Movie reviews: 'T2: Trainspotting,' 'CHIPS' just a few of many movies opening this week, March 24
Warner Bros. Pictures, 2017.

March 2017 has proven to be mega-successful at the box office.  Last week's live-action "Beauty and the Beast" brought in over 170 million domestically and over 350 million worldwide in just its opening weekend.  That, on the heels of other major releases like "Kong: Skull Island" and "Logan."  March is no longer the dumping ground for studios, and this week is no different, with a total of six major films seeing a wide release.

 Here are reviews of all of the films opening in theaters on Friday, March 24, 2017:



“T2: Trainspotting”



This film was not reviewed.

“Life”



This film was not reviewed.



“CHIPS”



"CHIPS" is actually not quite as bad as you might think by looking at the trailer, but it's far from good. Dax Shepard writes and directs this big-screen adaptation of the popular TV show "CHiPs," a light drama that ran in the late eighties starring Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as two California Highway Patrolmen. Other than the title and names of the characters, Shepard borrows very little from the original series, instead opting to create a low-brow, hard R-rated comedy. Michael Pena plays "Ponch" Poncherello and Shepard plays Officer Jon Baker, reimagining him as a pill-popping ex-motorcycling star. The setting - of highways, motorcycles, cars and adrenaline - is actually a good fit for Shepard as a writer/director, as he himself is an avid motorcyclist...surely this franchise appealed to him for that very reason. The film contains a surprising number of well-choreographed chases and dare I say ground-breaking motorcycle scenes, but too often it goes for the low-hanging fruit when it comes to laughs. Fans of the original will likely feel off-put that there favorite TV show was morphed into a raunchy comedy, and there's not enough there to inspire new fans to hop on-board. All comedies should ultimately be judged on how funny they are, and sadly "CHIPS" feels more like a wipe-out. (Listen to our Podcast interview with both Dax Shepard and Michael Pena). Grade: C-.

Genre: Comedy. Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes. Rated R. Starring: Dax Shepard, Michael Pena, Jessica McNamee, Adam Brody, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kristen Bell. Written and Directed by Dax Shepard (“Hit & Run").



“Personal Shopper”



Kristen Stewart bares all, both physically and emotionally, in "Personal Shopper," a strange and haunting film from writer/director Olivier Assayas. Assayas is working with Stewart for the second-straight film, after directing her best screen performance of her career in "The Clouds of Sils Maria," a film that led to Stewart winning the French equivalent of the Best Actress Oscar...the first American actress to achieve the honor. Stewart would be smart to stick with him, because with the help of his words and direction, she once again proves why she's one of the most uniquely talented young actresses currently working. That being said, "Personal Shopper" is a weird mash-up only held together by Stewart's performance. It is a horror/suspense movie on one hand, with Stewart playing a medium who has recently lost her twin brother...she sees abberations and tries to communicate with him, while curiously at the same time she enters into a very strange relationship with an unknown entity who might be stalking her. Juxtaposing these scenes, we see Stewart's character employed as a personal shopper for a rich and famous woman, a job that she loathes. Even after having watched the film, it's unclear just what the two threads have to do with one another, but Assayas does create a haunting, even enchantingly drab mood throughout...save for a middle section that tries to create tension via text messages between Steward and her unknown assailant. The entire journey ends up not quite being worth the destination, and Stewart's performance doesn't quite pull the uneven parts of the film together enough to recommend. Grade: C+.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller. Run Time: 1 hours 45 minutes. Rated R. Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Ty Olwin. Written and Directed by Olivier Assayas ("The Clouds of Sils Maria," "Something in the Air," "Summer Hours," "Clean.").




“Saban's Power Rangers”



This film was not reviewed.

“Wilson”



This film was not reviewed.


All of these movies open locally on Friday, March 24, 2017 (check for showtimes).

Next week movies include: "Ghost in the Shell," "The Zookeeper's Wife" and "The Boss Baby."




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