A Haunted House 2
Open Road Films
Rated R for violence, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, drug use, ethnic slurs and pervasive profanity
Ghost Spooks Newlyweds in Irreverent Horror Spoof
A Haunted House, an irreverent spoof of Paranormal Activity, co-starred Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins as Malcolm and Kisha, a couple whose home was invaded by demonic forces. Along the way, she became possessed by the devil and turned on her man, despite the best efforts of an exasperated exorcist (Cedric The Entertainer).
All of the above are back for A Haunted House 2, a jaw-dropping sequel which ups the ante in terms of gratuitous gore, sexuality, nudity, profanity and use of the N-word. Nevertheless, the review-proof teensploitation flick is apt to appeal to the same folks who made the original such a runaway hit.
At the point of departure, Kisha perishes in a car accident, which Malcolm and his cousin Ray-Ray (Affion Crockett) survive. Fast-forward a year and Malcolm’s married to Megan (Jaime Pressly) and moving into a new home, along with her kids, Becky (Ashley Rickards) and Wyatt (Steele Stebbins), and his dog,Shiloh.
The shopworn cliché of a safe literally falling from the sky and flattening the pooch is the first sign that something suspicious might be afoot on the premises. The mysterious goings-on only escalate after an inconsolable Malcolm tries to join his dearly departed pet in the grave.
Turns out jealous Kisha’s ghost is determined to wreck the newlyweds’ relationship. Spells subsequently provide the convenient cover for disgusting skits ranging from Malcolm’s mating with a doll, to flatulent Wyatt’s farting in his sister’s face, to projectile vomiting, to promiscuous Becky’s having a penis lodged in her throat.
Eventually, the priest is summoned again, leading to another finale serving as a set up for a sequel. A kitchen sink comedy more shocking than funny and strictly recommended for rabid fans of the bottom-feeding franchise.
Fair (1 star)
Running time: 87 minutes
Anchor Bay Films/Freestyle Releasing
Rated R for sexual references.
H.S. Grad Considers Skipping College To Sell Used Cars In Fact-Based Father-Son Saga
Although Freddy Klein (Devon Bostick) is about to finish high school, he still hasn’t decided whether to attend college in the fall. That’s because he’s considering taking a job as a salesman on his father’s (Christopher Meloni) used car lot.
The very idea of it frustrates Freddy’s mother (Bridget Moynahan) to no end, since she divorced Al years ago for being such a slippery character and poor provider. For that reason, she raised her son without her ex’s involvement.
Consequently, she’s dismayed at the prospect of his serving as a role model upon belatedly coming back into the picture on graduation day. Predictably-unreliable Al even proceeds to screw up that occasion, arriving with his girlfriend (Garcelle Beauvais) too late to see his son walk across the stage. Nevertheless, Freddy opts to work and live with his long-estranged dad, an ill-advised decision which prompts his mom to warn, “I will hang myself, if he ends up like you.”
This is the intriguing point of departure of Small Time, a compelling, coming of age tale ostensibly inspired by a true story. The movie marks the directorial debut of veteran scriptwriter Joel Surnow, who is best known for the Emmy-winning TV series 24.
Putting a unique spin on the “last summer before college” genre, the film revolves around a father-son bonding opportunity as opposed to the familiar escapist theme of hedonistic teens nostalgically reminiscing while bidding each other farewell in wanton fashion. Instead, we have Al and his partner (Dean Norris) showing Freddy the slimy tricks of the trade as the kid immediately takes to the sleazy profession like a fish to water.
Of course, this development is not lost on his worried mom who hates seeing her son emulating those slippery con artists. Ultimately, it all boils down to whether Freddy will continue down this checkered path or wise up and start school in September?
A refreshingly-realistic, slice-of-life drama highlighting the plight of a teen with a hole in his soul who’s understandably torn between moving on with his life and making up for lost time.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 95 minutes
OPENING THIS WEEK
For movies opening April 18, 2014
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Heaven Is For Real (PG for mature themes) Screen adaptation of Pastor Todd Burpo’s (Greg Kinnear) number one New York Times best-seller recounting his son’s (Connor Corum) meeting Jesus Christ (Mike Mohrhardt) up in Paradise during a near-death experience. Supporting cast includesThomasHadenChurch, Kelly Reilly and Lane Styles.
Transcendence (PG-13 for violence, action, bloody images, sensuality and brief profanity) Sci-fi thriller starring Johnny Depp as a terminally ill scientist who turns into a power-hungry megalomaniac after uploading the contents of his brain onto a computer. Ensemble cast includes Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Rebecca Hall, Cory Hardrict, Cillian Murphy and Clifton Collins, Jr.
13 Sins (R for violence, profanity and bloody images) Remake of Game Of Death (2006), a horror flick revolving around a down on his luck salesman (Mark Webber) manipulated to perform a series of increasingly sinister tasks for a promised prize of $6.2 million. WithDevon Graye, Rutina Wesley and Ron Perlman.
Authors Anonymous (PG-13 for suggestive material) Ensemble comedy about the envy which shows its ugly face in a support group of aspiring writers when their most recent member (Kaley Cuoco) becomes an overnight sensation. Cast includes Chris Klein, Teri Polo, Dylan Walsh and Dennis Farina.
Bank$tas (Unrated) Buddy comedy about a couple of recent finance grads (Michael Seater and Joe Dinicol) who hatch a plan to prevent their crooked boss (Alan Thicke) from implementing a bank loan scheme designed to cheat millions of college students. With Grace Lynn Kung, Laura Vandervoort and Brandon Firla.
Fading Gigolo (R for profanity, sexuality and brief nudity) John Turturro wrote, directed and stars in the romantic comedy as a dashing Don Juan who woos wealthy widows in order to help out a cash-strapped pal (Woody Allen). Cast includes Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber, Jill Scott, Vanessa Paradis and Aida Turturro.
The Final Member (R for graphic nudity, phallic images, sexual references and brief profanity) Genitalia on ice documentary, set 30 miles from the Arctic Circle, extolling the effort of the world’s only museum dedicated to the display of penises to add its first human specimen to its prized collection.
Kid Cannabis (Unrated) Idaho crime caper revisiting the real-life exploits of an 18-year-old high school dropout (Jonathan Daniel Brown) who quit his job as a pizza delivery boy to build a multimillion-dollar marijuana empire. Featuring Ron Perlman, John C. McGinley, Aaron Yoo and Kenny Warmald.
A Promise (Unrated) Romance drama, set in Germany prior to the outbreak of World War I, revolving around a woman (Rebecca Hall) who falls in love with her husband’s (Alan Rickman) young protégé (Richard Madden) and vows to wait for his return before the war separates them for a half-dozen years. With Toby Murray, Maggie Steed and Shannon Tarbet.
Tasting Menu (PG-13 for brief profanity) Romantic comedy about ex-lovers (Stephen Rea and Claudia Bassols) who reunite to keep a reservation made a year earlier at a restaurant billed as the best in the world. With Fionnula Flanagan, Jan Cornet andTogo Igawa. (In English and Catalan with subtitles)
Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen Of Pointe A La Hache (Unrated) David vs. Goliath documentary detailing a tiny Louisiana fishing village’s desperate struggle for justice since having their way of life ruined by the BP oil spill of 2010.