“Gansgter Squad” — No formula is perfect when it comes to movies. Here, you get a huge budget, big stars (Sean Penn and Josh Brolin) and a period setting. The plot fires on all cylinders with great action sequences aplenty, as a group of rogue cops decide to throw out the rule book and go after Mickey Cohen guns a-blazing. Should have worked, but it doesn’t. This is a good, loud action flick, but it is just dead when people aren’t shooting at each other.
“The Impossible” — The tsunami in Thailand was one of those events that nailed viewers to the evening news, as footage of the disaster unspooled every night from people who filmed the tragedy on camcorders and cell phones. This fictionalized account traces a family on vacation who is swept apart by the tragedy and must survive the storm and its aftermath to reunite. Part drama and part disaster flick that is helped by excellent effects and good performances from Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
“Promised Land” — Matt Damon stars in this drama that follows a public relations man who works for a natural gas company. He descends on a small Pennsylvania town to talk the citizens into allowing the company to conduct a “fracking” project. His smooth talking works wonders, until he begins to fall for a local lady, while being confronted at every turn by a local man who is strongly opposed to his ideas. Pretty good.
“Maverick: Season 2” — James Garner returns alongside Jack Kelly, as the Maverick brothers. They tour the Old West, going from town to town and trying to make a buck, not always honestly, and getting by on their gun skills and sleight of hand. Lots of fun, and there is humor aplenty, thanks to Garner’s slick persona.