Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 31, 2014 Edition

Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 31, 2014 Edition
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Silver Screen: Confidence Man: The Hugh DeNeal Story Is Stranger than Fiction
Silver Screen: 127 Hours ****
Silver Screen: 21 Jump Street ***
Silver Screen: A Good Day to Die Hard *
Silver Screen: A Million Ways to Die in the West *1/2
Silver Screen: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ***
Silver Screen: About Last Night ***1/2
Silver Screen: Admission ***1/2
Silver Screen: After Earth *
Silver Screen: All Is Lost ****
Silver Screen: American Hustle ****1/2
Silver Screen: American Reunion **1/2
Silver Screen: Argo **1/2
Silver Screen: August: Osage County ****
Silver Screen: Bad Teacher ***
Silver Screen: Bad Words **
Silver Screen: Battle: Los Angeles **
Silver Screen: Battleship *
Silver Screen: Beautiful Creatures *1/2
Silver Screen: Before Midnight ****1/2
Silver Screen: Begin Again ***1/2
Silver Screen: Bernie ****
Silver Screen: Black Swan ****
Silver Screen: Blended **1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Jasmine ****1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Valentine ****
Silver Screen: Brave ***
Silver Screen: Breaking Dawn Part I *1/2
Silver Screen: Brick Mansions **
Silver Screen: Bridesmaids ****
Silver Screen: Broken City ***
Silver Screen: Bully **
Silver Screen: Captain America **
Silver Screen: Captain America: The Winter Soldier ***1/2
Silver Screen: Captain Phillips ****
Silver Screen: Carrie **
Silver Screen: Cars II *1/2
Silver Screen: Case Thirty-nine *
Silver Screen: Cedar Rapids ****
Silver Screen: Charlie Saint Cloud **
Silver Screen: Chef ****
Silver Screen: Chernobyl Diaries *
Silver Screen: Chronicle ****
Silver Screen: Cloud Atlas ***
Silver Screen: Contagion ****1/2
Silver Screen: Contraband *
Silver Screen: Cowboys & Aliens ***
Silver Screen: Crazy, Stupid, Love **
Silver Screen: Dallas Buyers Club ****
Silver Screen: Dark Shadows *1/2
Silver Screen: Dark Skies **1/2
Silver Screen: David Wong’s John Dies at the End: A Local Author Sees His Novel Hit the Big Screen
Silver Screen: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ****1/2
Silver Screen: Dead Man Down 1/2*
Silver Screen: Deliver Us from Evil *
Silver Screen: Delivery Man ***
Silver Screen: Despicable Me **1/2
Silver Screen: Despicable Me II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Devil ***
Silver Screen: Dinner for Schmucks *1/2
Silver Screen: Director Rusty Nails Presents... Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George A. Romero
Silver Screen: Divergent *1/2
Silver Screen: Django Unchained ****1/2
Silver Screen: Don Jon *
Silver Screen: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark **
Silver Screen: Draft Day *
Silver Screen: Dream House *1/2
Silver Screen: Dredd 3D *1/2
Silver Screen: Drive ****1/2
Silver Screen: Drive Angry 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Due Date ***1/2
Silver Screen: Easy A ***1/2
Silver Screen: Eat Pray Love ***
Silver Screen: Edge of Tomorrow ****
Silver Screen: Elysium **
Silver Screen: End of Watch ****
Silver Screen: Ender’s Game ***
Silver Screen: Escape Plan ***
Silver Screen: Evil Dead ***
Silver Screen: Fast and Furious VI **
Silver Screen: Fast Five **1/2
Silver Screen: Faster **1/2
Silver Screen: Fifty/Fifty ****
Silver Screen: Final Destination V **
Silver Screen: Flight ****
Silver Screen: Forty-two ***1/2
Silver Screen: Frances Ha ****1/2
Silver Screen: Friends with Benefits **
Silver Screen: Fright Night ***
Silver Screen: Fruitvale Station ****
Silver Screen: G.I. Joe: Retaliation *
Silver Screen: Gangster Squad *1/2
Silver Screen: Get Him to the Greek ***
Silver Screen: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 1/2*
Silver Screen: Godzilla **1/2
