Valdosta Daily Times

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March 12, 2013

‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ grows on you

(Continued)

VALDOSTA — Movie Review: Miller (Teller) and Casey (Astin) take their good friend, Jeff Chang (Chon), out for a night on the town. Chang has just turned 21, and the three men celebrate. They drink, and Chang drinks more, getting very intoxicated. Miller and Casey haul a mostly unconscious Chang around town, hoping to have Chang back home and sleeping before his medical school interview. Their night becomes an adventure, one with dangers and discoveries.

Think of this as a mix of “The Hangover” (2009) and “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989). “21 & Over” is a poor man’s version of those movies.

Multiple characters drop the “f-bomb” multiple times, as if they are accomplishing something meaningful. This is one of many asinine elements this poorly written script offers.

The characters have forced epiphanies. They appear to sober up quickly when needed. The plot allows one character to become intoxicated, Jeff Chang. Meanwhile, this gives Miller and Casey adequate reason to execute lame comments about life around them. Their observations are pitiful moments of ill, misguided humor.

The plot is an adolescent piece written and directed by Lucas and Moore, their directorial debut. It is a scatterbrained attempt to recapture some part of youth. It is a failed attempt.

Grade: D (Overdone adolescent material.)

“Snitch” (Drama/Action: 1 hour, 52 minutes)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon and Jon Bernthal

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Rated: PG-13 (Violence and drug related content)

Movie Review: Director Waugh (“Fellon,” 2008) directs this film that is based on a true story. John Matthews is a father who goes undercover for the DEA to free his imprisoned so, Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron). Matthews’ task will not be easy. A Mexican syndicate, a gang of thugs and an aggressive U.S. District Attorney (Sarandon) are pulling his strings.

Johnson is an admirable guy as an actor.  He is easy to like in films, but his portrayal of characters as leading man leaves room for improvement. This is especially true in dramas.

If “Snitch” showed as an action film, Johnson would be solid as a rock. He is never convincing as a leading man in a non-action production. Here, he is not alone. The other characters here lacking in that respect too.

The plot has honorable intentions, but it is not a compelling movie making. The story is the main focus here, and its plot is weak because it does not inspire one to care for the characters.    

Grade: C (Not a worthy snitch)

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