What’s that smell? Is that…? Why yes it is! It’s Hollywood and it is incredibly desperate for your cash! But how will you spend all that hard-earned money before Blockbuster season? Fortunately I’m here to tell you exactly where to put your money before the big(ger) movies come out in May!
What to see: The LEGO Movie and The Monuments Men.
Why: The LEGO Movie looks like a bit of a cheap cash-in, but if you’ve spent any time playing one of the many LEGO video games in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that they’re waaay better than most toy-to-video-game franchises out there. Plus it looks very funny.
Meanwhile, The Monuments Men was pushed back from a Fall release, supposedly because of special effects issues. While that’s a bit worrying, it’s more worrying that they didn’t just sit on it until next Fall so it could contend for some awards. A February release is usually a death knell, but I’m willing to give a movie a chance if it’s got George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Paul Giamatti and Bill Freaking Murray in it.
What to avoid: The Vampire Diaries.
Why: Look, before you eviscerate me for hating on vampires, hear me out. Vampires are terrible. Also, it’s trying too hard. Also also, it’s based on a series of young adult novels. Sound familiar? I’m sure it’s got its fans and I’m sure it’ll make money. But if you didn’t know it was a book first, stay away!
What to see: Robocop
Why: Despite people shitting all over the idea of a reboot, I’ve patiently sat back and waited to see what they come up with. The original film is fondly remembered because director Paul Verhoeven put in a lot of scathing and sometimes hilarious social commentary. The remake actually seems to have paid attention and just may be the first film to successfully poke fun at the 21st Century’s Military Industrial Complex.
What to avoid: EVERYTHING ELSE
Why: It’s Valentine’s Day. Every other movie, especially Endless Love, is going to be sappy and smarmy and treat its viewers like idiots. I love me a good love story. But I hate me some saccharine bullshit.
What to see: Nothing in wide release.
What to avoid: Pompeii
Why: We all know what happened to Pompeii. Why do we have to build a love story around it and populate the entire film with Spartacus rejects?
What to see: The Son of God and Non-Stop
Why: The Son of God is a simple fact of a film. It’s been a few years since someone has retold the story of Jesus Christ. This is America. Christians pay good money to see the story of Jesus Christ. Your coworkers will be talking about it. Might as well go see if it’s as good as The Passion of the Christ.
As for Non-Stop, it’s another thriller starring Liam Neeson. Last time I scoffed at a Liam Neeson movie it was The Grey, which turned into one of my favorite films of 2011.
What to avoid: Stalingrad
Why: From its synopsis: An epic love story set during one of the most devastating battles in modern history. God. Damnit.
What to see: Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Why: It’s gotta be better than 300: Rise of an Empire.
What to avoid: See above.
What to see: It’s mid-March. Maybe you should take a nice walk, enjoy the scenery.
What to avoid: Need for Speed
Why: Have you ever seen a movie about expensive cars blowing up being taken so damn seriously in the trailers? At least the Fast & Furious franchise knows that humor is important.
What to see: Muppets Most Wanted and Nymphomaniac (if you can find it in theaters)
Why: C’mon dude, Muppets! And the reboot was a lot better than anyone could have anticipated. As for Nympomaniac, it’s Lars Von Trier. You will be uncomfortable and you will wonder why the hell you just watched what you watched, but in the end you’ll be glad you did. (Or you’ll have nightmares.)
What to avoid: Divergent
Why: Oh look! Another movie about teenagers finding love while avoiding the powers that be! Wait, wasn’t that the entire plot of The Host?
What to see: Noah and The Raid 2
Why: From the man that brought you Black Swan and The Wrestler comes a tale from…the bible? But I’d give even that a back seat if I can find a theater playing The Raid 2. Those sweet, sweet fight scenes.
What to avoid: A Haunted House 2
Why: I recently live-tweeted a terrible-film trilogy of InAPPropriate Comedy, Movie 43 and A Haunted House. Each one was just awful. None of them should have sequels.
April: I’m going a bit long, so here’s my top and bottom three for the month.
What to see: Captain America: Winter Soldier, Draft Day and The Quiet Ones.
Why: While the reason I’m putting a Captain America sequel out there is pretty obvious, what about the other two? Well, Draft Day is literally about the NFL’s Draft Day from a single taem’s perspective. In this case, the Browns i.e. the Factory of Sadness. It received amazing insider access to last year’s draft so it could get the details right and I tend to like Kevin Costner more when he’s not trying to be an action hero.
The Quiet Ones, meanwhile, is teasing me. It looks like it might be this year’s The Conjuring, a horror film that will actually scare me. Here’s to hoping!
What to avoid: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, Transcendence and The Other Woman.
Why: Enough with the Madagascar franchise! It was barely funny to begin with! Stop!
Transcendence looks cool on the outside, but I’ll bet even money on it being over-the-top, melodramatic and with an ending that leaves everyone unsatisfied. Just like the husband seems to have been unsatisfied with just one wife/girlfriend in The Other Woman. (Nice segue, right?) It’s got a potentially fun story, true. A woman finds out her boyfriend is cheating on him..a lot…so she hunts down his wife and other girlfriends to plan revenge. Yeah, it could be good. But I get a sense there’s going to be some serious lowbrow humor and an undeserved ending.
So there you have it. My esteemed opinion on all things movie for the next few months. Disagree with anything? I’ll happily debate you until you concede that I’m always right.