After San Andreas’ $54 million opening, it’s time to officially anoint The Rock a major movie star. It might seem like I’m a bit late to the party, but take a look at this and tell me what, outside of the fifth, sixth, and seventh installments of an established franchise (with an ensemble cast no less), screamed “movie star!” Nothing does! That’s the correct answer here! Also, stop yelling.
This weekend proved Mr. Johnson can carry a big movie released dead in the middle of a highly competitive summer season. The fact that the film looks to be (full disclosure: I haven’t seen it) little more than an excuse to put The Rock in as many chaotic situations involving different modes of transportation as possible probably speaks even more to his ability to carry a movie. Because, I mean, the movie might be fun in a ridiculous way, but I can’t imagine it actually being any good. Because, again, the premise seems to be The Rock on various vehicles as the Earth falls apart. But I’ve always liked The Rock (full disclosure: I have a gigantic man crush on him), so I’m happy we can finally call him a legitimate movie star.
This week we get three new wide releases, which is a heck of a lot for a summer weekend. You know how in football they say if you have three quarterbacks competing for the starting job, you really have no quarterbacks (you may not know that, but it’s totally something they say, whoever they are)? The same sort of things applies to movies in the summer. Each weekend is usually reserved for one huge movie to enter multiplexes and clean up, with the biggest movies getting two or, in rare cases, three weekends. When a bunch of wide releases come out on the same weekend, it’s typical that none of them are big budget blockbusters and mostly serve as counter programming to those blockbusters that are currently still in theaters. They’re also usually situated in between the release of those much bigger movies. So, there’s no clear cut, marquee release this week, but we instead get three very different films that all get to compete with one another for a week before we get back to the Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys of the summer movie season. And with that, let’s get to it:
After eight seasons and 96 episodes, someone decided we needed more Entourage. And now we have it. In movie form. I’ve seen exactly one episode of the TV series, which also probably doubles as the douchiest 30 minutes of my life. It’s an empty, vapid show about empty, vapid people that serves little purpose outside of showing an exaggerated version of how rich people live. Or maybe it isn’t exaggerated. I’m not rich, so I don’t really know. Either way, I don’t care.
So, now we have an hour and 40 minutes that picks up where the show left off and continues to detail these people being these people. This time, Vince (Adrien Grenier) is making his directorial debut and being bankrolled by Ari (Jeremy Piven). But things don’t go according to plan! And there will be a parade of celebrity cameos. And that’s your movie. Sound enticing?
Pete’s chances of seeing this in theaters: 0% – You know what they say – douchebags will be douchebags.
Right out of the Horror Movie 101 hand guide, comes Insidious: Chapter 3, a prequel to the first two installments of the series. How did a prequel somehow get the subtitle Chapter 3? Excellent question. I don’t have an answer, but I’m right there with you – it’s misleading at best, and idiotic at worst. Still, a third entry in this series was all but inevitable after the first two entries collectively grossed over $250 million against a combined budget of $6.5 million. As stated numerous times in this very space, this is exactly what horror franchises do. Cheaply produced, profitable goods are basically the best business investment you can make. That’s how Nike and Apple have become titans of industry. Well, that plus sweatshops and slave labor practices, but let’s not dig too deeply there. We might find something that will upset us, like the plot of a horror movie or something.
This third movie that takes place prior to the first two movies really switches things up too. There’s a haunted house. And a family that has to deal with said haunted house. Oh, wait. That’s the same exact premise as the other two movies. Sorry about that. So yeah. You’ve seen this movie, possibly twice, already, but if you want to see it a third time, it looks like this.
Pete’s chances of seeing this in theaters: 98% – Because according to the Insidious series, numbers mean nothing.
Paul Feig, the de facto Hollywood director of female-centric comedies, hits theaters with his latest this weekend. Coming off of Bridesmaids and The Heat (and the all-female Ghostbusters on the horizon), Spy sees him teaming once again with Melissa McCarthy in, once again, an action comedy. Now, anyone who reads this column with any regularity knows I love The Heat and think it’s a smart feminist take on the buddy cop movie, while also standing completely on its own as an excellent action comedy. Those previous three words, common in the film lexicon, are ridiculously difficult to pull off well. And Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy did. And now they’re trying again. I’m clearly fired up.
McCarthy stars as the CIA’s top analyst who is unexpectedly needed as a secret agent after the cover of the James Bond stand in (played by Jude Law), and the Jason Statham stand in (played by Jason Statham), are blown. The trailer is full of clever jokes that excise the lame, mean-spirited fat jokes that seem to plague McCarthy’s movies minus Feig, and the feminist angle is clear – the action hero typically played by men is both represented and discarded here. Feig has certainly found a formula that works well for his skills, and it’s possible this one is him going to the feminine well once too many times (feel free to insert your best joke here…I’m not touching that, which is obviously what she said), but I’m betting this is another success for the Feig-McCarthy duo.
Pete’s chances of seeing this in theaters: 100% – One of this summer’s most exciting releases.