Weekend Movies: “Family,” “Insidious 2” herald the last bad weekend of the year?


Well, at least of the summer.

Fall film season gets underway Sept. 20, at least as far as major releases go. “Prisoners” and the 3D conversion of “The Wizard of Oz” roll out next week — wide, among other titles.

This weekend? They dumped “The Family,” which could do some business thanks to its cast. Middling to poor reviews for that one at Metacritic. I thought it was more violent than funny, not French enough in feel or setting. Mobsters in witness protection in France? What country would allow murderous thugs to hide out in it? That’s just the first question you ponder as you sit, waiting (sometimes, long waits) between laughs or beat-downs. DeNiro is fine, Pfeiffer is quite funny. Tommy Lee Jones is just cashing a check.

And “Insidious: Chapter 2,” the second and inferior installment in the latest franchise from the guys who gave us “Saw” and all that followed. Weak to middling reviews for that one, as well, according to the tomatometer. Again, you can kind of see Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson waiting for this to be over in their performances. Checks cleared? Good. I’m outta here.

More interesting by far is Billy Bob Thornton’s Southern Gothic period piece, “Jane Mansfield’s Car.” It’s a little kinky, pretty funny, very Southern. Not to every taste, but I liked it.

“Blue Caprice” is one of the best films of the year, a harrowing, minimalist account of the making of the D.C. Beltway snipers. Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond are terrific as mentor and mass murderer. Very good reviews for that one.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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