Weekend Movies: When YouTube Attacks

Once upon a (much-missed) time, remakes, reboots, sequels and prequels weren’t so commonplace. Those days are far behind us and long gone. Studios have revived and revisited fan favorites before, but this weekend they touch a piece of property that fans and fanboys alike have worried and complained about since it was first announced.

Along with that come a money laundering drama that functions as solid counter-programming and a pair of limited releases that deserve honorable mentions.

Have you ever seen a studio and filmmaker get as bent out of shape about the public pre-release perception of a film as Sony and Paul Feig did about ‘Ghostbusters‘? It’s a little comical. Thanks to stupid YouTube commenters rapid-firing sexist and racist comments, they seem to think that the public hatred stems purely from a bunch of bigots. I think more people’s concern about the reboot comes from the trailers; they’re absolutely unfunny. So unfunny, in fact, that you couldn’t have intentionally written a trailer that bad. Knowing that Feig’s other movies (‘Bridemaids‘, ‘Spy‘) are often far better than their trailers portray, I’ve been cautiously optimistic about how this rebooted childhood favorite would stack up. Much to my surprise, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Despite the negative backlash, ‘Ghostbusters’ hits nearly 4,000 IMAX, 3D and 2D screens. The studio is moving ahead full steam. Why? Because critics (including yours truly) have seen it and reported that the movie’s hilarious comedy is far stronger than its flaws. The concept reboots the series with four female Ghostbusters (played by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon) in a plot that has them inventing the tech that makes ghostbusting possible and attempting to foil a villain’s plan to open a portal between the human and ghost worlds. With cameos galore, many nods to the original, a very funny script and Chris Hemsworth’s best performance yet, I’m surprised – and happy – to recommend it. No, it didn’t “ruin my childhood.”

Blending ‘Breaking Bad’ with ‘Narcos’, ‘The Infiltrator‘ is based on the true story of the agents who set up and brought down the crooked financial institutions and cash-handlers that laundered a great sum of drug lord Pablo Escobar’s money. Bryan Cranston leads a cast that co-stars Benjamin Bratt, Diane Kruger and John Leguizamo. Cranston plays the undercover agent who made it all possible. Bratt plays one of Escobar’s henchmen leaders. Kruger plays Cranston’s undercover wife, and Leguizamo plays a wildcard fellow agent. This slow-burner isn’t all thrills and excitement, but it’s a solid crime drama.

Nowadays, Woody Allen makes movies that come and go without ever getting noticed. He has another one in theaters this week (who knew?) titled ‘Cafe Society‘. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are reunited once again in the dramedy about a 1930s New Yorker who makes his way to Hollywood and falls in love, only to return to the high society lifestyle on the east coast as a changed young man. Steve Carell co-stars. Without any hype at all, it seems like ‘Cafe Society’ will have an uneventful run on the big screen.

Surprisingly, Kristen Stewart has a second limited release in theaters this weekend. Drake Doremus, who gave us the fantastic ‘Like Crazy‘, now applies his intimate style to science fiction in a ‘Gattaca’-like way. ‘Equals‘ tells the story of a futuristic utopia where emotions are removed from humans – but nature has found a way to get around that. When two people (Stewart and Nicholas Hoult) start emotionally connecting with one another, those enforcing the system are bound to push back.


  1. Brian Hoss

    I caught ‘The Infiltrator’ a few days ago, and thought is was fun. Like an ‘ARGO’ light. Lots of era specific club scenes. Cranston does well with a fairly thin character, as does the rest of the cast. I recommend going in blind to the story for the best effect.

  2. Bolo

    ‘Cafe Society’ doesn’t start near me for another two weeks. It is getting good reviews and I’m excited to see it. I have not seen either of the previous Eisenberg-Stewart outings. Actually, ‘American Ultra’ is one of the few times when negative reviews actually discouraged me from seeing a movie that I thought looked good based on the trailers. I may still rent it at some point. Even people I know who don’t like Eisenberg or Stewart seem to feel they’re stronger together than they are apart. I don’t have anything against either of them, I’d say I’m neutral on them.

    I noticed that ‘The Shallows’ is still playing in cinemas, so if I go to the movies this weekend, I’ll see that.

    • T.J. Kats

      “Adventureland” was a disappointment to me but ok overall. I however loved “American Ultra”. I can see and understand what people didn’t like about it but it was great fun to me.

    • NJScorpio

      ‘‘American Ultra’ is one of the few times when negative reviews actually discouraged me from seeing a movie that I thought looked good based on the trailers. ‘

      Same here, though that doesn’t usually happen to me, especially if the issue critics have with the movie is dark comedy/violence, but I stayed away. I really should grab it for $2.50 at Redbox while they are still there.

  3. photogdave

    Adventureland is one of my faves — just rewatched my Blu the other night. (It helps if you were of a similar age in that era.) Looking forward to Cafe Society since I’ve always liked Woody’s period films.

    • Bolo

      I was a bit disappointed by ‘The Way Way Back’. Maybe it had just been built up too much. I think that kept me from ever checking out ‘Adventureland’ because it looked very similar. But I do like coming of age dramas and may check it out eventually.

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