Weekend Movies: The End-of-Summer Slump Begins

Here it comes, the bitter flavor of post-summer movies. Not all of this weekend’s new film releases appear to be like the usual impending September drivel, but unfortunately most of them do.

The widest release of the weekend looks like a car-wreck of a movie: ‘Hit & Run‘. Don’t Kristen Bell and Dax Shephard realize the doomed fate of real-life couples who make movies together? This terrible-looking comedy mixes a group of B-movie comedic actors. (Yes, Bradley Cooper deserves to be put in that category.) It also stars Tom Arnold and the Randy Quaid of the Bridges brothers, Beau. In it, a dreadlocked Cooper finds the rat bastard getaway driver (Shepard) who turned him over to the feds. This guy has been in Witness Protection the whole time – and guess what, his girlfriend (Bell) has no clue about his past. Now they must go on a road trip together. Wackity smackity doo!

The other apparent turd opening this week is ‘The Apparition‘, which stars the gorgeous Ashley Greene (from ‘Twilight‘) and a slew of other no-names, like that Malfoy kid from ‘Harry Potter‘. The cast isn’t the only thing hinting that this might be a less-than-enjoyable movie. It wasn’t screened for press until two hours prior to its midnight debut, and it looks like a bad rip-off of ‘Flatliners’, which wasn’t a great movie to begin with.

Out of all three wide releases, the title that I’m most excited about is ‘Premium Rush‘. If this bicycle-centric thriller didn’t feature the cast that it does, I’d never presume it to be worth watching. A bike courier carries a mysterious package that a powerful villain wants to get his hands on. Yes, it sounds like ‘The Transporter‘ on a bicycle. But starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the brilliant Michael Shannon, it has to be worth watching. Those two don’t usually make crap (with the exception of JGL in ‘G.I. Joe‘, of course).

The Mike Birbiglia Sundance comedy ‘Sleepwalk with Me‘ opens on one screen thanks to IFC Films. The tale of a stand-up comic struggling with his career and, of all things, sleepwalking… I’m out. I’ve been tainted; the un-funny ‘Funny People‘ removed my drive for supposed comedies about comedians.

Finally, expanding to more than 1,000 screens is ‘2016: Obama’s America‘. Exploring the possible answers to the question, “If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?”, the film has drawn the curiosity of moviegoers affiliated with each of the major political parties. As a small limited release that’s expanding wide so quickly, I imagine that it has to be a pretty interesting little film.


  1. ‘Hit & Run’ looked so bad to me. Dax Shephard really annoys me, as does Bradley Cooper in just about anything. The only reason it was mildly interesting was Kristen Bell in her undies.

  2. William Henley

    I had a friend last week that went to see 2016 and loved it. I just don’t care for political films, they bore me.

  3. Towards which end of the political spectrum does ‘2016’ skew? I’d never heard of it until now.

    Jason and William: The friends you have that have liked it, what are their political persuasions?

    • Jason

      most are conservative but I have a couple of liberal friends that went with the intention of in their own words “see the drivel that all the conservatives were talking about.” They too said it was well thought out and produced even if it didn’t sway them on their beliefs.

  4. JM

    The anti-Obama project ‘2016: Obama’s America,’ based on ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage’ by conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, is already the 12th highest grossing political documentary of all time.

    It’s expanding to 1,075 theaters to help kick off the Republican National Convention, Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.

    Made with a $2.5M budget, it’s been advertising nationally for two weeks on talk radio and Fox News.

    At a screening on Saturday night, the film’s conclusion was met with audience applause and cries of ‘Romney!,’ ‘Ron Paul!,’ ‘Reagan!’

    The anti-Obama film has been mostly ignored by mainstream media, except for a few critical reviews in The New York Times and Slate.

    • William Henley

      Agreed – its deffinately anti-Obama and they have been advertising the heck out of it on Fox News. I consider myself conservative, but am not a Fox News fan – only reason I watch it is that we have to keep tuned to a national news channel at work, and all my co-workers can’t stand MSNBC or CNN. Truthfully neither can I – I HATE American news networks – I tend to get my news from BBC or Al Jazerra or NHK.

      Anyways, I know where my political intrests lay, so I really don’t need a film to affirm or disabow them. I am capable of my own political thoughts apart from mainstream media.

  5. JM

    My most anticipated film of the year opens this weekend… ‘Samsara’!

    The sequel to ‘Baraka,’ which if I recall correctly, Josh enjoyed at TIFF, but it didn’t make his secret places tingle with the intensity I hoped.

    Shot on 70mm, projected at 4K, with music composed by Lisa Gerrard.

    I have already prepared my body for an unparalleled sensory experience.

    In fact, if Sony was clever, ‘Samsara’ would be the perfect 4K footage to demo when they reveal their 84″ 4K TV at IFA 2012.

    • William Henley

      Is this a main theater release, or an arts theater or science theater release? You certainly got me interested!

      • JM

        ‘Samsara’ lists theaters and dates on its website.

        Aug 24 – New York, NY – Landmark Sunshine – 4K
        Aug 24 – Seattle, WA – Cinerama – 4K
        Aug 31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Landmark- 4K

        Sep 7 – Boston, MA – Landmark Kendall Square
        Sep 7 – Chicago, IL – Landmark Century Centre
        Sep 7 – Denver, CO – Landmark TBD
        Sep 14 – Austin, TX – Alamo Drafthouse

        Sep 21 – Fairfax, VA – Angelika Mosaic – 4K
        Sep 28 – Miami, FL – Coral Gables Cinema – 4K

        5 years in 25 countries, filming motion control time-lapse 70mm…

  6. JM

    Lawless, The Master, Looper, Argo, Seven Psychopaths, Cloud Atlas, Skyfall.

    Every year I wait for summer to die, so Hollywood can bring out the real movies.