Any film that begins with a character earnestly reciting the Our Father is well calculated to grab the attention of Christian viewers. And, in the case of the powerful drama “Prisoners” (Warner Bros.), such concentration on the part of believers will be, in some respects at least, well rewarded by what follows.
If summer’s speedy passing has you feeling blue, then head to “The Smurfs 2″ (Columbia) for a jolly pick-me-up. The lighthearted tone of this 3-D sequel — which, like its 2011 predecessor, mixes animation with live action — comes courtesy of the familiar azure-hued elves of the title.
You can’t go home again. So, at least, the title of a 1940 novel by Thomas Wolfe admonishes us. That’s a bit of advice the characters in the grueling sci-fi adventure “After Earth” (Columbia) — not to mention the real-life folks behind this plodding project — would have done well to heed.
In following up on his 2009 reboot of — and prequel to — Gene Roddenberry’s mythos, Abrams crafts a snappy adventure on a spectacular scale. And the story — penned by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof — carries an ethically respectable thematic cargo.
Given that his first appearance in print dates back to 1963, the comics-based superhero of “Iron Man 3″ (Disney) may be said to be turning 50 this year. Perhaps a midlife crisis is to blame for the lack of freshness and charm that mark the latest addition to this blockbuster screen franchise — or perhaps other factors are at fault.