Friday, May 25, 2012

Better Late Than Never: Our Preview for Memorial Day Weekend (for Friday, May 25th)

Andrew: Hello readers! We're a day late with our weekly preview because we were both pretty swamped with our day jobs yesterday, but we're here today to preview the big releases that came out today!

Sarah, it's Memorial Day weekend and that typically signifies the start of the summer movie season. So it's no surprise that the big release this weekend is the third installment to a very popular franchise in Men in Black III. Will Smith is back as Agent J, Tommy Lee Jones is back as Agent K, and we have the addition of Josh Brolin to the franchise as a younger, 1960's era Agent K. I would give the set-up to the movie, but it's a little complicated because it involves time-travel, so I'd suggest just checking out the trailer below if you don't know what the plot is.

Official Trailer for Men in Black III

Ok Sarah, what are your thoughts on the third go-around with Agents J and K?

Sarah: Well, it has been 10 years since MIB III came out so things have gotten a little better as far as special effects. I hope this one turns out to be better than the last one. I think these movies are a lot of fun but they do tend to get a little cheesy. While it has been a while since Will Smith has done anything and this is pegged to be his "big comeback" I don't think that he will be the one that he will be the star of the show. I really believe that Josh Brolin as a young Agent K is going to be awesome. 
What are your thoughts on this one?

A: I'm a little torn going into this one because by absolutely no means was anyone begging for a third MIB film, and then it had its history of production problems including:

- Not having a finished script because they rushed it into production, either because they wanted to take use of an expiring tax credit in NY, or because all the actors were available, depending on whom you believe

- The script continued to change throughout shooting, going so far as to have Will Smith even take a hack at it

- There was a time there were production just stopped. I'm not even quite sure why, but it happened.

So there are some red flags right there. But I'm excited because from what we've seen in the trailer and commercials it looks like Brolin's take on Agent K is a spot-on impression of Tommy Lee Jones. I'm not crazy about time-travel being involved because a lot of times it leaves huge plot holes (i.e. if Agent K is killed in the past by an alien who traveled back in time to do just that, how is it that in the effected "present" Agent J is the only one who doesn't know he was killed long ago? How does he know he exists AT ALL?)

S: Yes, but that could be said about a lot of time travel movies. There is a reason that this is not an actual thing in real life. It really reminds to be seen how this movie will do in the box office this weekend. 

Now there is another movie that has been out for a couple of weeks but is just now hitting the theaters wide, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. To many people this may seem like just another AARP inspired movie but I think that it looks heartwarming. What are your thoughts on this one?

Official Trailer for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A: I think your description as an AARP movie is pretty accurate and makes me laugh, but honestly I would like to see this one if only because of the cast. Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and Dev Patel are all actors I like and I'm curious how they'll come off working off one another and in the setting of India.

S: I think that's what will make it better too. Now they have done movies like this before (Red) and they have been ok. But with this calibar of a cast I really think that it will turn out to be really cute. I'm excited to see this one sometime this weekend.

A: While Redis a little different in that it's an action-comedy, I'm actually looking forward to seeing these actors play it in a romantic-comedy fashion. Should be fun.

Speaking of a film that starts with a limited release, this week brings the latest film by Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom. Anderson has made a name for himself as a director with the films Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Fantastic Mr. Fox among others, and this is his first live-action film since 2007.

Official Trailer for Moonrise Kingdom

Personally I'm not in love with Anderson's films as some others are, but I do think he has a very distinct style and he manages to gather tons of big name actors to come together for his quirky films, and it looks like he's done it again with Moonrise Kingdom. It stars Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and, yet again, he got Bill Murray. That's a loaded cast.

S: I'm actually pretty excited about this one. While it does seem Very quirky, I like that it appears to be more of a cartoon that just happens to be done with a live cast. The cast appeals to me as well. While it threatens to be a flop by the sheer amount of egos in the cast, I think that could really bring a lot of people to see this movie who otherwise wouldn't.

A: For sure. When it gets to a theatre near us, it will be one we can guarantee you will we be reviewing.

Ok, last but not least is a film I can also make a guarantee for: I'll be seeing this one alone. I'm talking about Chernobyl Diaries. Even though it's directed by a first-time director in Bradley Parker, I'm excited for it because it's produced by Oren Peli, who was the director/producer/cinematographer for the smash indie horror film Paranormal Activity and has also produced the subsequent Paranormal films as well as 2010's Insidious (a phenomenal horror film if you haven't seen it).

Official Trailer for Chernobyl Diaries

Doing a bit of research I'm also hopeful for Parker's directing skills because he's been involved with films like Fight Club as a visual effects artist, and as a 2nd unit director and visual effects supervisor on the great vampire film Let Me In.

S: While you will be seeing this one all by your lonesome, I will have to admit that this movie is in the perfect location for a scary movie. I hate scary movies. We have established this many times. But the whole premise of this one looks awesome. With the director skills connected to this movie I have to expect that it will be pretty good. Can't wait to interview you on this one. 

Okay readers, we apologize again for the delay of this post. It has been one crazy week for both of us at work. We are excited to bring you all the great reviews for your Memorial Day weekend reading enjoyment. 

A: You can totally expect to see reviews for Men In Black III and Chernobyl Diaries this weekend, and maybe even The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Have a safe and fun weekend everyone!

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