October came to a frightfully could finish this week with four excellent releases that promised something for everyone.
PIXELS – Kids and action junkies should enjoy this well-mounted and very funny adventure highlighting the arcade games of the 90’s. The story has aliens intercepting transmissions of video games and thinking that earth is declaring war on them. They respond by sending recreations of video game villains to earth in an effort to destroy it. The president has no recourse but to recruit the arcade master he went to high school with and have him assemble a small cadre of video game enthusiasts to battle the bad guys.
Fun stuff that is, in no small, due to the casting of Kevin James as the President and Adam Sandler as the arcade master who then recruits others (Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage) to help him repel the invasion by the likes of Donkey Kong and the Pacman Ghosts.
THE GIFT – Thriller fans should enjoy this engrossing study of a marriage that is set off balance when an old high school acquaintance of the husband shows up. The film centers on a happy couple ,Simon and Robyn. She is counting her blessings until Gordo shows up and proceeds to ingratiate himself with them. He drops off mysterious gifts and hints at a past transgression . Robyn begins to wonder how much she knows her husband and whether or not the person she’s married has reinvented himself.
SOUTHPAW – Drama and action fans will enjoy this study of a Light Heavyweight Champion who conquers his division but loses control of his life. he wins up alienating his manager and must turn to the owner of a rundown gym to regain his fame. This is perfect one -two punch that mixes fine acting by Jake Gyllenhaal ad Forest Whitaker with a solid script by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy). Antoine Fuqua (The Replacement Killers) directs and does a fine job of framing the fight sequences.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE III: THE FINAL SEQUENCE – This odd trilogy about sewing people together comes to a finish with an appropriately bizarre story set in the penal system. Dieter Laser (the mad scientist from the first film) stars as a Warden at his wits end. The Governor(Eric Roberts) is not impressed with the job being done at the prison. The medical costs are sky rocketing, staff turnover is constant, and there are too many riots. The warden’s assistant(Laurence Harvey who was the lead in part two)comes up with a new twist on the old chain gang motif which involves sewing 500 men together. The warden is desperate enough to try anything so you see where this is going. less a horror movie than an exercise in tolerance but it does have its moments.