BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A rush to recover millions of dollars and a quirky tale set in the literary world are among the few new entertainment options this week.
“Castle Falls” Grade 2 ½ stars: Dolph Lundgren plays Richard Ericson, a prison guard who is willing to do almost anything to pay for his daughter’s expensive cancer treatment. His potential answer to his financial problems comes in the form of a prisoner who reveals he hid three million dollars in a hospital before getting caught. Ericson can have it if he will retrieve it.
The problem is that the facility – Castle Heights Hospital – is set on the verge of being turned into rubble through demolition charges. Ericson, a group of crooks and an ex-fighter (Scott Adkins) rush to find the money before the walls come tumbling down.
“Castle Falls” is an entertaining action movie given some extra tension by the deadline everyone faces with the impending destruction of the building. This makes the clashes between all of those looking to find the loot slightly more interesting.
In the end, the film follows a predictable path pausing only long enough for a fight scene here and there. Even the fight scenes come across as just a beat too slow.
Lundgren not only stars in the film but he directed the production. He makes no major mistakes considering Lundgren hasn’t directed a film since 2004. But, he also shows some hesitancy that keeps “Castle Falls” from having the major punch it needed.
“French Dispatch” Grade 3 ½ stars: The 10th movie from filmmaker Wes Anderson is a love letter to literary journalists. This embrace is done in the quirky and unique style Anderson has used in each of his films.
The story unfolds in an outpost of an American newspaper in the fictional 20th-century French city of Ennui-sur-Blase. The film is divided into four sections – each representing a different segment of the publication. Anderson creates these short tales that border on the absurd in such a way as to trigger numerous emotions.
He has turned to a regular group of actors to tell the tales that include Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton and Saoirse Ronan. His big gun is Bill Murray who edits the publication with the kind of bizarre approach that leads him to tell his staff to “try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose.”
“The French Dispatch” is not a film made to entertain the masses but it is massively entertaining. Anderson identified the kind of film fans who would most appreciate his offbeat style and continues to play to that target audience.
If you are an Anderson fan, this is a fun experience. Those unfamiliar with his work may make you wonder who is running the cinematic asylum.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of Dec. 28
“Red Snow”: Woman hides a handsome vampire in hopes of sparking a romance.
“Mayday”: Ana (Grace Van Patten) joins a female army engaged in a never-ending war where women lure men to their deaths with radio signals.
Available through digital platforms
“National Champions”: Star quarterback LeMarcus James (Stephan James) and teammate Emmett Sunday (Alexander Ludwig) call for a player’s strike to get all student-athletes fairly compensated.