By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
In theaters this week: Psychopathic killers trying to be good guys and Kevin Spacey committing career immolation by voicing a cat. Plus, marching bands!
Despite the flameout of Batman v. Superman this spring, expectations were high for this entry in the burgeoning DC cinematic universe. A marketing campaign on steroids — the centerpiece of which was the kick-butt trailer embedded below — certainly helped, as did studio officials saying all the right things about learning the lesson of the dire BvS and its incessent gloominess. Heck, I'd even started believing them, and my antipathy to DC's film output is well documented. But the reviews are in for Suicide Squad, and they're not painless. "Writer/director David Ayer (Fury, End of Watch) has created a movie that’s simultaneously underwritten and overstuffed," writes Christy Lemire for RogerEbert.com. "It has too many characters yet precious few who even come close to resembling actual human beings." Kyle Smith of the New York Post was even harsher: "Suicide Squad isn’t a movie — it’s a two-hour trailer, a demolition derby of barely explained action and droll quips." Bilge Ebiri of the Village Voice finds some positives, though: "Suicide Squad is the rare superhero movie in which I actually found myself wondering about the characters' inner lives." (PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language; playing at United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive, and Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive)
Remember when Jennifer Garner was an awesome action hero in Alias? When Kevin Spacey was so devilishly good in The Usual Suspects (and, OK, every now and then on House of Cards)? Try not to dwell on the good times as you contemplate Nine Lives, in which a harried businessman (Spacey) gets his spirit-mind-something-or-other transplanted into the body of a cat and learns how to reconnect with his understanding wife (Garner) and children. This movie — which, no duh, isn't screening for critics in advance — is why they call these the August doldrums. (PG for thematic elements, language and some rude humor; AS-14)
Big, Loud & Live 13: Live from the DCI World Championships Prelims
Drum Corps International’s top 15 scoring ensembles will be seen in Big, Loud & Live 13 as they battle it out to be named 2016 DCI World Champion. If, like me, you think football games are only interrupting the actual cool part of the evening — the marching band shows — this is one for you. It'll screen at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at Amarillo Star 14.
Alice Through the Looking Glass (Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40); The Angry Bids Movie (WM-6); Bad Moms (AS-14, H-16); Central Intelligence (H-16); The Conjuring 2 (WM-6); Finding Dory (H-16); Ghostbusters (AS-14, H-16); Ice Age: Collision Course (AS-14, H-16); Jason Bourne (AS-14, H-16, TDI); The Jungle Book (WM-6); The Legend of Tarzan (H-16); Lights Out (AS-14, H-16); Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (H-16); Nerve (AS-14, H-16); The Purge: Election Year (H-16); The Secret Lives of Pets (AS-14, H-16); Star Trek Beyond (AS-14, H-16); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (WM-6); and X-Men: Apocalypse (WM-6).