IN THEATERS

The critics may have blasted “Jupiter Ascending” — starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis and Eddie Redmayne — but I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had a unique story, and it was very imaginative, exciting and action-packed. The costumes were fantastic, particularly Kunis’ wedding ensemble, and the special effects were impressive, especially Tatum’s flying skates.

Controversy aside, I thought the creators did a good job adapting “50 Shades of Grey” from book to film. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan wouldn’t have been my first picks for Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, but they did the parts justice. Grey’s dialogue came off laughable at times, but it did stay true to the novel. The scandalous scenes were paired down enough that it didn’t get too awkward.

ON DVD

Hard as I tried, I could not get into “John Wick” (2014), starring Keanu Reeves and Michael Nyqvist. This man-seeking-vengeance-at-epic-proportions plotline has been overdone, and “John Wick” didn’t bring anything new to the table. After being wronged, he killed anyone who crossed him, and his path of destruction was so ludicrous that I just stopped caring.

“Dracula Untold” (2014) — starring Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper and Sarah Gadon — was a short (just 90 minutes) but concise and thrill-filled reimagining of how Dracula came to be. I liked the spin of Dracula being a man who turned to darkness to try to protect his family and kingdom. The filmmakers made the implausible seem realistic through some great computer work.
Andrea Honaker writes for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette.