I really don’t want to see this movie. It looks stupid. I don’t like Jonah Hill. Most of the time I don’t like Ben Stiller either (Tropic Thunder is my one big exception). When the two of them are accosting that skateboarder at the police station, I want to leap through the screen and beat them to death just so they’ll shut their stupid faces. Vince Vaughan I can take or leave, and Richard Ayoade I’ve never heard of, but I’m inclined to like him because he’s British. None of this makes me eager to see yet another movie about a bunch of immature doofuses acting like immature doofuses, even if there are aliens involved. The problem is that the only other movie coming to my theater this weekend is Step Up Eleventy Billion, and I’m not sure that’s going to be more worse (or less better).
STEP UP REVOLUTION
I think they’ve actually lost track of how many of these films there are – either that or the numbers have become ponderously large – because they’ve stopped putting the sequel number in the title. This one is just called Revolution, which is following the “random r word” rule used by the Resident Evil series. The actual plot of this movie is incidental – they’re all so cookie cutter that my under-12 writing group at the library could write one. There’s a dancer. Somone doesn’t want him/her to be a dancer. He/she gets a boy/girl friend, this person encourages them to dance, there’s a dance off, the end. This time they threw in an “evil property developer” cliché. I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed any Step Up movies, but if I have to sit through even one rendition of “International Love” without an escape route I may cannibalize the entire theater… not that there will be anyone else in it.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
The poster makes this movie look like an animated feature. So does the blurb, which goes on about bonkers things like holding together the fabric of the universe and prehistoric beasts on the loose. I mean, their names are ‘Wink’ and ‘Hushpuppy.’ So I was surprised when I hit ‘play’ on the trailer and found out it had real people in it. The kid’s pretty cute, but I’m still trying to figure out if this is a Melancholia sort of story (i.e. a pretentious poetic metaphor thing… possibly for Hurricane Katrina) or a Where the Wild Things Are sort of story (i.e. a weird kid living in her imagination thing). Judging from how many pretentious comments were left on YouTube and IMDB, I’m guessing the former.
Most romantic comedies have very little effort put into them, which is why this movie seems so great in comparison. It’s a fairly simple story – two best friends who have seen what having kids has done to their friends’ marriages decide to have a kid with each other before going spouse shopping. It’s cute and funny and writer/director/star Jennifer Westfeldt has kids (with co-star Jon Hamm of Mad Men) so she knows what it’s really like. She doesn’t just copy-paste the same stereotypes as the phone-in jobs. It’s a great date movie. You can read more about it in my full review.
“From the producers of Taken.” The box blurb says it all. From this we can understand that there will be a lot of violence, a plot that exists only to thinly justify said violence, and that the only women present in the script will be there for the purposes of being rescued. Sure, the woman is being rescued from a space prison, but that hardly justifies a comparison with Blader Runner (sorry, box-quoted reviewer). If you’re a sci-fi fan, this movie will only make you angry, but if you’re a fan of mindless violence you’ll probably enjoy it.
“Fun for the whole family!” proclaims the quote on the box, but I think they may have paraphrased the review a little. The original probably said: “Fun for the whole family… if your family have all received frontal lobotomies.” It’s difficult to imagine anyone over the age of four finding any of the imbecilic humor in this film funny. Even people who are die hard fans of the original stooges will probably turn it off before it’s over. Thin, episodic plot, poor acting, cringe worthy jokes, this movie is a stinker unless you’re still in diapers.
I’m a sucker for shiny box art, so can I just take a moment to say how nice this one is? All blue and sparkly…. Anyway! The movie! The movie is about a salmon expert (Ewan McGregor) who is paid to introduce salmon into a Middle Eastern river so a rich sheik can pass along his love for fishing to his people. Never mind that everyone thinks it’s impossible – the politicians want it done, so they’ve got to find a way. It’s one of those movies that’s both heartwarming and hilarious, so do check it out, even if you don’t like fishing.
