13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Ice Cube

Some Movies to See This Weekend, January 15, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016 Rob Samuelson

January is not usually the kindest month to moviegoers. It can be downright punishing in its badness because everyone is playing catchup with the December Oscar contenders or simply not going to the movies, what with the snow and cold enveloping much of the country at this time of year. But at least this week there are three new options that each stand something of a chance of being good. Let's take a look.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Chuck Hogan
Starring: John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber

On September 11, 2012, the United States Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. Ever since then it has been a political football in this country. So now it's a movie about the courage and valor of our troops because that's what director Michael Bay (Armageddon, the Transformers movies) does. He's not a subtle filmmaker – some would say he is not a good one, either. However, the guy knows how to create larger-than-life (remember that when watching the heightened dramatizations of the movie) heroes and villains, and he certainly knows how to blow things up in entertaining ways. Whether depicting entertaining explosions is the right way to honor the people who lost their lives on that day is up for debate. And debate people will. Enjoy!

Ride Along 2
Director: Tim Story
Writers: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn

Kevin Hart's a wacky guy and Ice Cube is funny in how straight and serious he is onscreen. People really dug their pairing a couple years ago in the first Ride Along movie, so they're back together with that movie's director, Tim Story (Barbershop, Fantastic Four), to go on another adventure, this time in Miami. There is no need to feel each other out this time around, so the two leads simply have to bounce off of and annoy each other while maybe shooting some bad guys here and there.

Norm of the North
Director: Trevor Wall
Writers: Daniel Altiere, Steven Altiere, Malcolm T. Goldman
Starring: Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy

You typically don't get a lot of overt social and/or political allegory in children's entertainment, but Norm of the North looks to dive headlong into teaching kids about the causes of climate change. Norm (Rob Schneider) is a polar bear who has to move to New York because humans are beginning to colonize the Arctic, and he gets a job at a company that is selling the land – in other words, people are melting his homeland. That is … bleak. It's probably not wrong or a bad thing to help kids understand these things with cute animals acting as their guides, but wow that's a dark premise. What probably is bad is the execution of the movie. The trailer is a rough one, with fart jokes, Taylor Swift on the soundtrack for no reason, and reaction shots to things you can't see (“They don't call this a concrete jungle for nothing”). But maybe it'll be an okay way to spend a couple hours if you have kids.  

You Might Also Like



Contact Form