Weekend movies: A passable comedy, middling actioner and derivative YA sci-fi pic are your choices

tuskNothing blew up the tomatometer among this weekend’s new movie releases. There are no Oscar contenders in this lot, no potential blockbusters, but nothing as bad as “No Good Deed,” either.

The Kevin Smith “comeback” “Tusk” is the worst reviewed of the lot, and he’s earned worse reviews in recent years. Played out Canadian jokes, weak leads, grim shock value story that fails to shock. It doesn’t stand to make a dime, in any event.

“This is Where I Leave You” is probably the hit from this crowd, an all-star somewhat crowd pleasing R-rated comedy, it allows a lot of funny people to score even if it is dismayingly predictable and heavy-handed. I gave it 2.5 stars, metacritic and RT shows most reviewers fell below that mark.

“A Walk Among Tombstones” is another Liam Neeson hunting a missing person, hunting them with extreme prejudice, thriller. The tone is off, it has women stalked, tortured and murdered by characters once called “homo psychos,” that Leopold and Loeb era take on gays as murderous couples. “Compulsion,” “Diamonds are Forever” just two films where this stereotype played out. Passable reviews for this, but not from me. #univers-a-holes.

“The Maze Runner” is yet another variation of the teens save the future YA sci-fi model, a little “Lord of the Flies,” a little “Six Characters in Search of an Author” or its “Twilight Zone” equivalent, “Five characters in Search of an Exit.” Passing grades from some on this, with its giant spiders and spoon-feed-what-its-about finale. Meh.

“The Scribbler”, a horrific psychological thriller, is in limited release and is a tad better than that, I thought. The insane wonder if they’re the sane ones as they’re being killed off in a halfway house. Grim and grisly and sexually explicit.

“Autumn Blood” is a picturesque Austrian exploitation picture, perverse and arty and nonsensical. Bad. Sat on the shelf for years. Very limited release.

blissOne very good genre film goes into limited release. “Fort Bliss” is another soldier-readjusting to home life — badly — drama. But Michelle Monaghan is terrific in it, an Army medic disconnected from her son, traumatized by war, and dying to get back to it. Sort of.

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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