Silver Screen: Going the Distance ***
Silver Screen: Gone **1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Green Lantern *1/2
Silver Screen: Grown Ups *
Silver Screen: Grown Ups II zero stars
Silver Screen: Hall Pass *1/2
Silver Screen: Hanna ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I ***
Silver Screen: Haywire ***1/2
Silver Screen: Her ***1/2
Silver Screen: Hereafter *
Silver Screen: Hit and Run ***
Silver Screen: Homefront *1/2
Silver Screen: Hope Springs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses **1/2
Silver Screen: House at the End of the Street *
Silver Screen: How Do You Know ***
Silver Screen: How to Train Your Dragon II ***
Silver Screen: I Am Number Four *
Silver Screen: Identity Thief ***
Silver Screen: In Time **1/2
Silver Screen: Inception ****1/2
Silver Screen: Inside Llewyn Davis *****
Silver Screen: Insidious ***1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious: Chapter Two ***
Silver Screen: Iron Man III **1/2
Silver Screen: J. Edgar **
Silver Screen: Jack and Jill 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jack Reacher ***
Silver Screen: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ***
Silver Screen: Jackass 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa *1/2
Silver Screen: Jeff, Who Lives at Home ***1/2
Silver Screen: Jersey Boys **1/2
Silver Screen: Jobs **
Silver Screen: Jonah Hex *
Silver Screen: Josh Hyde’s Postcards and Love Letters
Silver Screen: Just Go with It *
Silver Screen: Kick-Ass II zero stars
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killing Them Softly **1/2
Silver Screen: Knight and Day *1/2
Silver Screen: Kung Fu Panda II ***
Silver Screen: Larry Crowne *1/2
Silver Screen: Lawless ****
Silver Screen: Let Me In ***
Silver Screen: Life as We Know It *1/2
Silver Screen: Life of Pi **1/2
Silver Screen: Limitless ***
Silver Screen: Lincoln ****
Silver Screen: Lockout **
Silver Screen: Lone Survivor ***
Silver Screen: Looper ****
Silver Screen: Love and Other Drugs *1/2
Silver Screen: Lucy ***
Silver Screen: Machete **
Silver Screen: Machete Kills **1/2
Silver Screen: Mama **1/2
Silver Screen: Man of Steel *
Silver Screen: Megamind ***1/2
Silver Screen: Men in Black III *1/2
Silver Screen: Midnight in Paris ****
Silver Screen: Million Dollar Arm **1/2
Silver Screen: Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol ****
Silver Screen: Moneyball ***1/2
Silver Screen: Monsters University ***
Silver Screen: Moonrise Kingdom ****1/2
Silver Screen: Movie Forty-three zero stars
Silver Screen: My Soul to Take 3D 1/2*
Silver Screen: Nebraska ****1/2
Silver Screen: Need for Speed *
Silver Screen: Neighbors ***1/2
Silver Screen: New Year’s Eve *
Silver Screen: No Strings Attached ***
Silver Screen: Noah 1/2*
Silver Screen: Non-Stop ***1/2
Silver Screen: Now You See Me 1/2*
Silver Screen: Oblivion ***1/2
Silver Screen: Oculus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Olympus Has Fallen zero stars
Silver Screen: One Day **
Silver Screen: Our Idiot Brother ***
Silver Screen: Out of the Furnace *
Silver Screen: Oz the Great and Powerful **
Silver Screen: Pacific Rim ****
Silver Screen: Pain and Gain ***
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity III ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity IV *
Silver Screen: ParaNorman ***1/2
Silver Screen: Parker ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paul ***1/2
Silver Screen: Piranha 3D ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides *1/2
Silver Screen: Playing for Keeps 1/2*
Silver Screen: Predators ***
Silver Screen: Premium Rush ***
Silver Screen: Priest 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prisoners ****
Silver Screen: Project X 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prometheus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Real Steel *
