Weekend Movies: Shaken and Stirred

Last weekend, Damon Lindelof delivered a bad movie (‘Tomorrowland’). This weekend, his ‘Lost’ compadre Carlton Cuse does the same with an epic disaster. At the same time, Cameron Crowe offers his first adult dramedy feature since ‘Elizabethtown’ flopped ten years ago.

In the same vein as any Roland Emmerich flick, this weekend brings us earthquake disaster-porn with ‘San Andreas‘. Dwayne Johnson reunites with his ‘Journey 2‘ director as a helicopter-piloting, first-responding rescuer. When the San Andreas fault finally begins its overdue slippage, with the indirect help of a genius Cal Tech scientist (Paul Giamatti), The Rock and his soon-to-be ex-wife (Carla Gugino) must make their way from the Los Angeles area to the San Francisco Bay to save their college-age daughter (Alexandra Daddario) from the wreckage and mayhem. The CG-heavy movie may kill brain cells (especially if you choose to see it with D-Box seating, like I did), but it’s the type of big, dumb, mindless, non-stop tension that summer blockbusters are made for.

As you’ll find in my upcoming Blu-ray review of ‘Vanilla Sky’, I am the biggest and most unapologetic fan of Cameron Crowe – but even I have some problems with the director’s new movie ‘Aloha‘. Bradley Cooper stars as a military defense contractor whose job brings him back to Hawaii, the place where he left behind a former fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and burned many bridges. With a fiery Air Force liaison (Emma Stone) assigned to babysit him, he must complete the job at hand, impress an employer and make amends with those he disappointed years ago – all while trying to find redemption. A lot is crammed into a short amount of time, which doesn’t let the story or characters breathe enough. Assuming that Sony chopped Crowe’s original cut drastically, ‘Aloha’ certainly doesn’t hit the peaks that it was intended to. However, it’s certainly not bad. It just could have been better. Hopefully, we’ll see Crowe’s preferred cut when the movie hits Blu-ray.

I haven’t been able to hop onto Facebook for weeks without seeing sponsored ads for one of this weekend’s limited releases. Now that ‘How I Met Your Mother’ has ended and there’s only an ‘Avengers’ movie every so many years, Cobie Smulders has found another project to fill her time. In ‘Results‘, she stars alongside Guy Pearce as a pair of personal fitness trainers who take themselves way too seriously. When a strange wealthy man shows up with odd requests, their harmony is thrown off in a quirky comedic way.

The lovely Gemma Arterton returns to select theaters this weekend in ‘Gemma Bovery‘, a creative interpretation of the classic French novel. Arterton plays a woman who mimics the novel’s central character to manipulate a neighbor who adores the book. Sounds scandalous!

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