Ben Franklin famously said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Today, he could add, “and movies adapted from video games will be bad.” That’s certainly true of the reboot of the franchise “Mortal Kombat.” They tried to make something cinematic out of the game’s plot and themes in 1995 and 1997 to no avail, but Hollywood keeps on trying. This time out, Lewis Tan leads the cast in a well-produced but idiotic and brutally bloody R-rated martial arts extravaganza. An MMA fighter with a strange dragon marking is recruited to help save the world from the evil fighters of the Outworld who intend to enslave humanity. That setup is little more than an excuse to set up a series of fight scenes that become more monotonous as they go along. While the visuals are impressive, “Mortal Kombat” is fatally flawed. If you’re a “Mortal Kombat” fan, your best bet is to stick to the video game.
“Together Together” is the kind of movie the word ‘quirky’ was coined for. Ed Helms stars in this gentle comedy as a single middle-aged man who hires a woman in her twenties, played by Patty Harrison, to be a surrogate mother and give birth to his first child. The movie tracks the ups and downs of their platonic friendship throughout the nine-month gestation period. Both characters are kind-hearted, but more than a bit neurotic. While it’s very low key and doesn’t all ring true, “Together Together” is warm little movie about two lonely souls whose complicated relationship develops in an unconventional way.
Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, fineartsgroup.com and drafthouse.com.