Annie and Jay (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) are a couple, who like many, have lost their spark. The couple who used to be nonstop into each other and infatuated with each other’s sexuality find themselves caught between kids, jobs, and the general stress of life and getting older. To rekindle their flame the two get the wild idea to make their own porn together, a sex tape based on every position in the world famous Joy of Sex, not a bad idea per se. But, when their sex tape accidentally gets uploaded to the iPads of all their friends and acquaintances, including the mailman, panic ensues. Mission “rid the porn before word gets out” is on and we’re off to the races, but, it appears as though Annie and Jay already too late. How to minimize the blast radius, jobs, lives, and family are at risk? Brought to you by the same creative and directing team that brought the world Bad Teacher, director Jake Kasdan pleasantly strikes gold allowing his stars and co-stars (Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, and Rob Lowe) to shine nicely bringing their irreverant and quirky selves to the dinner table with writing that feels sharp, honest, and on point. And, for what probably cost very little to make, aside from talent fees, the end result is one of the summer’s funnier comedies. It’s all about chemistry and timing, sexual or not, but in this case, it works with laugh out loud results. On the other hand, Highbrow comedy seekers, search elsewhere, there’s nothing for you here, bet you could have guessed that. Still fun date fodder. Sex Tape is rated R.
Several years since the new founding fathers of America enacted “The Purge,” (a lawless night where all crime is legal) a number of abstaining citizens find themselves in the unfortunate position of being stuck in the eye of the storm as the purge begins. Things look bleak for Eva (Carmen Ejogo), Cali (Zoe Soul), Shane (Zach Gilford), and Liz (Kiele Sanchez); until a mysterious purging man with a conscience (Frank Grillo) opts to save their lives. By sticking together they might all just survive the night, but what are each other’s true motives, and might that be an issue? Written and Directed by James DeMonaco a slightly larger scope to the modest proposal of 2013′s The Purge appears in view with no political misgivings; sadly, given the slasher/horror treatment deployed, audiences who could benefit from such a political message will probably stay far far away. None the less, effective tension and pacing keeps things interesting, and with a runtime well under 2 hours no welcome’s are overstayed. From an acting standpoint the entire ensemble performs nicely, punctuating the overall horror with just enough humor to keep things lively, so to speak. Fans of the genre will appreciate, although, creativity in death scores a relative low on the spatter scale, hmmm. The Purge: Anarchy is rated R.
10 years since the manmade outbreak of simian flu destroyed most of the human race, a growing population of genetically modified and evolved apes led by the dominant chimp, Caesar (Andy Serkis), continues to build strength in the forests outside of San Francisco; it’s only a matter of time before humans and apes path’s cross again. So, when outdoorsman and adventurer Malcolm (Jason Clarke) and a team of humans unsettle the apes by accident it’s anyone’s guess how Caesar and his followers will react. Unbeknownst to the apes, they’re practically siting on a hydro-electric dam, something Malcolm and the humans desperately need. Meanwhile, the military trained Dreyfus (Cary Oldman) is bracing for the possibility of war. Before long, contempt, distrust, and growing tensions between species reach a flash point, it’s war– but everything is not yet lost, perhaps there are lessons both species can still teach each other, might the two live in harmony yet? Slowly rising to a boil and subsequently boiling-over Director Matt Reeves once again successfully pulls us into a post-apocalyptic narrative that, while predictable, is still enjoyable; dashing humor, action, and nods to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, along with obvious criticism of human nature and global politics. From an acting standpoint, the ensemble performs fantastic, including some heavy duty character acting from ape actors Toby Kebbell, Terry Notary, and Karin Konoval. Special effects throughout are nothing shy of amazing right up to the final extreme closeup of Caesar/Serkis’s eyes, stunning. And, a standout score composed by Michael Giacchino grows from a campy start to a full brooding, festering thematic cacophony, icing on the cake. Still, perhaps a few minutes longer than necessary, don’t let this egg spoil the batch, this one gets the simian thumbs up on all limbs. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is rated PG-13.