A young staffer (Gosling) on the campaign trail with a big shot presidential candidate (Clooney) struggles with the dirty choices that must be made to win an election. You can't ask for a better pedigree than Ides of March has given the film's A-list cast and director (Clooney). Politics in general do nothing for me either in real life or on screen but the trailers have painted this as a thriller and it looks darn good. Early reviews haven't been as overwhelmingly positive as I might have expected but I can't imagine this film could be anything less than at least "good."
Value: $8 Might not be the Oscar bait it was billed as but Gosling and Clooney alone should be enough to make this worthwhile.
"Real Steel" - Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo
A decade in the future, boxing has become a sport for sparring robots controlled by users outside the ring. Searching for a way to connect with his son (Goyo), a former contender (Jackman) refurbishes and trains an aging battle robot, turning it into a nationwide sensation. The studio has pushed this film HARD with ads dating back to the last holiday season. I was fairly resolute in my feelings that Real Steel would be a waste of time but the early reviews have been relatively decent. Personally, I'm shocked. I mean...this can't be good, right? Jackman has his moments but he'd need to be incredible to make this work. I'm not sold.
Value: $5 A week ago I would have said $3 but a few critics I trust seem to really enjoy this film. I'm confused.
"The Way" - Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez (Limited)
After coming to Spain to retrieve the remains of his adult son (Estevez), a man (Sheen) decides to complete the cross country trek that cost his son his life as a form of both tribute and therapy. Sheen doesn't hold much sway these days and I'd honestly forgotten that Estevez is a person, but I must say, The Way sounds very intriguing. It has won over critics and audiences around the world through the festival circuit and its Rotten Tomatoes score is solid. Way to get it done, Gordon Bombay! (That's a Mighty Ducks reference, by the way.)
Value: $3 Most of us won't have an opportunity to see this in theaters but you can count me in when this hits DVD shelves.
"Dirty Girl" - Juno Temple, Jeremy Dozier, Milla Jovovich (Limited)
In the late '80s, a smalltown bad girl (Temple) runs away from home accompanied by her gay friend (Dozier). I saw the trailer for this a few weeks ago and it really looks terrible. Also, I don't get the appeal of Juno Temple. A number of critics seem to appreciate her work but I've never seen her do anything that's really worth all the buzz. Meh.
Value: $1 There are probably much better things you can do with that $10.
An aging Butch Cassidy (Shepard) joins up with a young gunman (Noriega) for one last shot at seeing home. Fun fact about me: if you want to get me interested in your film, just tell me it has anything to do with Butch Cassidy, Robin Hood, or Chewbacca. I'm in no matter what. (All three together?! Even better!) Blackthorn is a new take on the Cassidy story (or at least how it ends) and Shepard is perhaps the best choice to play the man outside of the ghost of Paul Newman. Really think this could be good.
Value: $5 I'll be viewing Blackthorn this weekend and you can too without even leaving your home. It has been playing on HDNET this week (some viewings may still be scheduled) and it's available On Demand with pretty much any cable service.
(Yes, I am pretending that Human Centipede 2 isn't a real thing. You should, too.)