Sports comedy; stylish comic spy yarn, and sci-fi adventure all garner favorable reviews
NEW YORK (OSV News) -- The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by OSV News.
Positive basic values, including an implicit pro-life message, underlie the somewhat rough-grained surface of this sports comedy, adapted by director Bobby Farrelly from the 2018 Spanish-language film "Campeones." To avoid prison time following his arrest for drunk driving, an emotionally isolated basketball coach (Woody Harrelson) whose career has been stymied by anger issues, agrees to train a local team made up of mentally challenged youngsters as a form of community service. Even as he connects with his new charges (most prominently Kevin Iannucci, Madison Tevlin and Joshua Felder), he also takes a fresh interest in an aspiring actress (Kaitlin Olson) with whom he previously shared a one-night stand that ended in intense mutual disdain but who, by coincidence, turns out to be the sister of Iannucci's character.
While respecting the dignity of the disabled kids, Mark Rizzo's script successfully reaps laughs from their quirky personality traits as it charts the protagonist's journey toward emotional fulfillment. But the trip is not a fit outing for kids or even teens, especially since the screenplay's perspective on human sexuality, although sound in its ultimate goal of deeper commitment, is too broadly permissive. Offscreen casual sex, some premarital sensuality, considerable sexual humor, mature themes, about a half-dozen mild oaths, at least one use of the F-word, frequent crude and crass language, obscene gestures. The OSV News classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
"Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre" (Lionsgate)
The opening twist in this stylish comic spy yarn is that, although the British government (represented by Eddie Marsan) knows that bad guys have stolen something highly valuable, they don't know exactly what. So they engage a security impresario (Cary Elwes) who assembles a team of operatives (Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza and Bugzy Malone) to solve the mystery and nab the villains. Since one of their high-powered suspects (Hugh Grant) is the obsessive fan of a Hollywood action star (Josh Hartnett), the agents blackmail the actor into helping them. But their mission is complicated by the competition of a similar undercover band (led by Peter Ferdinando) working at cross purposes with them.
The merry chase that ensues has less to do with saving the world than with clever stratagems, private planes, yachts, the French Riviera and fine wines. Although the script, co-written by director Guy Ritchie, will not withstand exacting moral scrutiny, the glossy film is a frivolous fantasy with no application to the real world. So grown viewers can feel free to join everyone on screen in having a healthy dose of fun with it. Much stylized violence with slight gore, references to adultery, a couple of profanities, at least one milder oath, frequent rough and crude language. The OSV News classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
"Scream VI" (Paramount)
Dreary horror flick in which the franchise's trademark masked killer -- or someone simply dressed in his guise -- menaces the lives of an array of young actors while also targeting series veterans now regarded as "legacy" characters. The latter include two sisters (Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega) as well as a duo of other survivors of the 2022 reboot (Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown). Co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick move the mayhem from fictional Woodsboro, California, to New York City on a long Halloween weekend. But the gruesomes excesses of earlier outings remain, resulting in gore galore. Pervasive bloody violence, including gunplay, some sexual references, occasional profanity, frequent rough language. The OSV News rating is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
When the spaceship he pilots is wrecked by meteors, a humanoid alien (Adam Driver) crash lands on prehistoric Earth where he and the only other survivor of the disaster, a young passenger (Ariana Greenblatt) who reminds him of the ailing daughter (Chloe Coleman) he left at home, must trek to a rescue vehicle that detached from the main vessel and now lies atop a nearby mountain. Along the way, they'll have to dodge an array of predatory creatures, including dinosaurs large and small. The determination of Driver's character to safeguard his accidental protege is admirable and the bond that develops between the two is enjoyable to observe.
But most of the action is devoted to the miseries of the Mesozoic Era, making co-writers and directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods' sci-fi adventure a toilsome slog for viewers, albeit one that includes few objectionable ingredients, making it probably acceptable for older teens. Images of a gory wound, potentially upsetting plot developments, at least one mild oath, about a half-dozen crude terms. The OSV News classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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