I very quickly want to say something that I very rarely say:
I was wrong.
Last week, I said that Adam Sandler’s terrible excuse for a film, Pixels was “going to win the week with right around $30 million,” and in this case, I am so beyond happy that I made a poor guess. Pixels settled for second place (Ant-Man won the weekend with $28 million) with just over $24 million, making it nearly impossible for the film to become Sandler’s fifteenth $100 million film. And hopefully that means a break from the automatic green-lighting that he seems to get. His next film is due out in December but it’s a straight-to-Netflix deal and it sounds as horrible as you might expect (it’s called The Ridiculous Six and it’s a western spoof co-starring his buddies David Spade and Rob Schneider, along with Taylor Lautner, Nick Nolte, and Terry Crews). Let’s just cross our fingers that he takes a little break after that… you know, until someone writes the most hilarious script ever for Grown Ups 3.
But let’s just get to this week’s releases… and I apologize in advance for all of the slobbering I’m about to do on the likely winner of the coming box office weekend.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Frequent readers of this site and my writing will already know about my Tom Cruise fandom… but for those new around here… I love that guy. Seriously. That guy just turned 53 and he’s still hanging off the side of cargo airplanes and crashing sports cars for the sake of his movies looking more real (and, you know, he not-even-close-to-secretly is an adrenaline junkie). His return to the role of Ethan Hunt marks a fifth time he has taken on an impossible mission and it continues to be a solid money-maker for the actor. 2011’s Ghost Protocol crossed the $200 million mark domestically and just missed the $700 million mark worldwide, putting it third on Cruise’s all-time list (behind M:I2 and War of the Worlds). I’m a big fan of the series (my order is 3, 4, 1, 2 – I’m a HUGE advocate for M:I3, in fact, I’m watching it as I type) and the hope is that the saga continues to entertain.
My favorite aspect of these movies, besides Cruise doing his own stunts, is that a different director has taken the reins of each film. Each has put their signature touch on the series and this time it’s Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie, who doesn’t have much of a “style” to add to the films, but he does bring a rapport with Cruise and a great supporting cast in returners Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames. It’s Rhames’ return that has me most excited. His back-and-forth with Cruise is often hilarious and always entertaining and in the end, their camaraderie is just one of the countless reasons why I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for my viewing of Rogue Nation.
Justin’s Chances of Seeing This in Theaters: 100% – it just missed my Top 5 most-anticipated for 2015; there’s no way I’m missing this one.
Vacation (opening Wednesday 07/29)
I used a word last week to describe both Paper Towns and Pixels and despite knowing many other words, I’m going to go ahead and use it again to describe this sequel to a long-gone comedy series:
The initial idea (a grown-up Rusty Griswold – played by current Everyman, Ed Helms – decides to take his family to Wally World) is not a bad one. The follow through, however, appears to be way off course. A truly unfunny trailer (gags include a meta joke about Vacation‘s recognizability, a completely oblivious
Griswold family swimming in a pool of raw sewage, and a reenactment of the classic Christie Brinkley car scene with the beautiful woman getting blind-sided by an eighteen-wheeler instead) is proof that the writers are going for the lowest common denominator throughout this unnecessary movie.
Ed Helms is funny. Christina Applegate (playing Rusty’s wife) is really funny. Supporting actors like Leslie Mann, Keegan Michael-Key, and even Charlie Day also are funny. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve chosen a funny movie to act in. There’s not a second in that aforementioned trailer that makes me think they have created a meaningful, worthwhile, or remotely comical comedy.
Your mission this weekend, should you choose to accept it, is to go with my boy Cruise. And just say no to the Griswolds. Hopefully Vacation will self-destruct by the time I’m done writing this sentence.
Justin’s Chances of Seeing This in Theaters: 4% – If this movie were a cartoon moose head, I would punch it right in the face. See what I did there? I made a reference to the original movie! I’m funny, too!