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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Film Clips: May 22

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Blended PG-13

Drew Barrymore, whose most memorable role of the past decade cast her as Adam Sandler’s memory-challenged girl in 50 First Dates, returns here as his love interest. Following their disastrous introduction during a blind date, Jim and Lauren (Sandler and Barrymore), wind up in possession of one another’s credit cards, a discovery made while each just happens to be vacationing with their kids on the African continent. Here, the pair continue to clash until they begin to realize their commonalities, including similar single-parent issues. Toss in a combination of disgusting gags and syrupy feel-good twists, and you’ve got the formula for a typical Sandler vehicle. (Lisa Miller)

 

Chef R

For those who aren’t in the industry, Chef offers an insider’s perspective on the restaurant and the food truck businesses. It also provides a depiction of a post-modernist American family, which is simultaneously entertaining and poignant. Carl Casper (Jon Favreau, who also wrote and directed) is a celebrity chef at an upscale Los Angeles restaurant. Carl endures a contentious relationship with the venue’s overbearing owner, Riva (Dustin Hoffman). It is the classic conflict between art and commerce. Carl wants to use food as an expression of his inner artist. However, Riva has a more pragmatic focus on turning a profit. (Nathan Lerner)

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past PG-13

The mutants are being hunted by an army of merciless robots known as Sentinels. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and the professor’s nemesis, Magneto (Ian McKellen), are holed up in a safe house with mutant Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), who possesses the ability to transport a selected consciousness through time. Due to his near indestructibility, Wolverine is chosen to go back to 1973 in order to prevent the Sentinel program from being developed. To succeed, Wolverine must persuade a young Xavier (James McAvoy) to help implement their plan. Traveling back and forth through time, the film successfully blends a new cast of X-Men with the original, while delving deeper into the main characters’ motivations. By returning Bryan Singer to the director’s chair, this chapter is likely to recapture the 80%+ favorable ratings that graced the director’s first two installments. (L.M.)