It’s officially the first day of Summer, and that means movie theater overload is upon us. We’ve made it through the dark days of March and April (where you were ultimately choosing between The Incredible Burt Wonderstone or Jurassic Park 3D if you really needed to get to the theater), and we’re suddenly nipples deep in potentially solid movies. If you decide to head to the theaters this weekend, you’ll have to choose one film to see among the following: World War Z, Man of Steel, This Is The End, The Bling Ring, Now You See Me, Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, or Monsters University. All of them could be great, depending on your personal preferences.
If you’re planning to go see a movie this weekend, and you’re thinking this blog is going to give you reviews for all eight of those movies I just listed, well I’m sorry to say you’re about to be 62.5% disappointed. I’ve only seen three of the eight.
But if this blog post helps even one person pick the right film among the few that I’ve seen, then I guess I’m doing my job. And of course, you can find professional reviews from professional critics all over the internet. I’m not trying to replicate the type of review you’d read from a reputable critic. I’ll just cut through the bullshit and give you the bottom line on these motion pictures.
- Star Trek Into Darkness: The first thing you need to know about this movie is that you don’t need to know anything about Star Trek’s lengthy film and TV history to enjoy it. You don’t even need to have seen the 2009 first installment of these new Star Treks to understand this one. You should see this movie if: You enjoy sci-fi movies that are grounded in reality almost enough to not be considered sci-fi; you like a movie that’s about 85% action, 12% comedy and 3% romance; you think Chris Pine is so hot that you’d sit through a two-hour movie about space exploration and alien planets just to watch him on a giant movie screen (Chris Pine is available in 3D for this film). You should NOT see this movie if: Thinking of Star Trek immediately makes you yawn or have a glazed over look in your eyes; you think Star Trek and Star Wars are the same thing and you’d end up spending the whole movie whispering to your boyfriend about when he thinks Darth Vader’s going to make his first appearance; you hate awesome action movies. On the Ross Watchability Scale (RWS), I give it a 7.5 out of 10.
- Now You See Me: Based on the trailers for this movie, my expectation was for it to be an intellectually stimulating heist story with the unique twist that the criminals are these great illusionists with a ton of tricks up their sleeves. Unfortunately my expectations were aimed way too high on this one. The opening 15-20 minutes is solid as you get sucked into these magicians’ worlds and their first great robbery together. But the rest of the movie is an extremely lame chase between the bumbling FBI agents and the magicians who continue to perform in public even though the FBI is after them (the FBI literally stands by and watches these performances at times, making you wonder if there’s an unknown law that states people can’t be arrested while performing magic). Just because they threw together a movie with six or seven well-known actors doesn’t mean it’s going to be a well-acted movie. It’s not, and the lame, overly complex plot doesn’t make up for the awful acting. You should see this movie if: You’ve always wanted to watch a film that’s more confusing and less interesting than Ocean’s 11; you are obsessed with magicians; you enjoy watching Mark Ruffalo look like the world’s worst Cop; you enjoy the “Shyamalan twists” at the end of a movie no matter how little sense they make. You should NOT see this movie if: You enjoy good movies only; you don’t want to spend a whole movie-going experience thinking about how old and tired Morgan Freeman looks; you like to spend your money wisely. On the RWS, I give it a 2.5 out of 10.
- This Is The End: I don’t know if this movie looks stupid or brilliant to the average person. When I walked out of the theater last night, I was leaning much more towards the brilliant side. And I still am today, but the one caveat to this movie’s brilliance is that it might only be good to people who are familiar with these actors. Not like you need to have met these actors in real life, but you’ll probably enjoy this movie the most if you’re familiar with their previous work and the type of personalities they have. In case you don’t know, this film stars Seth Rogen, James Franco and many of their friends playing exaggerated versions of themselves during a sudden apocalypse. At times it almost feels like one big inside joke that you’ll only understand if you have a general sense of how the public perceives these actors. For example, if you don’t know going into the movie that Michael Cera always plays characters who are soft-spoken, sweet, a little dorky and mostly awkward, then it probably won’t be as funny when you see him snorting coke and being an asshole to everyone at the party that gets this movie started. You should see this movie if: You were a fan of movies like Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and I Love You Man; you live for raunchy sex & toilet humor as well as alcohol & drug humor; you have the ability to enjoy a movie for its amazing humor no matter how nonsensical and far-fetched the plot is (that really shouldn’t be too hard). You should NOT see this movie if: You’re uncomfortable with the words fuck, cum, jizz, or the C-word; you have absolutely no interest in seeing actors play themselves and make fun of each other for 90 minutes nonstop; you aren’t OK with seeing several gigantic (fake) penises on a movie screen. On the RWS, I give it a 8.5 out of 10.
So to recap, we’re working with one solid sci-fi/action movie, one incredible comedy and one gigantic flop. You’re free to make your own choices when you head to the theater this weekend, but don’t say I didn’t warn you when you’re stuck watching magicians and FBI agents running in circles while you hear people in the next theater over laughing hysterically at yet another amazing semen joke.