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CNS Movie Reviews: Mid-July

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By Catholic News Service 

NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by Catholic News Service.

“Grown Ups 2” (Columbia)

Nearly plotless sequel to the 2010 comedy consists of a series of vignettes that abandon character development for sight gags, nearly all of them involving body functions, most of them scatological, and hits to the crotch when they don’t involve leering at women’s breasts. Adam Director Dennis Dugan and star Adam Sandler, who co-wrote with Fred Wolf and Tim Herlihy, pick up the story of Sandler’s successful Hollywood producer, who has returned to his home town and has ambling adventures with his former high school friends on the last day of the school year for their children. Nearly nonstop scatological references, fleeting rear male nudity, mild sexual banter, fleeting crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

“Much Ado About Nothing” (Lionsgate)

William Shakespeare’s 1599 comedy gets a modern-day update by director Joss Whedon in a highly entertaining film that ponders age-old issues of marital love, fidelity, and betrayal. It’s time for a celebration, thrown by Governor Leonato (Clark Gregg) for warriors returning in triumph from a victory: Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) and his officers, Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof). What follows is a tale of two couples: Claudio falls for Leonato’s comely daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while Benedick locks horns with Leonato’s niece Beatrice (Amy Acker). Matchmaking ensues, but the road to a happy ending is not without potholes, especially since Don John (Sean Maher), Don Pedro’s wicked brother, plots against Claudio and Hero on the eve of their wedding. Implied pre- and nonmarital sex, brief drug use. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

“Pacific Rim” (Warner Bros.)

Manmade robots battle alien creatures redolent of Godzilla in an escapist sci-fi spectacle ideal for the summer movie season. When gigantic monsters called Kaiju emerge from a breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the nations of the world join forces to build machines dubbed Jaegers to battle the destructive intruders. The Jaegers, guided by human pilots (Charlie Hunnam among them), are the planet’s only hope. Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro fashions visual effects that often trigger awe, while weaving together the doomsday scenario, co-written by Travis Beacham, with enough humor and noble human impulses to make us think the movie is doing more than exploiting our fascination with monsters, machines and mayhem. Much intense but bloodless sci-fi violence between robots and alien creatures, fleeting sexual banter, occasional crude and profane language. Possibly acceptable for older teens. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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