Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cindy Prascik's Reviews of Non-Stop & Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Dearest Blog, yesterday it was off to the cinema for the unlikely double-bill of Non-Stop and Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know or have guessed from the trailers.
The schedule dictated that I start my day with Non-Stop.
Somewhere over the Atlantic, a Federal air marshal begins receiving threats to the passengers on his flight. When he's accused of having a part in the hijacking, he must keep them safe while trying to clear his own name.
I think everybody took one look at the trailer for Non-Stop and knew it was going to be another of "those" movies that Liam Neeson makes these days. A fair enough assessment, though I don't imagine they'd keep making them if someone weren't enjoying them. (But, then again, there's always Madea...) At any rate, Neeson plays Bill Marks on the same note he does Bryan Mills and John Ottway and Hannibal Smith, and, if you like that sort of thing (as I do), then you'll have a good enough time with it. His supporting cast is comprised of familiar faces: Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Nate Parker, Corey Stoll, Linus Roache, Anson Mount, an underused Lupita Nyong'o, and the suddenly ubiquitous Shea Whigham. No standouts here, Non-Stop is the kind of movie where you probably could have dropped any halfway competent actor into any supporting role and been just fine with Neeson at the helm.
Non-Stop does a terrific job of putting the viewer ON the plane, maintaining tension for the duration of its almost-two-hour runtime. Some of it is predictable and more than a bit hokey, but I was engaged throughout and the eventual resolution did surprise me. Believe me when I say, you won't be in any hurry to get on a plane after you see it!
Non-Stop runs 106 minutes and is rated PG13 for "intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality, and drug references."
Non-Stop is the Chinese food of the cinema world; you'll enjoy the hell out of it while it lasts, but it won't stick with you long.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Non-Stop gets five and a half.
My closer on yesterday's double-bill was the animated feature Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Canine genius Mr. Peabody and his adopted human son Sherman must use the Wayback Machine to repair a time rift they created.
Well, dear Blog, regular reader(s) will know that I'm deeply in love with Dreamworks Animation, enough so that I even looked at an open clerical position with them last year. (Dear Employer: I'm not qualified to be their janitor. You're safe.) Even with my high expectations, Mr. Peabody & Sherman did not disappoint. The art and animation are bright, colorful, and sharp. Voice talent includes some notable funnymen (and women): Modern Family's Ty Burrell and Ariel Winter, Leslie Mann, Stephen Colbert, Mel Brooks, and Patrick Warburton. Allison Janney, Stanley Tucci, and Dennis Haysbert also turn up in supporting roles. The movie keeps up a solid pace and doesn't wear out its welcome, maintaining a good balance of kid-safe adventure and humor that's also fun for grownups.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman clocks in at 92 minutes and is rated PG for "some mild action and brief rude humor."
If the movie year generally goes Throwaway Season to Superhero Season to Awards Season, it's fair to say that the animated features are throwing down early this year.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman isn't quite the Lego Movie, but it's still good fun for the entire family.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Mr. Peabody & Sherman gets seven.
Until next time...