June 6, 2013
“A Good Day to Die Hard” — This week’s biggest release is also a must-miss. A lot of dough was pumped into this attempt to revive the “Die Hard” series, but it is a wasted effort. There are some good stunts and the Russian setting is novel, but the film, which teams John McClain with his son, is a dud. Bruce Willis looks pretty tired here, even worse than in the latest “Expendables,” so you wind up wishing he would just have a lie down and let his son get on with it.
“Breaking Bad: Season 5” — The continuing adventures of a high school chemistry teacher who pays for his cancer treatments by becoming a meth manufacturer reached a peak in season 4, but they manage to rebound with even more thrills this season. Now that Walter has gotten rid of the gangster who wanted him dead, you would think he is set to retire. He should, considering that his cancer is in remission and his family deserves some attention. Not going to happen. Turns out White has a real taste for the gangster lifestyle now, and he aims to be the next kingpin. Meanwhile, his wife is falling apart while his brother in-law, a top DEA cop, is hot on his trail. It all leads to intense scenes, with the best being a “Mission Impossible” -style assault on the police evidence warehouse that could incriminate him. Excellent stuff.
“Warm Bodies” — A tween romance flick set in a zombie-infested future may sound awful, but this adaptation of a young adult novel is a lot of fun. The story finds a zombiefied young man rescuing a young lady from his flesh-hungry compatriots. While hiding out, he begins to feel human again, but is it too late to get the rest of the living to accept that the zombie population just wants to be friends again? This is fun and even touching, though the “Romeo and Juliet” theme is tough to maintain.
“Identity Thief” — Lots of yuks ensue when a straight-arrow executive tracks down the titular thief, who has been smearing his credit rating while living it up. This is only an okay comedy but it gets a lot of mileage out of its charismatic cast. Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”) have a ton of chemistry together and are well cast as the victim and the thief.