Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Opening This Weekend - May 20

Wide Releases:

The Angry Birds Movie

Directed by: Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly
Runtime: 1hr, 37mins
Comedy, Animation

If movies based on video games that have stories often fail, why not try a movie based on a mobile game that doesn't have a story? Rovio has made massive amounts of money with their once wildly popular app that anyone with a smartphone or tablet (which is basically everyone at this point) has played. Yet, even though they likely still make tons of money off Angry Birds (and it's various offshoots), it does seem like their fame is waning. Perhaps a family friendly film can give them more life. Yet the film's poor initial reviews seem to indicate the kids will be mildly entertained but it'll be a rough one to sit through for the adults in the audience.


The Nice Guys

Directed by: Shane Black
Runtime: 1hr, 56mins
Action, Comedy

Having written the Lethal Weapon films, Shane Black knows how to make a buddy action comedy. "The Nice Guys" features cool, charismatic leads in Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe, two actors who should definitely do comedy more (they're maybe not so surprisingly good at it). This film has been the getting a lot of positive buzz ever since premiering at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week. 


Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Runtime: 1hr, 32mins

Seth Rogan can be funny, but I'm usually not fond of his films. Despite the relative success of the first "Neighbors," I can't imagine this one being a similar success, especially since it looks like it's off the rails from minute one. The real question is, which comedy (between this film and "The Nice Guys") will win the weekend. I suppose it wouldn't surprise me if "Neighbors 2" took the opening weekend, but "The Nice Guys" won the overall box office with repeat viewers and a growing audience based on strong word of mouth. For what it's worth the initial reviews for "Neighbors 2" are not very positive.


Limited Releases:

Maggie's Plan

Directed by: Rebecca Miller
Runtime: 1hr, 38mins

This one is an indie screwball comedy featuring a handful of very talented, very likable actors that I'm pretty fond of. Greta Gerwig has become THE Indie girl, especially when the story takes place in Manhattan (or if it's a movie directed by Noah Baumbach); Ethan Hawke is typically at his best when appearing in indie films (especially if it's with Richard Linklater); and Julianne Moore is great in pretty much everything. The film also features some recognizable faces in smaller roles as well (Travis Fimmel, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, and Wallace Shawn).


Manhattan Night

Directed by: Brian DeCubellis
Runtime: 1hr, 53mins
Mystery, Thriller

I'm a fan of Adrien Brody (mostly because of his work in Wes Anderson films), and I've thought Yvonne Strahovski should be more well known and some big films to work in (if only for her work in the "Mass Effect" series and "Chuck"), though admittedly this limited release isn't exactly her big break). "Manhattan Night" looks like an edge of your seat thrill ride with great performances, and it can't hurt that the only review I've seen so far calls it "spellbinding perfection."


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