Though I’ve always had a soft spot for Scrat, the squirrel thing who’s always trying to capture an acorn, I’ve never been that enthusiastic about the Ice Age movies. I saw the first and remember it as being passably funny, then skipped 2 and 3 and all the straight to DVD installments. This week Ice Age: Continental Drift (the fourth theatrical release in the series) was the only new film in my theater so my hands were kind of tied. Again, the series plucks events that are removed by millennia and plunks them into the Ice Age:
When the continent begins to break into pieces, a mammoth is separated from his family and must defeat pirates with the help of his pals to get back home again.
The mutilation of history bothered me, and so does the fact that I’ve got to see it in the more expensive 3D, which I can’t see after about ten minutes. But you know what? I actually liked this movie. The story was tight, the characters were cute, and it was funny for both kids and grown ups.
Something about this movie (either the Channing Tatum or the stripping… possibly both) made it a major vehicle for trailer-based ads, because I had a hell of a time finding one without 30 seconds of crap at the beginning (on the subject of trailer ads – WTF!? We’re putting ads before ads now??) Anyway, they make it seem like the movie is all about Mike finding the right girl and retiring from the stripper life to make coffee tables out of old engine blocks (or something) but in the blurbs the synopsis is all about Mike mentoring a younger stripper, whose name is not Alex Rider but it’s a little creepy anyway. But we all know the REAL point of the movie: Channing Tatum taking his clothes off. They should have just called it Channing Tatum Takes His Clothes Off. It would make a billion dollars the first weekend.
I love Mark Wahlberg in comedies, but he always seems to be paired up with people I can’t stand. Will Ferrell in The Other Guys and now Seth MacFarlane in Ted, which tends to dim my enthusiasm. Maybe you find the concept of a teddy bear with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other humping the scanner at a grocery store inherently hilarious, but I just don’t. There is no connection in my brain between alcohol, drugs, and comedy, so I didn’t laugh or smile once during this trailer. Ted is gonna be a pass for me.
PEOPLE LIKE US
I saw the poster for this and I was like “meh, this tells me nothing. It will probably be about nothing.” The trailer, however, has got me wanting to see it, although I can tell there’s probably going to be awkward sexual tension between Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, on account of he’s being nice to her and she doesn’t know he’s her brother. I hate that. It makes everything so weird and awkward and I want to turn the movie off. But the rest of it looked good enough that I’d take a chance on it. I mean, Olivia Wilde is there as the girlfriend so that should help. I hope it helps. Please let it help.
YOUR SISTER’S SISTER
So what is wrong with this guy that he needs to be sent via bicycle and ferry to a remote wilderness cabin? Does he have smallpox? Is he depressed? Is his boss mean? These are the things I think about, and if I don’t get answers, I tend to stop paying attention to whatever comes after. Another thing that bothers me – the title. Your sister’s sister is either you or your other sister, if there are more than two children. Now there, see? I forgot about the rest of the movie entirely. I’m not going to see it now because it irritated me.
THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH
Dear Chloe, these last few years have been so hard on our family, but I’m here now, in all my pervy glory, to start the movie with this creepy monologue and make everyone think I’m the villain, when really I’m the helpless patsy taken advantage of by an older woman. April fools! With all the fog and the kidnapped daughter and everything, this looks like a Silent Hill adaptation or something. Even so, I’ll have forgotten it exists by tomorrow. It’s just seems to standard.
TAKE THIS WALTZ
HIM: “You look really familiar, though.”
HER: “I get that a lot. Probably because I dress exactly like Sue Sylvester from Glee.”
Normally I hate movies about people cheating on each other, but she’s married to Seth Rogan, so it’s okay. She could push him in front of a bus and I probably still wouldn’t be bothered. I might even smile.
I’m sorry, but I can’t see a movie called “Lola” anything without thinking of Lolita, that Stanley Kubrick movie about statutory rape. Luckily, this movie is nothing like that. It’s just about getting dumped, but not, curiously, about the dumping resulting in her meeting prince charming, unless they left that part out of the trailers. Interesting. I might see it.
MADEA’S WITNESS PROTECTION
Never one to let an idea remain unmilked for long, Tyler Perry brings back Madea in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection by Tyler Perry starring Tyler Perry written and directed by Tyler Perry. No doubt it will be the biggest atrocity of multiple character acting/cross dressing as a fat old lady since Big Momma went to college.