Silver Screen: Red ***
Silver Screen: Red Dawn *
Silver Screen: Red Tails **
Silver Screen: Resident Evil: Retribution *
Silver Screen: Riddick ***
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Rise of the Planet of the Apes ****
Silver Screen: RoboCop ***
Silver Screen: Runner Runner *1/2
Silver Screen: Rush ****
Silver Screen: Sabotage **
Silver Screen: Safe ***
Silver Screen: Safe Haven *1/2
Silver Screen: Safe House ***
Silver Screen: Salt ***
Silver Screen: Savages ***1/2
Silver Screen: Saw VII 3D Zero Stars
Silver Screen: Scott Pilgrim versus the World ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scream IV *
Silver Screen: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World **1/2
Silver Screen: Seven Psychopaths ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sex and the City II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Sex Tape *
Silver Screen: Shaft and Coffy: Novotny Lawrence Discusses the Blaxploitation Movement
Silver Screen: Shark Night 3D 1/2* -- Apollo 18 **
Silver Screen: Side Effects ****1/2
Silver Screen: Silent House **1/2
Silver Screen: Silver Linings Playbook ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sinister ***1/2
Silver Screen: Skyfall ****
Silver Screen: Skyline *
Silver Screen: Snitch ***
Silver Screen: Snow White and the Huntsman **1/2
Silver Screen: Soldiers Speak Out: Carbondale Oscar Winner Barb Trent’s Latest Film
Silver Screen: Something Borrowed *
Silver Screen: Source Code ****1/2
Silver Screen: Splice ****
Silver Screen: Star Trek into Darkness ****
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Super Eight ****
Silver Screen: Taken II **
Silver Screen: Takers *1/2
Silver Screen: Tammy **1/2
Silver Screen: Ted ***1/2
Silver Screen: That Awkward Moment 1/2*
Silver Screen: That's My Boy *
Silver Screen: The A-Team **1/2
Silver Screen: The Academy Honors... The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale
Silver Screen: The Adjustment Bureau *1/2
Silver Screen: The Amazing Spider-Man **1/2
Silver Screen: The Amazing Spider-Man II ***1/2
Silver Screen: The American ****
Silver Screen: The Artist ****
Silver Screen: The Audubon Trilogy: Fugitive Narratives and the Drama of the Natural World
Silver Screen: The Avengers ****
Silver Screen: The Big Muddy Film Festival
Silver Screen: The Big Wedding *
Silver Screen: The Big Year *1/2
Silver Screen: The Book Thief **
Silver Screen: The Bourne Legacy ***
Silver Screen: The Boys and Girls Club Night at the Oscars
Silver Screen: The Butler ****
Silver Screen: The Call **1/2
Silver Screen: The Campaign ***
Silver Screen: The Company You Keep *1/2
Silver Screen: The Conjuring ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Counselor ****
Silver Screen: The Dark Knight Rises ***
Silver Screen: The Debt ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Descendants ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Dictator ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Dilemma *1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables **1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Fault in Our Stars ****
Silver Screen: The Fifth Estate 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Fighter ****
Silver Screen: The Five-Year Engagement ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *
Silver Screen: The Grand Budapest Hotel ****
Silver Screen: The Great Gatsby ****
Silver Screen: The Green Hornet **1/2
Silver Screen: The Guilt Trip ***
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part III *1/2
Silver Screen: The Heat **1/2
Silver Screen: The Host 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games ***
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Ides of March ****
Silver Screen: The Internship **1/2
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The King's Speech ****
