Weekend Movies: Here We Go Again

This weekend, Michael Bay is back to rehash his familiar schtick. Oh, how I wished I lived near one of few screens playing some of limited releases instead!

No one asked for it, but we’re getting it anyway – the fourth installment of the sense-assaulting ‘Transformers’ series. Michael Bay has dropped Shia LaBeouf for ‘Age of Extinction‘ and brought on his new go-to guy, Mark Wahlberg. The money-hungry, soulless powers-that-be behind the franchise thought it would be witty to add the word “extinction” to the title and add one of Earth’s oldest extinct creatures to the robot mix. In case you haven’t seen the trailers and TV spots – which I don’t believe is possible considering how heavily advertised this nearly three-hour, CG-heavy movie is – the Dinobots finally make their way to the big screen.

Early reviews say that ‘Age of Extinction’ isn’t as bad as the previous installments, but I wouldn’t know because Bay and Paramount decided to only screen it for a very select group of critics across the U.S. They must be feeling a little sour after so many critics crapped on the earlier movies in the franchise, especially the last two sequels.

No other mainstream movies dare open against a brain cell-killing ‘Transformers’ affair, but the Weinsteins aren’t afraid to release two indie hopefuls on a collective 15 screens.

It’s about damn time we get ‘Snowpiecer‘, the sci-fi action flick from the director of ‘The Host‘. (No, not the Stephenie Meyer ‘The Host‘, but rather the awesome Korean monster movie.) Chris Evans leads the cast as a rebel aboard a speeding train that contains some of the last human life left on the frozen planet Earth. John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Alison Pill and Octavia Spencer co-star. Yes, the Weinsteins have had their hands in the editing room, but rumor has it that concessions were made to deliver a closer version of the director’s original vision.

The second Weinstein-distributed release is a new musical from ‘Once‘ director John Carney. ‘Begin Again‘ stars Mark Ruffalo as a music producer who pulls a ‘Jerry Maguire’ and leaves his label to revamp his life. Keira Knightley is his new hopeful artist, and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine plays her boyfriend. (Just as you are, I’m rolling my eyes at Levine’s involvement – but Carney worked wonders with ‘Once’, so I won’t be too quick to judge non-actor musicians again.) Other co-stars include Hailee Steinfeld, Mos Def and Catherine Keener.

Finally, Paul Rudd and Any Poehler lead David Wain’s ‘They Came Together‘, a rom-com that pokes fun of typical romantic comedies by cramming together all of their clichés into one. The gigantic cast includes Cobie Smulders, Christopher Meloni, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Melanie Lynskey, Ed Helms, Michael Ian Black, Jack McBrayer and Ken Marino.

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