Pixar has an annoying habit of not releasing any story details in their trailers, making it seem like their movies aren’t really about anything. With Brave, I knew I was going to like it because it was Pixar, but I had no idea what it was about other than that there was a wild haired Scottish princess with a bow and arrow who didn’t want to get married. Except for the Scottish thing, that’s ho-hum, so standard. What they should have said was this:
A Scottish princess about to be given away in marriage buys a magical spell to change her fate and accidentally turns her mother into a bear.
Before I saw Brave, I assumed it was going to be an early Scottish version of the Princess Diaries. Now that I’ve seen it, I can tell you that it’s actually like Freaky Friday, but with bears (and kilts). How awesome is that? I’ve always thought that Freaky Friday could use more bears (and kilts).
Yay! A Pixar movie starring a girl! I don’t know why there have been so few girls in their movies (perhaps because they’re mostly written/directed/produced by boys?) but it’s nice to see things change. It seems to be all about unfairness to girls too, which is cool, though beyond that I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to be about. Fighting a bear? Climbing a mountain? Proving your worth? Not getting married? Is it a Whale Rider type “I will be your leader even though I’m a girl” story or a Tangled type “I need to get out of my stifling childhood home and have an adventure” story? I love Pixar movies, but their trailers are usually lacking – they always make me think I won’t like the movie as much as the last ones, so I’m going to reserve judgment on whether it will be good or bad till I’ve actually seen the thing.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
I know a lot of people who belong to the “this looks unbearably stupid” school of thought when it comes to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter but I can’t wait to see this movie, I don’t care if it’s got historians spitting blood (historians could stand to be a bit less stuffy anyway). Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter looks even better in the trailers than Brave, but I have to see Brave this week because of my previous experiences loving Pixar movies. I read and liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (also by Seth Grahame-Smith) so I really want to see how he blended Lincoln history with bonkersness and epic violence. That’s three of my favorite things: history, bonkersness, and violence. A winning recipe!
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
Geez, long title. I’m not saying that every time. I’ll call it: End of the World. So, End of the World looks like a funnier version of Deep Impact, that asteroid movie that was not Armageddon. Not that it would take much to be funnier than Deep Impact, it was pretty much the most depressing movie ever. Anyway, this movie asks a good question: what would we all do if we knew we were all going to die in a couple of weeks? The short answer is probably “riot” but this film can probably find something uplifting to say anyway. I’d see it, but only after Brave and Abe Lincoln Makes with the Choppy Choppy.
Here’s another movie that asks (on a much smaller scale) what you would do if you were going to die in a slightly less funny way. The answer in the last film seems to be party/get girlfriend/tie up loose ends while this one seems to be tie up loose ends/get girlfriend/make last ditch hail mary attempt to not die, which makes more sense to me – who’d just lay down and die when there was a chance they didn’t have to? So I’d see this movie… eventually. On a side note – I can’t believe that’s Max Thieriot. Wasn’t it like yesterday that he was playing a twelve year old in Nancy Drew?
WHERE DO WE GO NOW
It can be difficult to fathom how two sets of people can hate each other so much that they’d be hell-bent on killing each other for thousands of years. So difficult, in fact, that a lot of us who are not involved tend to ignore it after a while. If it gets exhausting for us, then imagine how it must feel to be IN it. You might even be inspired to make a hilarious movie about a bunch of women who hire hookers and get everyone high to keep them from fighting. This has got to be one of the most interesting ideas for a movie I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll watch it.
Also happening this weekend: a fundraiser for my Girl Guides! Test drive a Ford and they’ll give us money! Check out the Facebook Event to invite yourself and all your friends.
I love Paul Rudd. I think he’s hilarious, so I’ll go see pretty much any of his movies, but this one didn’t do a lot for me. It’s about a guy (Rudd) and his wife (Jennifer Aniston) who don’t have wanderlust so much as financial problems that caused them to lose their apartment. They stumble across a hippie commune by accident and end up staying there. It has its funny moments, but it’s also loaded with cliches (pressure to be in an open relationship, skeevy developers trying to steal the land, a guy who’s always naked) so I’d rate this merely “watch when bored” rather than “seek out on purpose.”
