Adam Sandler film

Some Movies to See this Weekend, July 24, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015 Rob Samuelson

Relatively original concepts rule the new releases this weekend. This follows the trend of getting the biggest, most known properties in cinemas in the early part of the summer. Each of the three inspires varying levels of confidence based on the talent involved, but it's a weekend of choices. Let's see what we have in store for us at the movies.



Paper Towns
Director: Jake Schreier
Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams



From author/weird facts guru John Green, who wrote the novel that inspired last summer's big young adult dramatic hit The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns is another story about young people in love amid some extreme circumstances. Instead of the central couple being cancer patients, this time the female half goes missing and the male half decides he's more capable of finding her than the authorities.

High concept or not, the youths that populate the internet and multiplexes like the fellow who wrote these novels. As someone who has experienced a whopping zero John Green-related things outside of those Mental Floss videos my girlfriend watches, I can't speak to the quality of these stories. I will say that one-time Spider-Man candidate Nat Wolff looks and feels like the John Hughes-style hero from the trailers, so there's that. That and critics seem to be lightly positive about the picture, so that likely makes it worth checking out.

Pixels
Director: Chris Columbus
Writers: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage



Popular video games are used by aliens to attack us. It stars people who are ostensibly funny, plus Tyrion Lannister in a mullet. For some reason the human plan to defeat the giant video game monsters involves a bunch of cars, which implies a Fast and Furious spoof, perhaps? I don't know. It all seems a bit undercooked.

Southpaw
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Kurt Sutter
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker



Boxing is a sport that is well suited to the movies. It easily sets up compositions of opposition, and the structure of the sport -- months of training and buildup -- allows for out-of-the-ring drama. That's why we have the Rocky movies and Raging Bull. Now, it's unlikely Southpaw reaches those heights, so don't take this as me saying, "Southpaw will be the next Rocky and Raging Bull." But Jake Gyllenhaal is on a roll as great as Matthew McConaughey's vaunted McConaissance, but with much less fanfare. Going back as far as Zodiac, he has been excellent as tortured, sometimes noble weirdos and manic malcontents. His presence in a movie the last several years is enough reason to see it, end of story.

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