This week at the movies, Chris Pine takes a boat ride and Jack Black becomes the teacher in “Kung Fu Panda 3.” Let’s take a closer look at new movies in theaters.
THE FINEST HOURS
PG-13 for intense sequences of peril | In Theaters 1/29 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | The Finest Hours
This action-thriller tells the true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. On Feb. 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on the ships caught in its deadly path, including the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker bound for Boston, which was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly-sinking stern.
As the senior officer on board, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) realizes he must take charge of the frightened crew and inspire the men to work together to ride out the storm. Meanwhile at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) orders a daring rescue operation, sending four men, led by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine and little means of navigation to face frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds.
Directed by Craig Gillespie and based on the book by Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias, this movie also stars Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana.
KUNG FU PANDA 3
PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor | In Theaters 1/29 | Ok for Kids 5+ | 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Kung Fu Panda 3
Yes! Another “Kung Fu Panda” movie. A big favorite in this house. This third installment finds Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappearing and the reunited duo traveling to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters.
But when supernatural villain Kai (J.K. Simmons) begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po (Jack Black) must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Allesandro Carloni, this cute family movie also features the voice talent of Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Bryan Cranston and Kate Hudson.
JANE GOT A GUN
R for violence and some language | In Theaters 1/29 (limited) | Ok for Kids 17+ | Weinstein | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Jane Got a Gun
Directed by Gavin O’Connor, this western thriller stars Natalie Portman as Jane Hammond, a woman who’s built a new life with her husband Bill “Ham” Hammond (Noah Emmerich) after being tormented by the ultra-violent Bishop Boys outlaw gang. She finds herself in the gang’s cross-hairs once again when Ham stumbles home riddled with bullets after dueling with the boys and their relentless leader Colin (Ewan McGregor).
With the vengeful crew hot on Ham’s trail, Jane has nowhere to turn but to her former fiancé Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) for help in defending her family against certain destruction.
FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK
R for strong crude sexual content, including some graphic nudity, and for language throughout | In Theaters 1/29 | Ok for Kids 18+ | Open Road Films | Reel Preview: 2.5 of 5 Reels | Fifty Shades of Black
If you were hot and bothered by Christian Grey, wait until you meet the likes of Christian Black! Brought to you by the comedy team behind “A Haunted House,” “Scary Movie,” and “White Chicks” comes this erotic spoof parody on “Fifty Shades of Grey.” What does the “playroom” hold for those who walk through its doors?
Directed by Mike Tiddes, this movie stars Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Mike Epps, Jane Seymour, Fred Willard and Florence Henderson (yes, you read that right).
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Images in this feature used courtesy of the studios and distributors.