Weekend Movies: ‘This Is’ What Summer Is All About

Today marks the first of three consecutive weekends that will each feature a pair of potential blockbusters, and I have a feeling that this weekend contains the most entertaining set.

Christopher Nolan can do no wrong – and I imagine that’s why Warner Bros. has locked him in to oversee other DC comic book adaptations. Opening on more than 4,200 2D, 3D and IMAX screens is Nolan and Zack Snyder’s Superman franchise reboot, ‘Man of Steel‘. Just as Nolan did with his ‘Dark Knight’ series, you can expect a tight, moody and realistic (that is, as realistic as a movie about an alien superhero can be) take on the Superman story. Just like ‘Batman Begins‘, this origin tale isn’t told in a linear fashion. We don’t begin watching the young Supes grow up and learn to use each of his powers. After an opening on Krypton that sets the stage for the film, we immediately cut to grown-up Clark Kent wandering the Earth looking for his origins. Only through occasional well-placed flashbacks do we see him in his youth. This reboot offers everything that most audiences felt was missing from ‘Superman Returns‘: action, drama, characters, comedy and even more action. Get ready to see every major player – both on screen and behind the camera – give it all they’ve got.

With ‘Man of Steel’ playing on so many screens, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting into it or this weekend’s other wide release, ‘This Is the End‘ – assuming you haven’t already seen it. Not only has ‘End’ been screened like crazy, it opened on Wednesday so that it could have a few Superman-free days at the box office. Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg take a crack at directing in this apocalyptic comedy. The fun twist is that this end-of-the-world scenario doesn’t take itself seriously. Every actor in it plays a variation of his or her real self. Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel play the two central leads in this ensemble flick. Baruchel comes to L.A. to visit Rogen and gets dragged to a party at James Franco’s house. When the apocalypse begins, they must work together with Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride to survive. Hilarity and cameos ensue. James Franco owns ‘This Is the End’.

The big indie release this weekend is Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Bling Ring‘. Hopefully this time, she’s not trying to shovel more crap down our throats again like she did with her last film, ‘Somewhere‘. With a story that actually has some potential to be interesting, ‘The Bling Ring’ stars Emma “Hermione” Watson in the true story of a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who broke into celebrity homes and stole millions of dollars worth of belongings. While the consensus seems to be that ‘The Bling Ring’ is just as superficial as its teenage characters, it’s still being touted as a creative and very well-shot film. The movie is only opening on five screens this weekend, but is expected to expand wider over the next few weeks.

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