Mark Wahlberg in “Lone Survivor”
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Lone Survivor” (R) — A team of Navy Seals fight hopeless odds while on a mission to take out a Taliban operative. The story is based on accounts of a 2005 mission in Afghanistan that went horribly wrong. While on the hunt for Ahmed Shah, four Seals encounter a few goat-herding civilians and make a tough ethical decision that impacts the rest of their mission. Mark Wahlberg plays Marcus Luttrell, the author of the eponymous book and — it’s no spoiler to say — the only one to come out alive.
The movie gets off to a brisk start after a little pre-mission setup. The action sequences are grueling and relentless. The real set-piece of the action is an extended, pitched gunfight that doesn’t run out of steam, just leaves you exhausted at the end.
“Robocop” (PG-13) — Future Detroit is the proud testing site of a cutting-edge crime-fighting machine with a human heart and a permanent grimace. When police officer Alex Murphy is left for dead by thugs, his remaining bits are scooped up and put into a state-of-the-art metal body built for domination. He’s got a slick tactical visor, bulletproof body, the steadiest gun arm ever built, and an off-switch for his emotions. Robocop is effective all right, but is he still human?
Of course, this remake cannot match the tongue-in-cheekiness of the 1987 original. What once was clunky and laughable is now sleek and updated. Keeping things good on the human side are the fine performances by Michael Keaton as the conniving corporatist, Gary Oldman as the scientist whose work is being corrupted, and Samuel L. Jackson as an ultra-conservative radio nut job.
“Son of God” (PG-13) — Scenes from History Channel’s “The Bible” are mixed in with new material to create this feature-length release hitting the highlights of Jesus’ life. The film follows the messiah as he rounds up apostles, heals the sick, finds his fate on Calvary and rises from the dead. This version plays it safe and light — deeper looks into the stories are avoided and no new perspectives are brought into the storybook narrative. Christ, played by Diego Morgado, is shown as an exceedingly handsome, TV-safe savior touching people and spreading happiness through miracles.
“Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself” (NR) — He was a goalie for the Bruins, QB for the Lions, percussionist for the New York Philharmonic, listed in the credits along with John Wayne, a best-selling author and sparring partner to the great Archie Moore — and no, he’s not that guy from the beer commercials. George Plimpton was an affluent, well-spoken writer and an innovator of participatory journalism, a style of writing that puts the author in the action. This documentary focuses on Plimpton’s deeds in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, when he had front-row seats to the major events of an era.
“Breaking Bad: The Complete Series”
“True Blood: Season 6”
“New Tricks, Season 10”
“Falling Skies: Season 3”
“Pretty Little Liars: Season 4”
“Workaholics: Season 4”
(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.