Playing for Keeps (2012)/Rating: 2.5/5
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid
For a romantic comedy, Playing for Keeps hits most of the right notes. You have a divorced couple, George and Stacie (played by Butler and Biel), who are trying to move on with their lives. The only thing keeping them tied together is their son. Stacie is getting remarried while George is a womanizer. Over time through coaching his son's soccer team, George realizes what is most important in his life. There are some cute moments, but the all-star cast can't save it from getting dull in parts.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)/Rating: 3/5
Starring: John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman
This is a cute movie for the most part. Ralph's plight of being seen as only a bad guy is something that we can all relate to. I'm sure we've each been stereotyped by what we do for a living or some other factor. Sarah Silverman's voice for Vanellope was rather grating. I expected a much sweeter voice for her considering her origins. Jane Lynch as Calhoun was perfect. She easily embodies the tough chick persona even in animated form. My favorite part really had no effect on the main plot though. It was the support group for video-game antagonists! That's something to look out for if you're a fan of classic games.
Red Dawn (2012)/Rating: 2/5
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Adrianne Palicki, Jeffery Dean Morgan
Chris Hemsworth is hot. I'll admit that. In the midst of the very real threats from North Korea, this movie was one I'd approached with caution. It's very likely that some teenagers have seen this and decided, should an invasion happen, that they'll make the same choice to fight back. That's more frightening to me than the threat of a North Korean attack simply because this movie is rather bad. It's the fault of a poor script and some bad acting. However you look at it, this remake can't stand up to the 1984 original despite having upgraded effects.
A Haunted House (2013)/Rating: 1/5
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Cedric the Entertainer, Essence Atkins
Between you and me, this is better than Paranormal Activity simply because it is what it is. It's the entirely same setup, but with crude comedy rather than the 'serious' tone that the movies it parodies have. Crude comedy is what it is. You have drug, sex, and bodily function jokes. You're going to enjoy this, if you want a mindless laugh and you're okay with crude.
Oz, the Great and Powerful (2013)/Rating: 3.5/5
Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz
Miko has already reviewed this movie far better than I could. I just wanted to touch on one part. There is a beautiful transition from the black and white of Kansas to the vivid color of Oz. The changes in aspect ratio and audio brought out my inner geek. These transitions greatly amplify and enhance the differences between the two worlds. Go read her review if you haven't!