Rent 'Total Recall,' 'Killer Joe' isn't for the faint-hearted - New York News

Rent 'Total Recall,' 'Wimpy Kid' delivers, 'Killer Joe' isn't for the faint-hearted: Zwecker

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The big blockbuster of the weekend likely will be Len Wiseman's remake of "Total Recall." But this time we have Colin Farrell Not Arnold Schwarzenegger as our mind-bending hero.

The action is great and there are lots of cool special effects. But in the end, I felt the first third of the film was the best. After awhile it all becomes a crazy blur of pretty mindless noise and chase scenes.

Farrell plays a futuristic factory worker who hopes to escape his dull life thanks to memory-bending by the mega-company Rekall. The company makes him think he's a super spy - or is it the other way around? Was his factory worker life truly the dream?

Farrell is fine and Bryan Cranston is great as the villainous chancellor, but this is one you can wait to rent.

For those looking for a solid, funny, warm and comforting family film, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" is a good choice for these true dog days of August.

We follow the goofy and not unexpected adventures of Zachary Gordon as the title character, pretending to land a job at a fancy country club. All kinds of funny mishaps ensue at the local public pool, and what turns out to be a disastrous camping trip.

Special kudos goes to Steve Zahn as Greg's dad, Frank Heffley. This is one to go see. It's perfect for the whole family.

Chicago playwright and screenwriter Tracy Letts' "Killer Joe" is not for everyone, but fellow Chicago native and director William Friedkin does a great job of translating Letts' dark drama about some very desperate trailer trash types to the big screen.

Matthew McConaughey delivers a terrific performance as "Killer Joe" - a southwestern police detective who moonlights as a contract killer on the side.

The whole cast is outstanding including Emile Hirsch as Chris, a kid in trouble with drug dealers when his own mother steals his stash of cocaine, leading him to hire McConaughey to kill his mom to collect a life insurance windfall.

There are some great twists here, and you'll love watching Gena Gershon, Thomas Hayden Church and newcomer Juno Temple act up a storm. But be aware - this is R-rated for violence, very strong language and lots of nudity.

Also opening Friday is "Red Lights," starring Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy as scientists who spend their lives exposing popular psychics and proponents of paranormal phenomena.

The heart of this story is about famous psychic Simon Silver - played with subtle intensity by Robert DeNiro - yet a psychic that Weaver's Dr. Margaret Matheson is loathe to expose.

DeNiro's character has been retired for 30 years, but his highly paid return to the scene totally stirs the pot.

Unfortunately, the needed punch this film needs, never quite delivers.

However when Cillian Murphy and director Rodrigo Cortes were in town recently, I sat down with them and we talked about what it was like to work with screen legends like DeNiro and Weaver.

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