Taylor Schilling, Zach Efron in “The Lucky One”
MOVIES OF THE WEEK
“Battleship” (PG-13) — This vessel doesn’t even deliver a shipment of cheap thrills. There are no thrills, and everything in this flick is a clear product of a bloated budget. The hero is Lt. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch, who you don’t remember from the bigger-budgeted mega-flop “John Carter”). He’s on this boat with Liam Neeson as his superior. The aliens are heaping eyefuls of computer-generated machines without much menace or intrigue to them.
Somehow inspired by the board game of the same name, director Peter Berg gets only white pegs, since every shot he takes is a miss. This could be — simultaneously — the loudest movie ever and the easiest to sleep through.
“The Lucky One” (PG-13) — This one fits squarely in the “Another Nicholas Sparks Adaptation” category. Zac Efron’s character was a Marine in Iraq who became fixated on a found-photo of some woman, and believes it kept him alive. He seeks out the girl from the photo when he returns to the states, and finds Beth (Taylor Schilling), a single mother who runs a dog kennel. When he finds her, instead of professing his love (or whatever), he accepts a job helping out around the place.
Other Sparks books have been handled better, but this is no “The Notebook.” Efron and Schilling have no discernible chemistry. If you want to hear the sappiest dialog ever uttered with sunbeams and tree boughs framing every shot, you could do better with the Hallmark Channel.
“Think Like a Man” (PG-13) — It may be somewhat standard romantic-comedy fare, but it’s non-toxic and kinda sweet. Drawing from Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” the story follows a group of men and women with different issues in their different relationships. The cast is a likable assembly of attractive people. The spread-out story is handled well enough that nothing feels lost. All in all, for an ensemble romcom that doesn’t get weighed down in details or depression, this movie has the right mindset.
“Darling Companion” (PG-13) — Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton are a married couple with a fading spark. Keaton’s character forms a strong bond with a dog she finds on the side of the road, nurses him back to health and names him “Freeway.” In a beautiful vacation home in the mountains, the dog runs off, and the affluent middle-aged people must find their dog and probably fix their marriage in the process. It’s about as tedious and slow as it sounds, but maybe inoffensive and accessible if you’re not wholly paying attention.
“Sons of Anarchy: Season Four”
“The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season”
“Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season”
“Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Second Season”
“Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated: Season 1, Part 2”
© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.