Dark Was the Night Back In the good old '70s, you could count on horror movies like Prophecy to demonstrate that environmental devastation is an affront to traditions too ancient for us to even know about. The fact that Prophecy also happened to be a piece of shit doesn't negate the point – which is why, after all these years, we can still get a Dark Was the Night, in which the activities of a bunch of loggers call up a mysterious and lethal entity. This is a genre I just can't get enough of, frankly; I hope Dirty Coal and Keystone Deathline are in the works right now. (NR)
Paper Towns As a recently divorced middle-ager, I haven't a clue about modern dating etiquette – so you betcha that scene in Trainwreck about the pathology of guys who call the next day scared the living bejabbers outta me. So don't ask me what to make of Paper Towns, a literary adaptation in which a chick's idea of fun is to vanish utterly and then have her suitor follow judiciously pitched clues to track her down. Christ, is this the gauntlet us guys have to run nowadays? Just because the Riddler is my favorite character in all of fiction doesn't mean I want to Grindr his skinny ass. (PG-13)
Pixels Disney's Wreck-It Ralph was a winning reclamation of our shared arcade legacy. So of course rival studios looked at it and thought, "What this thing needs is to be more like Pacific Rim." OK, maybe that's a slightly unfair characterization of Pixels, a tale of 8-bit characters on the attack that's actually based on a short by Patrick Jean that came out in 2010 – two years before Ralph hit theaters. But, uh ... Jean is French! So he can't call les dibs! Our country, our rules, Frenchy. Hope you had a nice Bastille Day. (PG-13)
Southpaw Here's one you might hear when you're playing bar trivia six years from now: "What role was created for Eminem but ultimately went to Jake Gyllenhaal?" Note to your future self: It isn't Jack Twist – but boy how much fun would that have been? The correct answer is Southpaw's title character, a junior middleweight boxer trying to rebuild his illustrious career after a series of devastating personal blows. (But be careful: The best answer to "Who had to rebuild his illustrious career after a series of devastating personal blows?" will actually be Elmo.) (R)
The Vatican Tapes A young woman becomes possessed by the devil after visiting the emergency room for a cut finger. Isn't this the sort of thing Obamacare was supposed to prevent? With Dougray Scott, the guy who was going to be Hugh Jackman, and Djimon Hounsou, who honestly could be Chiwetel Ejiofor for all you know. (PG-13)
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