Variety is the spice of life, and there certainly is variety at the mutliplexes this weekend. From buxom babes to garden gnomes, the studios have you covered… Or not. Either way, there’s a bunch of stuff to see out there, whether you like it or not.
The biggest movie opening this weekend, at least based on its non-stop advertising deluge, is Sony’s ‘Just Go With It‘. It stars Adam Sandler and box office kiss-of-death Jennifer Aniston, along with Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker (whose breasts the entire marketing campaign centers around). Two things that you might not know about ‘Just Go With It’: 1.) It’s based on the Goldie Hawn/Walter Matthau comedy ‘Cactus Flowers’, which isn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination but doesn’t exactly deserve this. 2) And this is the thing that I cannot believe the marketing hasn’t exploited – Nicole Kidman is in this movie. WHERE IS SHE? This is something the marketing should totally seize upon. But she hasn’t been in one trailer, television commercial, or subway ad. I missed my screening this week due to a scheduling conflict. (I’m taking next week off, my little monsters; what will you do without me?) Apparently, Kidman is in the movie, but out of sight. Hmmm…
Speaking of stuff that confounds me, Justin Bieber’s 3D movie ‘Never Say Never‘ opens this weekend. I’m totally baffled by Bieber Fever, and this movie – a shot-in-3D concert quickie – probably isn’t going to change things. I have no interest in seeing it, ever in my lifetime. (Things could change when I’m reincarnated as a mischievous otter. You never know.) I’m just now getting “Baby” out of my head, after all.
If you want to take your family to the movies and prefer Elton John over little teens (but still love the visceral thrill of watching a movie in 3D while wearing silly Buddy Holly glasses), you could buy a ticket to ‘Gnomeo & Juliet‘. I haven’t seen the movie yet (I will!), but it has an intriguing promise, transplanting Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy to the British suburbs. The movie has a storied production history. It was put on indefinite hold a number of times and went through scores of creative principals. But I spoke to the director earlier this week, and he assures me that he’s happy with the finished product (which stars James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, bee-tee-dubs).
Then there’s ‘The Eagle‘, which I just reviewed earlier today. It’s a fairly okay sword-and-sandals thing, which if you are a teenage boy (or forced to entertain teenage boys), is savory enough. It just lacks the verve, wit, and sense of humor of last year’s similar ‘Centurion‘, and no amount of marketing buzz is going to convince me that Channing Tatum is a movie star.
We’ll see if any of the challengers can overwhelm the national thrall of Bieber-mania. My guess: probably not. But that doesn’t mean the studios can’t put up a fight.
Kidman’s still powerful enough that she probably had it specifically in her contract NOT to be advertised in what she knew was going to be a god-awful film.
But, then, why hire Kidman if she can’t be marketed?