Director Tim Johnson (“Antz”) has compiled so many appealing elements — including the source material, the voice cast and a bouncy Rihanna-heavy soundtrack — that it’s hard to believe “Home” lands with such a thud.
For a series that waves the banner of individualism, they make a poor case for it. Instead of throbbing with a teenage spirit of rebellion — or things like youthful wildness, humor or sex — the two “Divergent” movies are curiously content to eke out a rigid, lifeless fable in drab futuristic environs.
Pacino is warm, goofy and full of life as he tries to charm his way back into the life of his son, his pregnant daughter-in-law (Jennifer Garner) and their precocious kid (Giselle Eisenberg), who seems to defy all child actor stereotypes with a preternaturally realistic and wonderful performance that’s unnecessarily spoiled by the reveal that she suffers from an attention disorder.
It’s no accident that the trailer for “The Gunman” notes prominently that it comes from the director of “Taken” (Pierre Morel), the 2008 thriller that transformed Liam Neeson into a no-nonsense, border-hopping, middle-aged action star.
It’s true, the movie, also called “Danny Collins,” opens with a 1971-set prologue where a young, “The Panic in Needle Park”-era Pacino lookalike sits, trembling, for what looks like his first interview.
Stiller appeared in a dark electric blue suit-and-tie ensemble with a navy trenchcoat. Wilson, sporting shaggy long blond locks, strutted in a shiny light blue pajama print outfit with blindingly white sneakers, topped off with an eggshell blue trench coat.
What “Cinderella” IS, though, is touching, visually stunning, and very satisfying. Director Kenneth Branagh, working with a high-wattage cast led by the winsome and genuine Lily James, sticks to tried-and-true narrative formula, and infuses it with wit and style. If the glass slipper ain’t broke, he seems to be saying, why fix it?
Vaughn plays Dan, a St. Louis sales exec who quits his job toiling for a bullying boss named Chuck (Sienna Miller, gamely overdoing a brassy American accent) and starts his own company with two fellow workplace outcasts: retirement-age Timothy (Tom Wilkinson) and sweet-natured but slow-witted Mike (Dave Franco, you-know-who’s little brother).
It’s set in a near-future Johannesburg policed by robots, but it’s not about law enforcement or social order. It focuses on the first creation of a sentient artificial intelligence, yet it’s not about the consequences of this radical invention or the nature of consciousness.
Tony Shalhoub (a Tony nominee for “Act One” and “Golden Boy,” and a multiple Emmy winner for the TV series “Monk”) plays a charmingly condescending, witty liberal Jewish author named Howard, living in Georgia and long married to a smart Southerner, Lucinda (Diane Lane). Shalhoub is a delight, making Howard lovable despite his pompous pronouncements and latent racism and homophobia.