This weekend offers a batch of preemptive mainstream counterprogramming that would be destined to drop like a rock even if ‘Man of Steel’ wasn’t opening next week.
The biggest release this weekend tries to recreate the sparks that flew between Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in last decade’s ‘Wedding Crashers‘. Twentieth Century Fox hopes for the same success from ‘The Internship‘, but knows that it will never pull those numbers. Four elements show how worried the studio is (or should be) about the movie: It’s PG-13, in the hope that it will automatically do better than most R-rated comedies; Vaughn has rambled his way through far too many movies since ‘Wedding Crashers’ to still be considered charming anymore; Wilson also burned us far too many times with insultingly stupid comedies since then; and the script is just so damn stupid that word-of-mouth will surely be negative. When a duo of bullshitting salesmen get laid off, they apply for an internship together – not a job, like most unemployed people would apply for – at a tech company that couldn’t be any farther from their wheelhouse. I’d mention the name of the web browsing company that they intern with, but that site gets way too much product placement from this movie as it is (not that it needs the advertising). Just as Bing will never live up to said company’s success, Vaughn and Wilson will never live up to ‘Wedding Crashers’.
Whether you like the horror movie genre or not, the premise behind the ‘The Purge‘ is genius. In order to maintain a state of patriotic utopia, one night each year, for 12 straight hours, anything is game. Without consequences, you can commit any immoral crime that you want and get away with it scott-free. In fact, the government encourages it. Get all of that anger and hatred out while you can. There are those who actively participate in the Purge – known as the “purgers” – and those who hunker down praying that the purgers don’t set their sights on them. Although the sky is the limit with this concept, the ceiling of the film is pretty low due to a $3 million micro budget. The location-locked movie focuses on Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey and their two dumbass teenage children as they try to survive the night in their huge, fancy house that doubles as a faulty panic room.
I have a confession to make – I’m not a Joss Whedon fan. In fact, I’m the opposite. Despite liking ‘The Avengers‘ and loving ‘The Cabin in the Woods‘, I find the director to be an arrogant and inflated douchebag, which is why the thought of him tackling Shakespeare makes me cringe. His black & white version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing‘ debuts on five screens today. Comic book geeks will undoubtedly flood theaters, pretending to understand Shakespeare alongside the theater geeks. It will be a sight to behold. With so many lips kissing Whedon’s ass right now, I suspect that bad reviews will be few and far between.
The movie that I’m excited for this weekend is the teenage hit-girl drama ‘Violet & Daisy‘. In it, ‘Hanna‘ and the younger monotone ‘Gilmore Girl’ play two cold-blooded killers for hire. Everything they know is questioned when they set out to kill Tony Soprano. The synopsis makes it sound like a typical assassin flick, but watch the trailer. ‘Violet & Daisy’ appears to creatively, artistically and uniquely play with the genre in the same way that ‘Dead Man Down’ did earlier this year.
Also perking my interest is the Aussie Sundance flick ‘Wish You Were Here‘. Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer star in this mysterious drama about a group of friends who go on a vacation together, but return with one less companion. It’s all about secrets, who’s keeping them and why.