Movie Reviews: Paper Towns, Pixels, Cartel Land | Buzz Blog

Friday, July 24, 2015

Movie Reviews: Paper Towns, Pixels, Cartel Land

Also: Unexpected, Southpaw, Aloft

Posted By on July 24, 2015, 8:35 AM

  • Pin It
    Favorite
click to enlarge papertowns.jpg
Adaptations of a young-adult bestseller and a two-minute short film join a pair of Sundance 2015 entries among new releases in Utah theaters.

In Pixels, Adam Sandler takes a fun concept—an alien invasion in the form of vintage video-game characters—and applies his now-typical approach of executing it in the laziest manner possible. Paper Towns (pictured) delivers the latest from The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, but the expected teen romance—between a high school student (Nat Wolff) and his dream girl (Cara Delevingne)—turns instead into a charming tale of teen friendship. The documentary Cartel Land tries to explore the drug trade from both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, but winds up with only half of a fascinating narrative. Aloft proves to be far too literal at applying its chilly, remote setting to the story of a faith healer (Jennifer Connelly) and the estranged son (Cillian Murphy) trying to track her down.

Danny Bowes finds the appeal of the central relationship in Unexpectedbetween a white teacher (Cobie Smulders) and her black student (Gail Bean) both coping with unplanned pregnancies—overcoming a script that's sometimes overwritten and dramatically slight.

In this week's feature review, the familiar rags-to-riches arc of an underdog boxing narrative gets an effective twist to match Jake Gyllenhaal's strong lead performance in Southpaw.

On Topic...

More by Scott Renshaw

  • FILM NEWS: JULY 18-24

    New This Week, Special Screenings, and Current Releases
    • Jul 17, 2019
  • Circle of Lifeless

    The Lion King demonstrates the difference between realism and vitality.
    • Jul 17, 2019
  • Girls Don't Just Wanna Have Fun

    The creators of Girls Gotta Eat approach crafting a funny, raunchy podcast with professionalism.
    • Jul 17, 2019
  • More »

Latest in Buzz Blog

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

© 2019 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation