This weekend’s very unexciting selection of new movies includes an adaptation of a mobile app, an unnecessary sequel, and a successful filmmaker returning to the familiar formula he relies on time and again. Even the week’s big indie release brings more of the same. The safest bet appears to be staying home and catching up on Blu-rays.
You paid for the app, now you can pay to see the movie. Opening on nearly 4,000 screens is ‘The Angry Birds Movie‘, Sony’s attempt take the family market back from Disney. The animated adaptation of the mobile game tells the story of how the arrival of green pigs makes the formerly-happy birds so angry. This blatant cash-grab features a voice cast including Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate McKinnon and Tony Hale. Good luck sitting through this one!
Although well-deserved at the time, the success of 2014’s ‘Neighbors‘ has brought us an unneeded sequel. The pointless R-rated comedy ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising‘ takes the thirty-something lead couple from the first movie (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) and once again places them next door to a party house filled with irresponsible college kids hell-bent on ruining their lives. This time, instead of a frat, they’re tormented by a sorority led by Chloe Grace Moretz. To avoid making the same mistakes again, they fight fire with fire by bringing back Zac Efron’s character to fight on their side. Although not as formulaic and mad-libbed as the ‘Hangover’ sequels, ‘Sorority Rising’ is still a hot mess.
After pumping out the worst entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (‘Iron Man 3‘), Shane Black has gone back to the only thing he can do well – buddy movies. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star in ‘The Nice Guys‘, a crime thriller that relies heavily on comedic character interactions for entertainment value. The oil/water pairing requires the two to work together in solving the disappearance of a missing girl and an apparent suicide. Sounds just like ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang‘, right? While the film’s story is reportedly lacking, Gosling and Crowe are said to be great in it.
Greta Gerwig is likewise back at doing her thing. In the limited release ‘Maggie’s Plan‘, she plays a strong pregnant woman who decides to have her baby as a single mom – that is, until married man Ethan Hawke shows up and throws a wrench in her plan. After the two hit it off, he decides to leave his wife. Three years later, they start to think that the he actually belongs with his ex-wife (Julianne Moore). Although this sounds like a pure drama, believe it or not, ‘Maggie’s Plan’ is supposedly a comedy.