I’m a sucker for cute stories about saving animals (Air Bud, Free Willy, Operation Dumbo Drop, etc.) so when I heard there was a cute (true!) story about a town full of Alaskans saving some whales trapped in ice, it was kind of a no brainer. If you’re the kind of person who feels like puking when movie characters give speeches about how animals have feelings or rolls their eyes when movie towns are inspired to set aside their differences for a good (read: cute) cause, do not watch this movie. However, if you’re nine or you like animals, definitely check it out.
Most high school movies have a big party in them, usually at the house of someone whose parents are out of town. If you wish those scenes were R rated and that you could watch them on repeat for 88 minutes, then Project X is for you. It’s about a trio of high school nobodies who throw a party that gets out of control. The end. And for extra unappealingness, some of the footage was shot on cell phone cameras for crappy quality AND irritating found footageness. Teenagers will like it (if they’re boys) but if you’re a grown up it will probably just make you want to punch the nearest adolescent.
There is an epidemic of directionless 20-somethings who have either returned to live with their parents after college or never left and I don’t know if I’m allowed to be scornful of them when I was one for about three years. Anyway laid back Jeff (played by Jason Segel) finally emerges from his basement dwelling funk when he’s thrown together with his uptight overachiever brother (Ed Helms) on a mission to find out whether his brother’s wife is cheating. It actually gets quite meaningful in places, so don’t expect just another goofball comedy and you’ll probably enjoy it.
I’m super excited for this movie. Why? Because Alien, Aliens, and Alien vs Predator (not the second one) were awesome. Also because it’s got Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace and their ship is totally cool. I could care less about Ridley Scott, who gave us the boringfest known as Blade Runner as well as cooler movies like Black Hawk Down and Alien. You gotta wonder about how smart these scientists are though, if they want to go looking (again) for aliens who like to bust out of people’s stomachs, but I guess if they were smart we wouldn’t have a movie. Oh, and if you’re wondering why I posted the teaser instead of the full trailer, it’s because the full one gives too much away. Don’t watch it.
MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED
I watched the the first Madagascar movie and liked it except for the part where that annoying grey fuzzy thing sang the “move it move it” song about four thousand times and made me want to drill into my own brain to stop the agony. Because of that, there’s no way I’m seeing this movie, or indeed the second one, which I don’t remember much about, and is probably in the $3 bin at Wal-Mart by now. The penguins are kind of awesome, but there’s no way I’m suffering through the rest of it just to see them. It’s just as well – this trailer didn’t even make me laugh once and it’s in 3D, which means I’d have to pay three dollars extra. No thanks.
Oh hello again, Robert Pattinson. I had forgotten you existed. You look really dorky in sunglasses and I can’t take you seriously as a high powered anything on account of you still look like you’re about fifteen. Judging from this trailer, both you and your blonde lead unfortunately seem to have all the emotive capacity of cardboard, so I think I’m going to skip this one if that’s okay with you. Also turning me off your new movie is the David Cronenberg factor, because his films are invariably either weird, gross, nonsensical, or all of the above. I’m still a little bit scarred over eXistenZ, so I’m sure he’ll understand that I’m not eager to buy a ticket for this one. I watched the whole trailer and I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to be about.
WE HAVE A POPE
When I saw the poster for this, I expected it to be either a documentary or a biopic about selecting the last pope, but this is like The King’s Speech for Catholics. I don’t wanna be the pope! Don’t make me talk to people! Get me some specialists who will do weird exercises with me and give me more confidence! And remember: I’m not just a mannikin in a giant hat! I’m a real person too! While I wouldn’t be interested in a movie about choosing the last pope (if there are two things I don’t like movies about, it’s politics and religion) but this one… this one I might watch.
Aardman is one of my favorite animation companies because they consistently turn out movies that I love. The question with The Pirates! was whether it could come close to their earlier film Chicken Run, which sits near the top of my favorite movies list. I like pirates nearly as much as World War 2 (which was the theme in Chicken Run) so The Pirates! Band of Misfits (The Pirates! in an Adventure With Science in the UK) stood a pretty good chance.
The Pirate Captain and his crew, who are the hopeless butt of pirate community, team up with scientist Charles Darwin to earn enough booty to win the Pirate of the Year Award.
