck’s previous entry was the excellent Easy A. Still, Gluck didn’t write Easy A, and that’s what was great about that film, the writing. Two new relatively untested writers penned Friends with Benefits – yeah, I’m right back to doubting this film. But’s it’s ‘Movie of the Week,’ you say, and I say, only because it’s up against Captain America which looks even dumber than Green Lantern. I miss the days when Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds were still starving artists. Is this really the best that modern cinema has to offer?  Of course it’s not. Moving on…

Every Friday we’ll have new reviews of the latest films.
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New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:

Amelie (BD) – Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus
Beauty and the Beast [Criterion] (BD) – Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (BD) – Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend
Boyz ‘N the Hood (BD) – Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir
Bridget Jones’s Diary (BD) – Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
Chocolat (BD) – Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina
Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird (DVD) 
Limitless (BD/DVD) – Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel, Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro
The Music Room [Criterion] (BD/DVD) – Chhabi Biswas, Padmadevi, Pinaki Sengupta
Nowhere to Run (BD)- Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rosanna Arquette, Kieran Culkin
Potiche (BD/DVD) – Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini
The Reef (BD/DVD) – Damian Walshe-Howling, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering
Take Me Home Tonight (BD/DVD) – Topher Grace, Teresa Palmer, Anna Faris
Tekken (BD/DVD) – Jon Foo, Kelly Overton, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Blu-ray/DVD of the Week

Limitless

The Stars: Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel, Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro
The Plot: A floundering writer (Cooper) discovers a top-secret drug which gives him with super human abilities.
The Buzz: I imagine this film would appeal greatly to the readers of Esquire and GQ and the like — it plays like their articles read. However, Limitless is well-crafted enough to appeal to basically anyone. That is, unless you find spending time with Bradley Cooper a challenge, which is where I was at just awhile back. Cooper has finally grown on me though, and I liked him here quite a lot. All in all, it’s pretty standard action-thriller fare, but its stylish and face-paced enough to maintain one’s interest for the duration.

So yeah, until recently, I couldn’t stand Bradley Cooper — and no, it wasn’t his role in A-Team that won me over, it was, hearkening back a decade, his role in the television series Alias. Yes, I’m a total johnny-come-lately when it comes to that show, but I love it, and I love Bradley Cooper in it. He can act, I was surprised to see. Looking back, it was his success with Alias that ultimately launched his career, and now, ten years later, here he is approaching A-list status, starring in a very entertaining action film, sharing the screen with none other than, in the words of Ricky Gervais, “the greatest screen-actor to have ever lived” — Robert De Niro.

Limitless is pretty slick, pretty energized, and to be honest, I can’t really think of too much to criticize. If you love soft-sci-fi action thrillers and/or Bradley Cooper, you’ll eat this one up. Cooper’s perfectly cast here, and considering the genre, his character is fairly fleshed out, and pretty fascinating really — he’s a good-natured law-abiding (struggling) American, whose reckless punk (lurking beneath) gets a chance to not only come out and party full-on, but also to embrace alpha male success after alpha male success. It doesn’t hurt to throw a little Abbie Cornish in there too, you know, for good measure.

The whole premise is very appealing, and I’m sure there’s a load of Esquire and GQ readers out there whom would agree. Good stuff; a surprisingly fun watch.

Check out our reviews of these movies and more …
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3 Comments

  1. Dave Porras says:

    Get ready to eat your words pal. Captain America is gonna be great. Just wait and see.

  2. Chris Evans can’t be two Marvel characters. That’s dumb.

  3. you were right about me, Dave, you were right…

    :D

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