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Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013

Film Clips: Aug. 22

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The Grandmaster PG-13

Released on an all-region two-disc DVD and Blu-ray in Hong Kong in May, this film is just now making its way to American theaters. Shot in a four-hour format that chronicles the life of martial arts master Yip Man (who trained Bruce Lee), the final cut was reduced to two hours. The editing leaves a choppy and unbalanced picture. The martial arts action discards realism in favor of gravity-defying special effects, but The Grandmaster is more a performance piece than a biography. Viewers should be prepared for focal shifts spanning a period of more than 30 years, as the film jumps back and forth to follow different characters, in no particular order. (Lisa Miller)

 

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones PG-13

In a plot that recalls the recent television series “Grimm” and “Supernatural,” Clary Fray (Lily Collins) learns she’s descended from a line of shadowhunters who protect our world from demons. Based on Cassandra Clare’s young adult series of novels, our heroine’s heritage becomes evident once her mother (Lena Headey) is kidnapped, and Clary is suddenly able to see demons and half-angel warriors that mere mortals cannot. She enters an alternate reality known as Downworld, located in New York City and overrun with werewolves, vampires, necromancers and other demons, and the half-angels charged with killing them. Praised for vivid special effects, the film makes use of a love triangle to draw in females, while the supernatural special effects, dark magic and angel-demon war, are calculated to hook both boys and girls. (L.M.)

 

The World’s End R

Director Edgar Wright reunites with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for yet another undeadish comedy. Pegg portrays Gary, a 40 year old unwilling to grow up. His greatest regret is that he and his five friends failed to conquer a drinking marathon through 12 pubs 20 years earlier. Persuading the friends to reunite for one more try, the guys are well into their pub crawl before realizing that their old hometown plays host to an army of murderous, robot-like denizens. Believing they have no choice but to continue barhopping until they can escape, the guys are forced into brawls that result in severed limbs and exploding heads. Somehow, amid the chaos, the screenplay leaves room for these buddies to develop as characters while creating laughs and letting us in on its bloody joke. (L.M.)

 

You’re Next R

When the married Davidsons (Barbara Crampton and Rob Moran) gather their four grown children and the children’s significant others to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, rivalries, old and new, quickly emerge. Just as the arguments begin to heat up, a gang of crossbow- and ax-wielding murderers descend upon the family, hunting down each member with brutal precision. What the killers can’t know is that one of their intended victims harbors a secret ability to fight back. Made in 2011, this horror-comedy languished for two years while waiting to be released. It reunites the principal cast of another 2011 horror, the little-known serial-killer shocker A Horrible Way to Die. (L.M.)