Cast: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Terry Crews, Denis Leary, and a slew of players/celebrities
Draft Day is a sports comedy/drama starring Costner as Sonny Weaver Jr., general manager of the Cleveland Browns. Bo Callahan (Josh Pence), the quarterback from the University of Wisconsin, is the predicted No. 1 pick in this fictional NFL draft and Weaver must choose whether or not to make bold moves to get him. The Browns have the seventh overall pick, and Weaver faces pressure from team owner Anthony Molina (Frank Langella) to make waves. Between business negotiations with the fictionalized Seattle Seahawks’ front office and the allure of trading for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, as well as the pregnancy of his girlfriend Ali (Garner), Weaver finds out just how hot the kitchen can get.
This is probably the most legit role for Costner as of lately despite the steady flow of lead roles he’s managed to consume lately. Yes, I’m talking about how unappealing his other recent films such as Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and 3 Days to Kill looked when I saw the overload of trailers he’s been in at one point in time. In regards to the rest of the cast, it’s nice to see Garner getting back into a number of different roles, along with getting to see some familiar faces on the field and the broadcasting portion.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Cast: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Hayley Atwell
I have to give credit where credit is due. The first Captain America movie was much better than I had anticipated. I wasn’t completely sold on Evans locking up the lead role, especially when he was already Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in Marvel’s Fantastic Four, a series that flopped after just two films and will now see a reboot. Although he seems slightly one-dimensional and doesn’t differ in character much between the roles, he managed to pull off a pretty solid first impression. The rest of the cast was successful and this sequel holds a lot of promise thanks to his performance.
This chapter of Captain America takes place after the hero, Steve Rogers, wakes up after decades of suspended animation. SHIELD Director Nick Fury (Jackson) is murdered by an assassin that goes by the name of “The Winter Soldier,” and Rogers is banished from the organization for heeding Fury’s warning to not trust anyone due to being compromised. With the help of the Black Widow (Johansson) and introducing The Falcon (Mackie), Rogers must utilize all the assistance he can get as he begins to find enemies among friends and a familiar face in the Winter Soldier.
Cast: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman
Depp returns to the big screen, after a short break, in Transcendence as Dr. Will Caster, top-of-the-line researcher in the Artificial Intelligence field. His primary goal is creating a sentient machine that has both the knowledge of everything ever known and the complete spectrum of emotions from humans. His experiments and tests have made him renowned, but have also painted a target on his back in the eyes of anti-technology extremists set on bringing him down. Their plan goes awry and instead of eradicating Will, they accidentally allow him to become his own greatest creation in achieving transcendence. However, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Bettany), who are both fellow researchers, soon discover Will’s insatiable hunger for knowledge and power. If there is no end to it, there may be no possibility of stopping him.
Even though I found The Lone Ranger to be better than the impression trailers left, Depp hasn’t had a signature role in a few films probably going back to Rum Diaries in 2011. I’d like to say that this is the mark-leaving bounce-back, but I don’t feel comfortable making any guarantees. Depp is notorious for delivering on almost every occasion, but this one will probably be hit-or-miss for audiences, leaving some satisfied and others scratching their heads.
Connor Getz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org