Hi-yo, One Direction!
Elysium, Grade C: A man (Matt Damon) goes on a mission to save polarized worlds. The prized possession in this futuristic thriller is a medical bed that can cure anything from leukemia to a missing face.
Too bad there wasn't a machine that writer/director Neill Blomkamp could have used to heal his script. It has more holes in it than 30 golf courses. If the story had been even a tenth as strong as the movie's sharp look, Elysium would have been a surprise hit. What partially redeems it are magnificent visual effects.
The Lone Ranger, Grade C-plus: Armie Hammer plays the masked man; Johnny Depp costars.
Percy Jackson, Sea of Monsters, Grade B-minus: Percy must find the Golden Fleece.
The film, just like the 2010 release Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, continues to fill that action-film void between little kids and savvy teens. It's a balanced blend of the kind of action found in The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series and a touch of the teen angst that made the Twilight series so popular. A few special effects are weak, but the film moves at such a rapid pace there's not time to dwell on miscues.
One Direction: This Is Us, Grade B-plus: Morgan Spurlock's documentary on the British boy band is a melodic blend of concert footage and behind-the-scenes moments that range from comical to touching. Spurlock strips away the hysteria to offer a glimpse of the guys to go with the energetic shows. He doesn't shortchange the performances, taking the viewer from front-row seats to a perspective so close to the group that it feels like the audience is the sixth member of the band.
Also new on DVD:
Burn Notice, Season 7: Includes series finale.
Prisoners: Two families go to extremes to find their missing daughters.
Justified, The Complete Fourth Season: Series stars Timothy Olyphant.
The Family: A mob family is moved to France under the witness protection program.
Shameless, The Complete Third Season: Showtime series starring William H. Macy.
Nature: Love in the Animal Kingdom: Securing a perfect mate in the animal world brings out the best in males.