The Altamonte Picture Show is hands-down Orlando’s best (and cleanliest) value theater. Metaphorically speaking, if we were doing a comparison, the Picture Show is the Target of value versus the dingy Wal-Mart that is the Colonial Promenade. Regardless of which side of town you live on, it’s worth the drive. Especially on Tuesdays, when all screenings only cost only a dollar, why not spend a couple of them and get yourself caught up on some films you might have missed?
For this week’s Two-Dollar Tuesday, catch a double feature with a solid Oscar nominee (Captain Phillips) and a rather disappointing sequel (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2).
Captain Phillips – 8/10
Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum) has perfected the craft of the docu-drama. Any film he directs feels as if you are apart of the action and his newest feature is no exception. Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, tells the true story of 2009 hijacking of an American cargo ship by three Somali pirates. Anyone oblivious to news headlines for the past few years might have an even better time with this one, but for those of us who do read a paper or two, the outcome of the stand-off is certainly no surprise. Still, the film ranks amongst the best released in 2013, mostly due to Greengrass’ exceptional skill in creating tension within the narrative. Just like you knew the terrible outcome of United 93, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t at the edge of their seat during those final few minutes. While Phillips is nowhere near as tragic, it’s still enough to cause you not to blink, thanks to some remarkable performances from both Hanks and newcomer Barkhad Abdi (and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that his career flourishes after this).
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – 3/10
For everything Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs did right (and it did accomplish a lot), this awful sequel rains on its parade. Even Mr. T, who had a pretty dominate role in the film, turned down the chance to reprise his character here (he was instead voiced by Terry Crewes in this outing). We are going to assume it’s because he actually read the script first, instead of the numbers on his paycheck. Cloudy 2 picks up right where the first film left off, after odd inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) destroyed the FLDSMDFR (a rogue device which buried his hometown in various prepared food products). Only, the machine wasn’t actually terminated as well as he thought, as it now seems to be living and fully breeding an army of living food products. Original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who directed this year’s glorious LEGO Movie) sat this entry out, and were instead replaced by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, who, unfortunately, took the series in a shockingly humorless direction. There isn’t much plot here to really thrust the narrative of the characters into a compelling arc. Instead, it gives the feel of a straight-to-video release that only received a theatrical run due to its big name cast. Fans of the first film might want to stay indoors and avoid this weathered monstrosity and maybe just revisit the first one instead.