Weekend Movies: Cinemas to Suck Your Wallet Dry

This weekend brings another famous toy to the big screen, a drama that got kicked out of an awards season slot, and yet another adaptation of Young Adult book series. Can you guess which two might be worth checking out?

The biggest release of the weekend is ‘The Lego Movie‘. When I was a kid, there’s no way that a Lego movie with a bunch of yellow faces running around in stop motion would have succeeded. But now that Lego has rights to use countless pieces of pop culture, the brand has exploded in popularity, far beyond the realm of simple toys. The animated family flick follows an average Lego Joe who’s mistaken as a heroic figure and expected to save the universe from an evil villain. From the directors of ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs‘, word has it that ‘The Lego Movie’ will entertain and win over audiences for weeks.

The George Clooney-directed World War II drama ‘The Monuments Men‘ may have been knocked out of the Oscar race and pushed back to February, but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete throwaway. Clooney leads this ensemble about a real-life group of aged art lovers who were sent to Europe in the middle of the war with one specific mission – to rescue the precious art that Hitler commanded the Nazis to steal. Co-starring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban, ‘The Monuments Men’ feels like a classic WWII movie that older audiences will enjoy. It handles the heavy content with light hands and features comedic moments.

The third widest release of the weekend is ‘Vampire Academy‘, the start of another Young Adult book series attempting to reach movie franchise status. Based solely on the IMDb synopsis, I don’t believe anyone knows what the hell is going on in this movie:

“Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story.”

I got lost in the commas. I don’t know what the hell this is about, but considering that it stars a ton of no-names (Gabriel Byrne and Olga Kurylenko are the only familiar actors, but they’re in supporting roles), I wouldn’t expect it to have a pulse.

The indie release that I’m hopeful for is ‘A Fantastic Fear of Everything‘. Simon Pegg stars in this oddball comedy about a paranoid author whose life is in complete shambles. This just might be the strangest-looking movie of the year (so far), but with a vibe that reminds me of Charlie Kaufman, I want to see it.

Also debuting in limited release is ‘The Pretty One‘. Zoe Kazan stars in two roles as twin sisters. One is the pretty one, while the other is awkward and unkempt. The pretty one takes the awkward one to get a makeover, during which she decides to get made up exactly like her sister. One the way home, they’re involved in a nasty car wreck that kills the pretty one, and leaves everyone mistaking the frumpy one for her. She then proceeds to live her sister’s life, learning what it means to have friends and discovering how others truly feel about her. Sure, it sounds heavy, but the trailer reeled me in.

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