I mentioned in my trailer review of The Pirates! that I was concerned about the plot – that the Pirate of the Year Award thing just didn’t seem like enough to sustain it – and it wasn’t. While it was very funny, and the award plot was augmented with hefty doses of Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria, The Pirates! just doesn’t have that hint of genius that I saw in Chicken Run.
Chicken Run is one of my all-time favorite movies (animated or otherwise) so I always look forward to new movies from Aardman. Their last couple of big movies have been CGI, so it’s cool to see them return to their claymation roots, even if these kinds of movies take for freaking ever to make. I recognized Jeremy Piven’s voice right away, but I never would have guessed that the main pirate was Hugh Grant. I guess that means he’s a good voice actor? I love the leper joke, the monkey with the flash cards, and the Girl Scout joke (though it should be Girl GUIDES, since he’s British). I don’t know where the plot can really go – the whole Pirate of the Year Award thing is pretty vague – but this is Aardman, so I trust them to make a good movie. I can’t wait to go.
THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT
I’m not sure where to start with this movie. First of all, I don’t understand why living in Michigan would prevent them from getting married. Did Michigan make a law against marriages that I haven’t heard about? Secondly, I’m just not feeling any chemistry between the two of them. Usually when you’ve got a pretty woman and a not-so-attractive guy, he’s likeable because he’s the funny one. But Emily Blunt is very funny on her own, so I’m not seeing a need for him in the story other than the whole wedding obstacle gimmick. Thirdly, they totally stole that arrow-in-the-leg joke from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. On the other hand, someone gets doored in this movie, and I’m a HUGE sucker for people getting doored. I don’t know what it is. But that won’t be enough to make me see this movie.
I’m sorry, but when I think of Edgar Allan Poe, I do not picture him looking like John Cusack. Probably because I’ve never thought of Edgar Allan Poe as a doofus. But with his hangdog face and his sarcastic sense of humor, that’s what Cusack brings to the role of Poe. Doofusness. (Sorry John Cusack fans, feel free to yell at me if you want). Both Cusack and Luke Evans, who plays the detective, are delivering their lines with all the inflection of depressed wallpaper paste salesmen, so I can only imagine that this movie will be tragically boring in long form. That’s a shame, because I really liked the episodes of Bones and Whitechapel where the killer was basing his murders on books.
Oh joy. Another terrible Jason Statham action movie. Is he TRYING to become the next Steven Segal? Because I already think of him this way and it can only be a matter of time before everyone else comes around. I cannot fathom what would possess a bunch of mobsters to show their ultra super secret criminal ledger to a little girl with a photographic memory unless they’re either tragically unintelligent or allergic to electronics. What, they never heard of a camera? Or a scanner? Or a freaking pen and a piece of paper? But of course the REAL answer is that it needed to happen in order for there to be a movie, ergo it was. The girl and her numbers could be replaced by a suitcase full of heroin or a flash drive and the movie would be exactly the same. But of course it’s hard for a flash drive to run away and just HAPPEN to run into the Big Apple’s Biggest Cliché – the hardass cop who was fired for some trumped up (read: totally understandable) reason like throat punching bad guys and blowing up half the city. Clearly I have too many brain cells still living to enjoy this movie.
Oh look, it’s Peeta (or so Josh Hutcherson shall forever be known on account of the Hunger Games). But his name is Clapton, which just sounds too much like a venereal disease for my liking. Here I was thinking that it was one of those smart ass high school comedies, but then WHOOPS, somebody gets murdered, and now it’s a horror film? Or maybe it’s not, I dunno. But I kind of like it. It thinks Torque is a stupid movie (always a sign of good judgment), it makes fun of teen angst and the prom-obsessiveness of other teen movies, and kids are locked in the library like the crew from The Breakfast Club. And yet… axe murdering. This is just weird enough to be interesting. I want to see it!
WEST WIND: THE VISION OF TOM THOMSON
I must not be very cultured, because this looks like one of the most boring things ever put to film. It also looks really cheap, like it should be something libraries get for free from the government, not something released into theaters. I mean, the title-overs are in Times New Roman, for crying out loud!