Silver Screen: The Last Airbender *
Silver Screen: The Last Exorcism ***
Silver Screen: The Last Stand ***
Silver Screen: The Lego Movie ***
Silver Screen: The Lincoln Lawyer ***
Silver Screen: The Lone Ranger ***
Silver Screen: The Lucky One *1/2
Silver Screen: The Man with the Iron Fists **1/2
Silver Screen: The Master ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Mechanic **1/2
Silver Screen: The Monuments Men ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Next Three Days ***
Silver Screen: The Other Guys ***
Silver Screen: The Perks of Being a Wallflower ****
Silver Screen: The Place Beyond the Pines ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Possession *
Silver Screen: The Purge *
Silver Screen: The Purge: Anarchy **1/2
Silver Screen: The Quiet Ones *
Silver Screen: The Raid II ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Raven *
Silver Screen: The Rite *
Silver Screen: The Roommate *1/2
Silver Screen: The Rover **
Silver Screen: The Rum Diary ***
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 24, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , March 31, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 16, 2010 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card August 19, 2010 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 10, 2014 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 29, 2011 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 01, 2020 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 22, 2010 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 24, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ****
Silver Screen: The Sitter ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Social Network ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Sorcerer's Apprentice **
Silver Screen: The Spectacular Now ****
Silver Screen: The Thing **1/2
Silver Screen: The Three Stooges ***
Silver Screen: The Tourist **
Silver Screen: The Town ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Tree of Life *****
Silver Screen: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse *1/2
Silver Screen: The Vow **
Silver Screen: The Watch **
Silver Screen: The Way Way Back ****
Silver Screen: The Wolf of Wall Street ****
Silver Screen: The Wolverine *1/2
Silver Screen: The Woman in Black **
Silver Screen: The Words 1/2*
Silver Screen: The World’s End ****
Silver Screen: Thirty Minutes or Less ***1/2
Silver Screen: This Is Forty ****
Silver Screen: This Is The End ***1/2
Silver Screen: Thor ***
Silver Screen: Thor: The Dark World *
Silver Screen: Three Days to Kill **
Silver Screen: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ***1/2
Silver Screen: To Rome with Love ***1/2
Silver Screen: Total Recall **1/2
Silver Screen: Tower Heist ***
Silver Screen: Toy Story III ****
Silver Screen: Transcendence *1/2
Silver Screen: Transformers: Age of Extinction 1/2*
Silver Screen: Transformers: Dark of the Moon *1/2
Silver Screen: True Grit ****1/2
Silver Screen: Twelve Years a Slave ****1/2
Silver Screen: Twenty-two Jump Street ***1/2
Silver Screen: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II *
Silver Screen: Two Guns ***
Silver Screen: Unknown ***
Silver Screen: Unstoppable **
Silver Screen: Veronica Mars ***1/2
Silver Screen: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ****
Silver Screen: Wanderlust ***1/2
Silver Screen: War Horse **
Silver Screen: Water for Elephants ***
Silver Screen: We Bought a Zoo ****
Silver Screen: White House Down ***
Silver Screen: Winter's Tale 1/2*
Silver Screen: World War Z **
Silver Screen: Wrath of the Titans 1/2*
Silver Screen: Wreck-it Ralph ***1/2
Silver Screen: X-Men: Days of Future Past ***
Silver Screen: X-Men: First Class ***
Silver Screen: Your Highness ***1/2
Silver Screen: You’re Next **1/2
Silver Screen: Zero Dark Thirty ****1/2
Silver Screen: Zookeeper *


