Of the new movies that I reviewed during the Jan. 3, 2013, edition of “Breakthrough Thinking: The Magazine,” the one that I would most recommend seeing as soon as possible is “Any Day Now,” which is a drama starring Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt. However, so long as you avoid “Citadal” – a socio-political message movie masquerading as a horror flick – you should start the new year well entertained.
‘Any Day Now’*
Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt play a gay couple who, in the 1970s, fights a biased legal system to keep custody of the abandoned mentally handicapped teenager (Isaac Leyva) that comes to live under their roof. (R – 97 minutes)
“Any Day Now” is a harrowing yet heartbreaking motion picture that is accented by a pair of powerful performances from actors Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt. The new drama from writer/director Travis Fine demonstrates with emotional sincerity the tragic extent to which social injustices are capable of going. There are times when the film feels just a bit too sentimental but, for the most part, the movie’s message and its dramatic resonance combine to make for a piece of entertainment that is as affecting as it is important. The last scene’s many meanings are sure to stay with you. (Grade: B)
*Playing exclusively at Harkins Camelview 5.
Aneurin Barnard plays an agoraphobic father who teams up with a renegade priest (James Cosmo) to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children who committed an act of violence against his family years earlier. (R – 84 minutes)
Is “Citadel” a supernatural horror flick or one that merely finds its fright from real life? Or is really just a socio-political message movie masquerading as a horror flick? I do not even know for certain and I have watched this muddled mess that makes nary a lick of sense. But regardless of which definitive genre writer/director Ciaran Foy’s Irish import belongs in, it misleads moviegoers and makes them feel nothing but complete and utter disappointment over having to watch something that starts off so excruciatingly slow before eventually evolving into something devoid of any surprises whatsoever. (Grade: F)
*Playing exclusively at Harkins Valley Art.
Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play people who agree to look after their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents (Tom Everett Scott and Marisa Tomei) need to leave town for work. Problems arise when the kids’ 21st-century behaviors collide with the grandparents’ old-school methods. (PG – 104 minutes)
“Parental Guidance” is a movie for grandparents. And I do not mean that it is a movie for grandparents to enjoy with their grandchildren. I mean that it is a movie strictly for grandparents because they are the only demographic that will be so smitten with director Andy Fickman’s flick’s sweet, good-intentioned nature that they will not mind that it is over the top in almost all aspects – be it its jokes, its sentimentality or its suggestion that a game of “kick the can” will produce profound bonding. Having said that, it is still a feel-good family film with some surprisingly hearty laughs. (Grade: C)