Thanks to Pixar, we’re about to see Disney’s money tree produce top-notch fruit again this year. At the same time, Kevin Hart gets another chance to test his star power in a buddy movie, and two promising indie films roll out to select theaters.
Pixar’s last two follow-up releases (the sequel ‘Cars 2’ and the prequel ‘Monsters University’) severely lacked quality, but that didn’t stop the studio from green-lighting a sequel to one of its most beloved titles. Coming 13 years after ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Finding Dory‘ brings back the characters and cast and introduces some newcomers along the way. Somewhat like a mad-lib version of ‘Nemo’, ‘Dory’ takes the same formula of separating one character from the other two while both groups have adventures on their own. When Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) has a flashback about her parents, Marlin and Nemo offer to help her find the way home, but become separated from her, causing them to look for her while she follows clues back to her parents. A little forced and not quite as clever as ‘Nemo’, ‘Finding Dory’ at least has a heart (three hearts, actually) and ultimately ends up worlds better than Pixar’s last sequel/prequel letdowns.
While ‘Dory’ swims onto 3,900 screens, the buddy action comedy ‘Central Intelligence‘ hits 3,300. Following the same backstory as the romantic comedy ‘Just Friends’, the film links two characters who went to high school together – one was overweight and the other was popular. Now a fit and imposing CIA agent, the once-chubby one (Dwayne Johnson) has to bring the now-uptight one (Kevin Hart) into a deadly save-the-world scenario. While The Rock actually has decent comedic timing, Hart appears to be giving his standard pigeon-holed performance. With the ability to be hilarious, it’s sad to see him stuck playing a single note.
Although Box Office Mojo lists its release date as June 24th, IMDb claims that A24’s Sundance hit ‘Swiss Army Man‘ opens in limited release this weekend. Paul Dano plays a lonely man stranded on a deserted island who’s ready to take his own life and end his misery – but he has a change of heart when a lively corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) washes ashore. Through a capella song and the corpse’s magic, the two just might be able to get off the island. Reviews are mixed, but I’m told that if you enjoy artsy oddball comedy, this one is a must-see.
I’d not heard of it until recently, but ‘Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made‘ has potential to be a winner. The documentary tells the story of a group of kids who, in the 1980s, spent seven years of their childhood making a shot-for-shot remake of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. Now 30 years later, grown-up versions of the same kids gather together to shoot the single scene that they were unable to finish.