In Theaters: The Great Gatsby
This lively adaptation is coated with the loud, colorful style of Baz Luhrmann. I never expected to see a 1920's party scene accompanied by the music of Jay-Z and will.i.am, at least not within a serious drama. The 3D is sometimes very cool and surprising, but occasionally hurts the picture quality. Here's the review.
On DVD: Jack Reacher
Here's another controversial adaptation (when imagining who could portray this imposing, 6'5", 220+ pound giant, Tom Cruise was not the first name that came to readers' minds). As seen in the review, this generic thriller sometimes seems playfully aware of its corniness, but usually it's just formulaic and predictable. The best moments unleash Jack's cocky, arrogant personality upon unsuspecting colleagues and criminals.
Streaming (HBO Go): Pariah
This coming-of-age story shows the struggles faced by an African American, lesbian teenager, and the complex emotions and conflicts that arise when a child's identity clashes with a parent's beliefs and expectations. This kind of story has been told many times, but rarely from a black, female perspective, and often without the realness of Pariah's characters and writing. Anyone can relate to the protagonist's feeling of alienation and desire of love and acceptance. Kim Wayans is surprisingly good as the girl's conflicted mother, another example of a comedian displaying a talent for drama.
Streaming (Netflix Instant): Hit & Run
A wild, action-packed comedy about an increasingly complicated road trip taken by a former criminal and his girlfriend. It's not great, but you'll enjoy the characters and the random situations they encounter.