July 4 Movies — “Tammy” and “Evil” take a beating, “Echo” gets a “meh”

tammy1This July 4 holiday won’t do much — quality-wise — to reverse the 16% drop in the box office, year to year, that June gave us.
The critically derided “Transformers 4” will probably win at the box office, unless millions of “I’ll see it NEXT week” movie fans are scared off by word of mouth. And neither of the new releases promises to be a world beater.

Got kids? Even they will probably pick up on the “E.T.” borrowings of “Earth to Echo,” sort of an updated shaky-cam era version of the little alien who just wants to “phone home.” I thought it worked, for what it is, tweens on a scavenger hunt for alien clues, stopping in all these adult businesses (pawn shop, bar) in Nevada to pick them up.
Mixed reviews overall, for that one.

I liked “Tammy” better than the critical consensus. It starts all mean and low down and turns softer — a sort of “get your self-loathing under control and life will get better” message. WAY too many fat jokes, which is one reason it’s taking a critical pounding across the board. McCarthy and her husband, who co-wrote and directed this, had better come up with something other than corpulent sight gags for the mouth-breathing masses because this act has worn…say it with me…THIN.

“Deliver us from Evil” is another demonic possession thriller that fails to thrill. No, putting “Based on a true story” in the opening credits doesn’t the existence of the supernatural. It just proves that yeah, New York cops make stuff up, especially after they’ve seen “The Exorcist” a few too many times. Bad reviews for this one, including mine.

Dinesh D’Souza’s “America” documentary is basically a 100 minute Obama/liberals/government bashing attempt at making himself a martyr for being convicted of felony campaign finance fraud. He’s going to jail. The viewership for the movie? They’re lining up, because as much as they hate brown and black people and foreigners, they love an Indian immigrant hustler who feeds them this garbage even more.

The Roger Ebert documentary “Life Itself” is quite touching and has America’s critics swooning, using words like “Oscar” for it already. I could see that, but I can see, also, that it’s July, and while it’s a bit better than the docs that have preceded it this year, the year isn’t over yet. We’ll see.

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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