This week at the movies: Rock Dog; Collide; and Get Out.
For the Tibetan mastiffs on Snow Mountain, a dog's life has a simple riff -- guard a peaceful village of sheep from the thuggish wolf Linnux (Lewis Black) and his rabid pack. To avoid distractions, mastiff leader Khampa (J.K. Simmons) forbids all music. However, when his son Bodi (Luke Wilson) discovers a radio that fell from the sky, it takes just a few guitar licks for the lad's fate to be sealed. Wanting to be a rock 'n' roll star, Bodi heads to the city to locate Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), legendary musician who needs to write a new song.
Rated PG. Comedy/Animation. Directed by Ash Brannon. 1h 20m.
What the Critics Say:
“The film, based on a Chinese graphic novel and directed by Ash Brannon, keeps its animation simple and its story lines clear, which makes it reliable fare for the 10-and-younger set. The only disappointment, given the subject, is that it’s not a full-on musical — it has musical flourishes, yes, but nothing as memorable as ‘Let It Go.’” – NYTimes
“On its face, this story of a humble Tibetan mastiff harboring dreams of six-string glory is equal parts ‘Kung Fu Panda,’ ‘Zootopia,’ and ‘Hop,’ with animation that’s basic by comparison, at least to a grown-up eye. But Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, director Ash Brannon (‘Surf’s Up’), and crew combine these ingredients into something that’s uniquely likable, and even unique-looking at times.” – Boston Globe
Our Take: This is definitely a movie that the whole family will enjoy. It’s got cute dogs, it’s got good music, and it’s got big laughs – honestly, what’s not to love?!
To pay for his girlfriend's medical emergency while abroad in Europe, an American backpacker named Casey (Nicholas Hoult) gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers. Acting as their driver, Casey hatches a scheme to pull off a drug heist for an eccentric gangster (Anthony Hopkins) and winds up on the run from his new employers. Also starring Felicity Jones and Ben Kingsley.
Rated PG-13. Action/Thriller. Directed by Eran Creevy. 2h 19m.
What the Critics Say:
“Nicholas Hoult makes one good action hero. Physically, he fills the big screen adequately, giving us much eye candy along the way.He's also a talented actor, which is just as well as this action flick requires some emoting… If Hollywood ever plans to reboot the ‘Die Hard’ franchise, they should look to him to helm it.” – The New Paper
Our Take: Looks like Nicholas Hoult – who was once a scrawny and slightly awkward child actor – has really done some growing up! Also, Anthony Hopkins AND Ben Kingsley? Impressive, to say the least. If you’re in the mood to see an action-packed and high-speed chase-filled movie this weekend, then ‘Collide’ is for you.
Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams from HBO’s ‘Girls’), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined. Also starring Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener.
Rated R. Horror/Thriller. Directed by Jordan Peele. 2h 10m.
What the Critics Say:
“Comedian Jordan Peele's race-based horror movie combines genuine thrills with a no-holds-barred critique of black-white relations… Peele effectively [keeps] audiences on edge [from] the beginning, sending occasional jolts through the crowd that, once viewers realize they’ve been tweaked, translate into appreciative ‘you got us!’ laughs.” – Variety
“[‘Get Out’] takes a jaundiced look at interracial relationships, limousine liberals and self-delusion, and throws in some survival-action elements, too. It's very funny at times, but it isn't a comedy. It is that very rare of beasts: a new and original motion picture…” – New York Daily News
Our Take: ‘Get Out’ will keep you guessing and glued to the screen. Jordan Peele – half of Comedy Central’s hysterical sketch-comedy duo ‘Key and Peele’ – wrote and directed this thriller, which is both impressive and incredibly intriguing (who knew this comedian had such a great talent for producing horror films?). This movie is uniquely frightening, and has a powerful message that will stick with you even after you leave the theater…