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
Pictured: Get on Up.
Bryan Miller

> opening this week in Carbondale (Friday unless otherwise noted).

< leaving Carbondale this Friday.

Bryan Miller unless otherwise credited.

Begin Again (R, ***1/2): Writer-director John Carney’s latest doesn’t stray too far from the territory he carved out in his biggest hit, Once, an Oscar-nominated musical love story about a pair of buskers who express their growing love in the tunes they write and perform. Here Keira Knightley stars as one half of a songwriting couple who broke up after the other half (Adam Levine) found big success with a movie soundtrack. Adrift, she crosses paths with a down-on-his-luck music producer (Mark Ruffalo) who decides she’s the next big thing, or at least the next good thing. His not-so-great idea is to launch her career with a demo of songs recorded entirely on the streets of New York City, an acoustical nightmare this romanticized pseudo-realist movie finds perfectly acceptable. The movie’s stakes are almost criminally low, but the characters are nicely fleshed out and well-acted by the leads (as well as a solid supporting cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, Mos Def, and James Corden). Most importantly, the songs are pretty good. It’s a bauble, but a pretty one, and a nice showcase for Ruffalo and Knightley, the latter of whom is a convincing singer.

< Chef (R, ****): Jon Favreau rose to fame as the writer and costar of the indie comedy hit Swingers, then became an improbable crossover success as the director of Marvel’s hugely successful Iron Man franchise before the studio unceremoniously dumped him before the third installment. The parallels between Favreau’s plight as a moviemaker and that of his character, chef Carl Casper, are at the forefront of this charming dramedy about a workaholic chef who gets fired after he beefs with a food critic (Oliver Platt) and disobeys his restaurant’s unimaginative owner (Dustin Hoffman). His improbably supportive ex-wife (Sofía Vergera) helps him secure financing for a food truck with one of her former flames (Robert Downey Jr. in one brief, funny scene), which Carl, his faithful sous chef (John Leguizamo), and Carl’s semi-estranged son (Emjay Anthony) must drive from Miami to Los Angeles. Along they way they stop at foodie hubs to sell their brand of artfully executed street food and learn various life lessons. Chef is about the joy of working in an artform for the pure pleasure of craftsmanship. To grouse about the movie’s conventional arc or its so-gentle-it’s-barely-there brand of conflict is to miss the point entirely. Favreau’s rejection both of and by the Hollywood-studio system doesn’t mean he’s eager to set a course for avant-garde experimentalism; it’s about returning to authenticity of expression and a direct human connection. It’s a success, with a terrific cast and some feel-good insights that, like any great food, are a little more complex and nuanced than they first seem.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13, ****1/2): Matt Reeves’s followup to the surprisingly good reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the Godfather Part II of ape movies— or The Dark Knight of ape movies, if you prefer. Research project turned super-intelligent ape Caesar (based on the motion-captured performance of Andy Serkis) led an uprising of his fellow creatures, whom he dosed with the same chemicals that led to his enlightenment. A decade later the genetic mutation has spawned the simian flu, which has killed off most of mankind, while Caesar has formed an ever-evolving society outside San Francisco. When a group of humans (led by Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke) stumble across the apes’ enclave, both societies are thrown into an uproar. Clarke’s levelheaded man of action works with Caesar to forge a peace, but the reactionaries on both sides push for war. Reeves and his team of screenwriters do a wonderful job of balancing heady concepts and eye-popping spectacle. The apes are brilliantly rendered and more emotionally complex than their human counterparts. This is the summer’s best blockbuster— smart, thrilling, and richly imagined. Also featuring Keri Russell.

How to Train Your Dragon II (PG, ***): This sequel to the delightful, surprise hit about a pipsqueak Viking lad (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who befriends an injured dragon and convinces his fellow villagers not to fear the majestic beasts lacks both the whimsy and heart of the original. The cobbled-together story feels like two not-that-great movies mashed into one, as our dragon trainer meets up with a mysterious figure from his past while trying to stave off a generic tyrant who wants to control the dragons to use as his own personal army. But what the movie lacks in its mediocre story it makes up for in spectacular visuals that surpass even the kinetic thrills of the original, one of the few movies to really justify the extra couple of bucks spent on 3D glasses. Not only do the flying sequences remain dizzying and dazzling, the sleek, slick-looking Toothless the dragon is joined by a horde of fellow creatures all with their own distinctive designs. Whenever the story lags, just sit back and enjoy the gorgeous aesthetic and top-notch computer animation. Plus, it’s got enough dragon action to fill fifty seasons of Game of Thrones. Featuring the voices of Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, Djimon Hounsou, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

Lucy (R, ***): The entire premise of writer/director Luc Besson’s new sci-fi action mashup is based on the misconception that human beings use only ten percent of their total brain capacity. That makes this a high-concept movie whose concept is entirely incorrect. Yet Besson’s gleeful stupidity and manic enthusiasm, along with a real flair for the frenzied and garish, help to create a fun, breezy blockbuster, even if enjoying it requires that you use way less than ten percent of your own mind. Scarlett Johansson stars as the title character, a party girl accidentally caught up in a deadly transaction with a Korean gangster (Oldboy’s Min-Sik Choi) inexplicably living in China. She’s forced to mule a new synthetic brain-boosting drug, but when she’s accidentally exposed to it she becomes a hyper-intelligent, constantly evolving badass-cum-superheroine who blasts her way through mobsters on her way to a higher plane of consciousness. The movie’s breakneck pace and hand-holding exposition (provided by Morgan Freeman) help viewers ignore the less-adroit leaps in logic and bizarre inconsistencies and just enjoy this madcap, clueless, but ambitious piece of genre candy.

