Weekend Movies: Green Eggs and Ham

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.


    • Al

      Was anything he said inaccurate? He didn’t shit on Black. He told the truth. ‘Iron Man 3’ sucks, Shane Black can’t do anything well, outside of “Buddy movies”, and the plot of ‘The Nice Guys’ sounds a hell of a lot like ‘Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang’. How is any of that shitting on Black? Name one non-Buddy movie that Black has made, that turned out good.

      • The guy has only directed 3 movies. One was great, one Luke didn’t like and the other one he hasn’t even seen. Read the paragraph again and honestly tell me it doesn’t sound Vitrolic for no good reason.

        And who gives a shit if a filmaker is great at making a certain kind of movie. Nobody ever shits all over Hitchcock for only making thrillers or John Ford for practically only making westerns.

        • Luke Hickman

          Although he’s only directed three movies, he’s written a bunch – most of which are buddy movies. I don’t think it’s out of line to say that his stories aren’t great. None of them are known for what they achieve in plot; they’re known for funny buddy scenarios and great performances who pull them off.

          • I suppose that’s correct to some extent. Although I thought the whole “Shadow Company” idea in Lethal Weapon was pretty cool. And I grew up loving Monster squad so I suppose I’m a bit biased. I’m just glad that a movie like The Nice Guys even got made nowadays what with every summer movie being a superhero installment or teen franchise blockbuster sequel….no hard feelins’.

          • Csm101

            I really hope that the buddy formula isn’t what he has planned for his upcoming Predator flick.

        • Al

          I read it again. It doesn’t come across that way. He’s just telling it as it is. Shane Black made (arguably) the worst MCU film, and ‘The Nice Guys’ has a very similar plot to ‘KKBB’; end of story.

  1. Timcharger

    Luke wrote:
    “Good luck sitting through this one!”
    “…is still a hot mess.”
    But none of that was about Shane Black.

    And I say, not enough sh*tting on Iron Man 3.

    • Al

      Yes. Shane Black can do both decent and shitty Buddy movies. And he’s only ever directed 3 films, but Chris is pretty sensitive to any negative comments about him. You probably shouldn’t have pointed out that ‘Iron Man 3’ is a shitty Buddy movie.

      • Im more sensitive to people who are seemingly negative about movies they haven’t seen yet. You seem pretty sensitive about my sensitivity. Don’t be so insensitive! lol

          • I ended up seeing Civil War because my wife wants to watch The Nice Guys when we get a chance.

            Civil War was fucking awesome.
            Don’t believe any bullshit-hater who tells you it sucks. After B vs. S it was so nice to watch a comic book movie made by people who actually know what they’re doing.

          • Timcharger

            Civil War is awesome…
            Don’t let anyone tell you to think about the very
            premise that signed documents are going to
            restrict superpowered heroes from collateral
            damage in their heroic attempts to save the
            world. Oh yeah, and the bad guys, the evil
            superpowered ones, they gonna sign too, right?

            Hey, just click yes to the Sokovia Accords’ Terms
            of Agreement. You read it all 200 pages right?

            Civil War is awesome. Just don’t think about it.
            Seriously, there’s too much love for it.

          • Why are you having such a hard time with the premise? If The Avengers actually existed the global community would no doubt try and regulate them in some way. It’s really not that far-fetched…relatively speaking. 😉

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