Weekend Movies: All Pain, No Gain

When does ‘Iron Man 3’ come out? That’s the only thing I can think about this weekend.

You’re better off being put out of your misery than having to see either of this week’s two nationwide releases. The wider of the two is Michael Bay’s first non-‘Transformers‘ movie since ‘The Island‘. The advertisements for ‘Pain & Gain. are filled with remarks noting that this extremely dark and not-so-comedic comedy is based on a true story. Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie and the Rock star as three juiced-up bodybuilders who seek to obtain the American Dream by stealing it. Michael Bay, who isn’t known for subtlety, even goes so far as to blast the words “True Story” during the most unbelievably absurd moments in the movie. With a long 130-minute runtime, annoying constant inner monologues from each of the characters, and recycled filming techniques that Bay employed over a decade ago, it’s more worthwhile to read about the true story on Wikipedia than to sit through ‘Pain & Gain’.

Your other wide release option is ‘The Big Wedding‘, an (obviously) wedding-based, R-rated comedy that appears to be without charm or romance. Which audience does this movie pander to, exactly? Successful comedies typically appeal to male and female audiences of all ages. With ‘The Big Wedding’ marketed around romance, there goes the male demographic. (Cast Katherine Heigl and you really lose your male demo.) Slap an R rating on it and you lose teen and older audiences. If it’s as bad as I hear it is, then despite being chock full of known actors, the movie will fail quickly. The cast includes Heigl, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams.

Opening on 250 screens is ‘Arthur Newman‘, a dramedy starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. The reviews aren’t looking too great, but considering the cast and story, I’m interested. Firth plays a man who fakes his death to get away from his past. While forming a new life for himself, he meets a girl (Blunt) who’s also trying to escape from her life.

As a fan of ‘Take Shelter‘, I look forward to Jeff Nichols’ new limited release, ‘Mud‘. Matthew McConaughey stars as a fugitive who finds two teenage boys willing to help him stay out of the hands of bounty hunters. Co-stars include public nuisance Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard and Nichols regular Michael Shannon. I know what I’ll be seeing this weekend.


  1. JM

    ‘Iron Man 3’ opens everywhere this weekend except China, Russia, and America, which is a release schedule intended for marketing…?

    They make $100M global, then brag all week in the Big Three, with Gwyneth Paltrow going commando saying there will be no ‘Iron Man 4,’ in an attempt to crank the hype to 11. Is this doing it Disney-style…?

    I was watching a podcast on IGN and all four dudes, professional bloggers, were slobbering about ‘Iron Man 3’ and none of them knew who Shane Black was. It really spotlit the state of education in America.

    ‘Iron Man 3’ is currently at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes with 51 reviews.

    Have none of you guys seen it?

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