April will go out week with three modest hits and one obscure bomb that was so bad it was kind of enjoyable.
ARRIVAL – When alien ships surround the earth like an RKO Studios posse a day of reckoning loom sin this sci-fi drama. Amy Adams stars as a linguist brought in to try and communicate with the aliens. Good drama with nice turns by Adams, Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner.
LALA LAND – A struggling actress falls for a temperamental jazz pianist in this salute to movie musicals. This is a new age musical so the songs are better acted than they are sung. That said there are some marvelous numbers(my favorite was the opening traffic jam on L.A. ‘s freeway)and a lot of energy. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are in sync as the leads.
UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS – This series just refuses to die despite a bad case of sagging middle entries. Kate Bekinsale returns as a leather clad vampire fighter who is trying to keep the peace between Lycans (werewolves0 and blood suckers. The action scenes continue to be the main attraction here and this entry delivers on that front. There is a an opening monologue for those of you who missed the other films in the series.
THE EXTERMINATOR 2 – This 80’s action flick is one of those inferior sequels. the first film charted the rise of a vigilante who returned from Vietnam and found his Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood over run by prostitution. This time he sets his sights on a colorful drug dealer named X. This is by the numbers stuff but it does rock a cool villain. Keen viewers will note that X’s elaborate hairdo was tough on continuity and changes size in virtually every scene. Look for the main character to disappear for large chunks of the movie as the actor walked off the set halfway through production.
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.