The Purge: Anarchy (R, **1/2): If you ignore that it was in no way good, 2013’s The Purge is ideal sequel fodder. The star wasn’t the top-billed actor, but rather the hysterical high concept that in near-future America, crime and poverty and have been significantly alleviated by a new program called the Purge, an annual twelve-hour event during which all emergency services are suspended and all laws nullified. The original confined itself to the home of one hapless family, recalling John Carpenter’s 1976 classic Assault on Precinct Thirteen. In the sequel, writer and director James DeMonaco amps up the Carpenterian social commentary (and attending love of gun violence and wonderfully hysterical metaphors) and takes the action to the streets, focusing on a group of disparate strangers (Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Carmen Ejogo, and Zoe Soul) as they follow a nameless, revenge-driven antihero (Frank Grillo) through the chaos of Purge-night Los Angeles in search of safety. Evidence of a conspiracy mounts, hinted at early on in viral videos of revolutionary leader Carmello (Michael K. Williams). Frustratingly, all the substance of the larger plot is left to implication and vague suggestion (along with hints of elaboration in a teased second sequel). The social commentary swings between blunt and garbled, a not-so-deadly combination of secondhand insights embellished with a meaningless hodgepodge of subversive iconography. But the end result is dark, shrill fun that at least has the courtesy to hark back to the work of better, more compelling filmmakers.

Sex Tape (R, *): Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz costar as a bored married couple who make a sex tape, only to find out they accidentally sent digital copies to their friends and family in this limp, unsatisfying comedy. Rather than deal with the intriguing and very real modern problem of inadvertently broadcasting intimate moments to the public, director Jake Kasdan, working from a script by Segel, Nicholas Stoller, and Kate Angelo, turns the story into a one-crazy-night romp in which the two stars dash around town trying to recover all the various iPads onto which they uploaded their sex session. It turns the sex tape into a MacGuffin and an excuse for broad comic setpieces rather than the subject of the movie itself. The jokes are mostly flat and come seemingly at random. Why does costar Rob Lowe have a tattoo of rapper Easy-E and paintings of famous Disney scenes with his face superimposed on them? Absolutely no reason at all. Worse than the film’s squandering of a solid premise and barrage of uninspired gags is its unpleasantly sex-negative attitudes, in which a happy, hardworking married couple are punished for indulging in the most minor of conjugal kinks. Only America could produce a movie that’s simultaneously so vulgar yet chaste and repressive.

Tammy (R, **1/2): Comedy superstar and SIU alumna Melissa McCarthy headlines her first film, three years after her career-making performance in Bridesmaids. The movie is a mixed bag that isn’t able to reconcile its tonal shifts from big-comedy setpieces and quieter, sometimes morose character moments, but it does give McCarthy ample opportunity to showcase her impressive range. She plays the title character, a good-natured buffoon with a hot temper who we meet on the worst day of her life. After crashing her car, getting fired, and discovering her husband’s infidelity, she hits the road with her saucy, sauced grandma (Susan Sarandon) for a road trip that turns out to be pretty aimless. Tammy hotdogs on a jetski, drives through a campground, robs a fast-food joint, sets fire to a car, and attends a lesbian Fourth of July party, but to what avail? The movie’s central flaw is that we never really know what it is that Tammy wants. It is funny, though, just intermittently and unsteadily, but even its flaws suggest further promise from director, cowriter, and SIU alum Ben Falcone, who errs on the side of more ambitious character-driven comedy than slapstick chicanery. McCarthy is as wonderful as ever, but aside from Sarandon and bit players Kathy Bates and Gary Cole, the rest of the stacked cast— which includes Dan Aykroyd, Sandra Oh, Nat Faxon, Allison Janney, and Toni Collette— doesn’t have much to do.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (PG-13, 1/2*): The Transformers cartoon of the 1980s was created as a marketing scheme: Rather than pay for commercial airtime to shill for their action figures, Hasbro made a half-hour advertisement posed as a cartoon that the networks would pay them to air. That same spirit pervades Michael Bay’s insultingly awful third sequel to the briefly amusing live-action adaptation, which prioritizes product placement above all things. There are commercials for Oreo, Beats, Victoria’s Secret, beer, ethanol, and even the Chinese government shoehorned into this unstructured, incoherent, relentless, repetitive assault of indistinguishable computer-generated robot fights that accomplish little more than beating your senses into submission so the marketing messages can seep in. Mark Wahlberg replaces the outgoing Shia LaBeouf as the friend of the Autobots who must help Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) fight off a new breed of Decepticons engineered by a Steve Jobsian inventor (Stanley Tucci) working with an American bureaucrat (Kelsey Grammer). It’s as unpleasant an experience as you’re likely to have in a movie theater that does not catch fire, and the running time stretches out to two hours and forty-five minutes, just five minutes shy of The Godfather. Awful, awful, awful.

< Twenty-two Jump Street (R, ***1/2): The improbably funny big-screen incarnation of Twenty-one Jump Street got to have its reheated cake and eat it, too. The movie mercilessly mocked the conventions of TV-to-movie cash-in adaptations while simultaneously cashing in on that very same brand recognition. The slightly insipid hypocrisy was leavened by its lax attitude and barrage of mostly good jokes. The sequel, Twenty-two Jump Street, applies this same formula to unnecessary and illogical sequels. Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are back, but the budget and the stakes are slightly raised, as explained by their hyperbolically angry police captain (Ice Cube). Now they’re infiltrating a college to find the dealer repping for drug runner Ghost (Peter Stormare). The plot isn’t just secondary; its flimsiness is one of the movie’s many running gags. Like its predecessor, Twenty-two Jump Street is a haphazard collection of dick jokes and meta-references to its own shabby Hollywood pedigree. Some of the gags run a little too long— the frequent references to Jenko and Schmidt’s partnership being like a gay relationship are inoffensive but tired— but the movie is consistently funny from the opening sequence to the closing credits and beyond. It’s an ideal summer-matinee movie with nary a hint of seriousness in sight and a haphazard but delightful barrage of jokes, nicely corralled by directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, propped up by some solid performances, including supporting turns from Nick Offerman and the Lucas brothers.

Also in or Coming to Local Theaters

And so It Goes (PG-13): Michael Douglas stars as a realtor who must adapt to family life with the help of his neighbor (Diane Keaton) after his estranged son unexpectedly leaves him in charge of his granddaughter. Directed by Rob Reiner.

America (PG-13): Conservative conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza’s latest so-called documentary, which no doubt blames all of the nation’s ills on the Clintons and Barack Obama and liberals. Yawn. (Wissmann)

> Get on Up (PG-13): Does anyone’s life seem less likely for a PG-13 retelling than wildman and Godfather of Soul James Brown? That’s the version The Help director Tate Taylor brings to the screen, although he has a secret weapon in star Chadwick Boseman, the best part of Forty-two and Draft Day. Also featuring Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Dan Aykroyd.

> Guardians of the Galaxy (PG-13): An American pilot (Chris Pratt) with half-alien ancestry recruits a team of intergalactic oddballs (including Zoe Saldana and the digitally modified Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper) to rescue a mysterious object, foil a villain, and save the universe— standard stuff for Marvel’s latest superhero movie, which has a dry-humored tone and is directed by modern B-movie favorite James Gunn.

Hercules (PG-13): Dwayne Johnson stars in the title role as the demigod son of Zeus who here must lead an army in battle against hordes of computer-generated monsters with the help of his trusty friends (including Deadwood’s Ian McShane) and some supermodels (Irina Shayk, Barbara Palvin). Directed by Brett Ratner.

> I Origins (R): Mike Cahill explores the relationship between science and religion in this sci-fi film starring Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, and Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead). (Wissmann)

< Persecuted (PG-13): In an elaborate conspiracy, Christians are persecuted for their beliefs. As if Obama were Caligula. (Wissmann)

Planes: Fire and Rescue (PG): Sequel to the Cars spinoff about airplanes, in particular a plucky cropduster (voiced by Dane Cook) who takes a job as an aerial firefighter, because if there’s one thing sentient planes hate, it’s deforestation. Also featuring the voices of Cedric the Entertainer, Teri Hatcher, Stacy Keach, and Hal Holbrook.

< Third Person (R): The latest Altman-esque attempt to tie together disparate storylines by often-overrated director Paul Haggis (Crash). Starring a pretty amazing cast, including Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Mila Kunis, and Adrien Brody. (Wissmann)

> Wish I Was Here (R): Zach Braff makes his first return to directing since 2004’s well-received Garden State. This one seems to explore the anxieties of thirtysomethings— basically the kind of characters who populated Garden State, but about ten years later. (Wissmann)