Apologies in advance…I’m in a titular mood today. So you’re in store for bad jokes and puns rather than critical analysis.
It’s that time again for TGITDNMAR, which (obviously) stands for Thank God It’s The Day New Movies Are Released.
Seriously, why did they ditch the “of Mars” from the title of this flick? Sure, it sounded weird, but it sounded a hell of a lot less generic than its current title, and at least the original title honored the source material a bit more.
More important, adding “of Mars” (or “on Mars” or some iteration thereof) is probably a good idea for most flicks. Accurate to the tale or not, I’m much more likely to see Twilight ON MARS than I am to just see Twilight, or The Vow OF MARS than merely The Vow. It’s science (-fiction). To top it all off, John Carter reminds me of Get Carter, which reminds me of Sly Stallone (sorry, Caine fans, I’m just a more contemporary cinephile), and that’s not a good thing, either. Might as well call it John Carter or My Mom Will Shoot.
Oh, and just in case you forgot…the aliens/coliseum/planet still remind everyone of Attack of the Clones…never a good thing. Though, finally, just to hedge my bets, this is the portion of my snarkiness where I acknowledge that director Andrew Stanton has a pritty, pritty good resume (WALL*E, Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life) that should afford him the benefit of the doubt (aka hedging my bets).
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 37%
Seriously, though, SFITY is perhaps the worst title for a wide release since The Men Who Stare at Goats (what’s the deal, McGregor?). It shares three components that moviegoers in general could probably not care much less about: salmon, fishing, and Yemen. Combining them into a title somehow does not make the film any more appealing. I suggest Catch & Release 2 as an alternate title.
All kidding aside, I did happen to see the trailer for this and was somewhat impressed that it even got made, given the subject matter, much less that it was able to attract stars such as McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Emily Blunt. That said, director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) has a solid track record of making earnest, visually-pleasing dramas, and this fits in line perfectly. Feels like it might have gotten more attention/traction given a fall release, though.
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 21%
Friends with Kids
2006 brought us Friends with Money. 2011 brought Friends with Benefits. Now this. Was the order correct? Is this better than the other two? Will someone ever do a marathon and watch all three in a row? Will there ever be a Friends with Friends movie?
I have so many questions and so few answers.
IMDb says that this film is intended for people who liked Bridesmaids. Oh, ya think so, doctor? Would that have something to do with the fact that just about every luminary from the 2011 hit comedy short of Melissa McCarthy is in the cast here? Although written, directed and starring Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein), Kristin Wiig appears alongside other Brides vets Jon Hamm, Chris O’Dowd, and Maya Rudolph, with Adam Scott filling out the other lead opposite Westfeldt. This is basically Hip Modern Comedy Stars 101. So it has a lot on its side there.
What it also has, however, is a gimmicky plot centered on a pair of friends who decide to raise a child together. Will they fall in love? Will they be great parents? Will audiences be able to stop rolling their eyes enough at that premise to enjoy the film?
Again…so few answers. But I am intrigued.
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 55%
A Thousand Words
Hopefully, the title of this film is a sign that, instead of having audiences sit through 90 minutes or more of another patented Eddie Murphy Stinker, this film actually consists merely of a single image for a certain length of time. Boring, perhaps, but surely less offensive than the likes of Norbit, Meet Dave, or god knows what else Murphy has made in the last decade.
Of course, director Brian Robbins (originally an actor featured on Head of the Class, for you folks over 30 out there) is responsible for all films mentioned, as well as other winners such as The Shaggy Dog and Ready to Rumble. He’s like the sports/comedy version of Peter Berg, only he makes Berg look like Martin Scorcese. Then again, I shouldn’t talk – I’ve seen all of one film by Robbins, and I happen to (somewhat ironically) love it: Varsity Blues. And no, I DON’T WANT YOUR LIFE, either.
To tie this all back together, Kevin Bacon-stlye, Robbins/Blues shares another connection to Berg, in that Pete directed the wildly-similar Friday Night Lights, the feature film that led to the TV series that starred…John Carter‘s Taylor Kitsch.
They all lose. I win.
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): -2000%