Movie Reviews: Patch Movie Blogger Rates Snitch and Bless Me, Ultima

Find movie reviews and movie times for theaters in O'Fallon.

Are you a movie buff or fanatic? Or maybe you just enjoy the occasional dinner and a movie date? Either way, Patch would be thrilled to have you on board as a movie blogger! It's free, quick and easy to do so! All you have to do is shoot a quick email to Brian Feldt at brianf@patch.com.


Mark Glass, Patch blogger: ** Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tries his hand at more realistic dramatic fare in this supposedly fact-inspired tale of a father trying to save his son from a long prison stretch on a shaky rap as a drug dealer. The kid is caught with a bag of pills. He’s been set up by his pal, who made him the fall guy when he was busted. All this one needs to do is find someone else to finger, or face a ridiculously harsh 10-year minimum sentence under federal guidelines for our so-called War on Drugs. He either can’t or won’t. So daddy - a self-made guy who runs a construction and trucking business - decides to play dealer so he can deliver a big fish to the Feds in exchange for his boy’s freedom. Full Review

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Bless Me, Utima

Mark Glass, Patch blogger: *** If you’re in a leisurely mood, this quiet little drama may pleasantly surprise you with how much it covers. The events occur in a small, mostly Hispanic New Mexican village during WW II. The focus is the coming-of-age tale of young Antonio, who is fascinated by the old woman - allegedly a bruja (witch) - who comes to stay with his family. Dad is waiting the return of his three older sons from the War, so they can all move to the greater opportunities of California. But before then, some things occur which sharply divide the locals over their deeply-held Catholic beliefs and the possible good or dubious powers of the old woman. Full Review

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Save Haven

Mark Glass, Patch blogger: **½ The quiet drama, based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, plods along as its inevitable romance blossoms, with some helpful advice from her other new friend - an attractive neighbor (Cobie Smulders), who seems nearly as secretive about her own backstory as our leading lady on the lam. We like Hough’s character, and hope she’s not really the perp of the pursuit, but don’t discover the truth of why she landed there for longer than the plot requires. Expect more focus on finding love than solving crimes as the tale unfolds. The action eventually picks up for a rather farfetched climax, with a welcome little perk at the end. If you find the actors engaging and have the patience for director Lasse Hallstrom’s idea of pace, the rewards are there. Full Review

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A Good Day to Die Hard

Mark Glass, Patch blogger: ** Or, more accurately, a good day to watch one of Bruce Willis’ earlier Die Hard flicks rather than this one. John McClane - the Energizer Bunny of action heroes - learns his son (charisma-impaired Jai Courtney) is facing serious criminal charges in Russia. Even though the two have been estranged for years, John flies over to see what he can do. He stumbles into yet another episode of epic mayhem, as his son and another high-profile defendant are fleeing from the courtroom that’s just been bombed and overrun by thugs toting big guns.

Tossing another generation of McClanes into the franchise is no path to longevity. Perhaps the Die Hard series should just be mercifully allowed to expire on this loud, ludicrous death rattle of a film. Full Review

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Identity Thief

Mark Glass, Patch blogger: * This lame-brained comedy might actually be funnier that this rating indicates, though wasting gifted actors like Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy calls for consequences. Identity theft is a serious problem. That doesn’t preclude milking laughs from a hyperbolized example, but the script has to serve the cast and concept far better than this one does.

Bateman plays a corporate financial drone with a lovely family and nice little life in Denver. McCarthy not only runs up huge bills and a DUI under his name in Florida, but does so just when he’s starting a great new job that will vanish within a week if he can’t clear the record first.

Jason heads to the Sunshine State, desperately hoping she’ll ‘fess up to his boss and save his career. He discovers he’s been victimized by a woman who is part criminal and part kook. 

Despite his record of helming episodes of many worthy sitcoms, director Seth Gordon appears overmatched by the scale of a film production with multiple locations (including, alas, our own fair city). The movie is too long and too silly to work. McCarthy’s character is so ill-defined that when the action shifts to the script’s inevitable warm fuzzy bits, nothing resonates. Big disappointment. Full Review


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