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Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013

Recliner Reviews for Jan. 24, 2013

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Sometimes it’s a dilemma: what DVD should you rent or what movie should you stream or order-on-demand? Do you want a date flick, an action caper, or a goofy comedy? Weekly Surge is here to help with our reviews of recent at-home movie releases, which we’ve watched from the comfort of that favorite recliner.

“Resident Evil: Retribution”

The fifth installment in the weekend hobby of actress Milla Jovovich and her husband/director, Paul W.S. Anderson – Jovovich has made the “Resident Evil” franchise the bread and butter of her career. Every two or three years they invite some new or carryover actors to come down to the set and kick out a new apocalyptic /zombie flick. The problem is twofold. The first is the stories have gotten smaller and contradict themselves. And two, there’s a saturation in the zombie market and it’s being done better in other places. The “Resident Evil” video games and movies did help create the boom in zombies and the successful transition from video game to silver screen has created bargain bins full of terrible game-to-film projects since. But perhaps, this franchise has run its course. It’s become a formula and its history and popularity among gamers is the only reason these movies keep being made. But they’ve devolved into B-movies and it’s time to let them go and make room on the screen for the “Halo” crossover. No retribution here – pass.

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

What do all the British senior citizen actors do once all the Harry Potter films are in the can? They move to a retirement hotel in India. OK, not all of these older actors were in the “Harry Potter” cast but they’re all recognizable. The one stand-out in the film that’s not north of 60 is Dev Patel, who you may know as the lead actor in “Slumdog Millionaire” or his new day-job on “The Newsroom.” The director of “Shakespeare in Love,” John Madden, brings the popular novel to life with vibrant Indian settings and the veteran actors give performances the feel natural. If you’re younger than 60 and watching, there’ll be some moments of lag, but there’s certain camaraderie between the players and you can feel the chemistry. It’s surprising this movie didn’t pull any Oscar nominations after earning two Golden Globe nods. But don’t let that deter you from checking it out – worth a watch.

“Think like a Man”

Based on Steve Harvey's book about relationships, “Act like a Woman, Think like a Man,” it takes on five guys and five women on the singles scene, trying to find someone. The 10 main characters in the story are prototypes of character traits – “The Player,” “The Single Mom” etcetera, etcetera and etcetera. It could be as easily dismissed as the other, recent all-star comedies – “He’s Just Not That into You” or “Valentines Day” or the follow-up, “New Years Eve.” But it’s better than those. Yes, we know, it’s a promotion of stereotypes, a script filled with generic advice and beautiful people with nice problems to have. But just like in the movie concerning Harvey’s book, single guys and girls should watch this film. It’s really digestible and easy. Under normal circumstance we’d say, pass. But our wives told us not to and damnit, we know that keeping them happy, keeps us happy. It’s worth a watch for them.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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