Movies Opening This Weekend
The 4th of July is traditionally a big summer movie weekend and this year is no exception with Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger opening on Wednesday July 3rd. Disney’s 2013 tent-pole release is The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and relative newcomer Armie Hammer in the titular role. Mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney have invested a small fortune, around $300 million dollars including marketing costs, in the hope that new film will take over the hyper-successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Is it any good? It has its moments, both good and bad. Johnny Depp is fantastic as Tonto, the real star of the movie. Armie Hammer, not playing twins like he did in The Social Network, gets a mixed review for his role as the Lone Ranger. Not all of it is his fault as the script clearly favors Tonto with the Lone Ranger playing second fiddle. One thing that stands out from the movie, it is ridiculously violent for PG-13 movie. This is aimed directly at families, Disney’s name is right on top and it’s being tied in with all kinds of kid-friendly products. Here’s my longer review.
Despicable Me 2 continue the laughs from the original by bringing by the vocal stylings of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove and Russell Brand. The sequel adds Benjamin Bratt, Steve Coogan and Krsiten Schaal along with a slew of other new voices. It seems that former-villain Gru (Carell) is being pressured to hit the dating scene. Gru gets kidnapped by Lucy (Wiig), a member of the Anti-Villain League while, to be being recruited to work as a spy in order to track a new Super-Villain. Everyone’s favorite minions also return for more hijinks before they will eventually get their own spin-off movie late next year.
Movies Held Over Worth Seeing
If you haven’t had a chance to catch the new Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy buddy-cop movie The Heat, do it now. The movie is a hilarious throwback to those 80s buddy-cop movies like Lethal Weapon and 48HRs, except this time it’s for the ladies. Unlike Bridesmaids, The Heat really does let the ladies be raunchy and hilarious without them sitting around pining for a man to save the day for them. Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, a black and white updated take on Shakespeare, is still on the big screen too. It was one of the biggest cinema surprises of the year for me as I assumed that it was a serious affair. Wrong. Clearly I had forgotten my high school/college literature classes because I failed to remember that ol’ Bill Shakespeare loved him a good burn. This movie and Frances Ha are easily two of the funniest movies so far this year, and they are in black and white! Other smaller movies still at the art houses and worth seeing are Fill the Void, Before Midnight and The Bling Ring.
VOD/Streaming Pick of the Week
A Band Called Death is a documentary about an all-black, proto-punk band from Detroit in the 70s. They were punk before the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, the only trouble is the band faded away too quickly. Now over thirty years later, the undiscovered progenitors of punk are being given their chance to shine similar to Rodriguez’s story from last year’s best documentary Searching for Sugar Man. Who knew that in the crumbling buildings of Motown that there would be one let alone two musical rediscovery stories like these? Hopefully there’s a lot more of these stories out there.
Your Humble Reviewer,
Reviews – Donnybrook Writing Academy