Friday, April 23, 2010

This weekend's movies

If I weren't a busy grad student bogged down by end-of-semester classwork, I would definitely be going to the movie theater this weekend. I saw How to Train Your Dragon a few weeks ago and wrote a post highly recommending it, but at the time, that was the only movie in the theater that I was interested in seeing. Now there are several that I would happily go to--if only I had the time.

First there's Kick-Ass, a superhero movie that won infamy through its crude redband trailers. The plot centers around a high schooler with no powers or special abilities who decides to dress in a silly disguise and go out and beat up criminals. The character who has aroused the most controversy in the movie is Hit-Girl, an 11-year-old girl trained from an early age by her father to beat the crap out of bad guys. But it's not her killing people that I've seen the most complaints about, but rather her foul mouth--particularly her use of the "c" word (I definitely didn't know that word at age 11...or even, um, years later). Anyway, I read a pretty positive review of the movie (Owen Gleiberman at EW gave it a B+), and it sounds like the kind of movie I'd enjoy (I like superheroes and wannabe superheroes, and I don't mind violence or crude language). It's not a movie for everyone, but it's high on my list.

I'm also interested in seeing The Losers, a new movie opening this week based on a comic book about a team of bad-ass people shooting guns and blowing stuff up in order to who cares. It's been getting mostly pretty bad reviews, with one notable exception being Roger Ebert's 3.5 stars, but with that kind of movie, I don't think the reviews matter so much. I like Zoe Saldana, I like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and I like Chris Evans... OK, so I think my main interest in this movie is because of a scene in the trailer in which Chris Evans' character Jensen faces off a bunch of guys who have guns pointed at him by holding out his hands in the shape of guns and claiming that the government did experiments on him which gave him telekinetic powers so he can kill them with his mind. He then goes "Pow!...Pow!" and two of the guys drop dead in succession...thanks to his sniper friend on the next building. Anyway, seeing as his made-up story is actually the truth for the character he played in Push (except that technically it was his father who was experimented on, and his character just inherited the telekinetic ability), I was highly amused at the unexpected inside joke. Since I have a soft spot for Push, this automatically made me look at The Losers favorably. I am intrigued.

Then there's Date Night, a comedy of mistaken identity starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell as a married couple. I guess my theater-going history shows that I usually see action/sci-fi/comic book/fantasy movies on the big screen, in order to appreciate the spectacle, and wait for romantic comedies and the like to come out on DVD. But I've heard good things about this film, and I like its stars. In a world with so many stupid comedies, or comedies about irresponsibly stupid people, I feel like an adult comedy about adults deserves a little support at the box office. Maybe it will encourage studios to make more smart comedies.

Last but not least, I want to see Oceans, the new Disneynature documentary about, as you may have guessed from the title, Earth's oceans. Well, at least the oceans' charismatic megafauna (doubtful that there are any stories about diatoms, dinoflagellates, coccolithophores, or radiolarians). We oceanographers are supposed to turn our noses up at the public's interest in the relatively insignificant charismatic megafauna, but really--there's nothing wrong with them! Who doesn't love a cute baby turtle, or a scary shark, or a color-changing octopus? I saw Earth, Disney's Earth Day release from last year, and thought it was great, and since then I've been waiting for this documentary all about the environment that I'm planning to study for my career. As a bonus, for each ticket sold opening week, Disneynature will donate money to some save-the-coral-reef fund. The movie has beautiful footage that should look great on the big screen, so I definitely plan to check this one out in theaters.

When I find the time.


Kara said...

I went to see "Date Night" with my mom and MIL last weekend. It was much better than I had expected. Plus, as EW said, lots of gratuitously shirtless Mark Wahlberg.

Eleni said...

Oh right! I love Mark Wahlberg...especially when he's shirtless.

Sam said...

I saw date night, and yes, lots bare chest from ol' marky mark. I usually hate Steve Carrel, like I think he is obnoxious in most movies, but Date Night was so funny, he wasnt stupid funny and Tina Fey just knocks my socks off so she can't do anything wrong in my book. I think this should definitely be in the top 2 movies you see first.

Eleni said...

Yeah, Steve Carell does play some annoying/stupid parts, kind of like Will Ferrell who I find intolerable in many movies.

With two recommendations, I really hope to be able to see this one...maybe I could make it a date night movie.

Jill said...

I'd love to see Date night with my BF who loves Tina and Steve.

Ms.PhD said...

I saw Kick Ass and found it rather dull. The script isn't interesting or original; the acting is mostly really wooden; I didn't care what happened to ANY of the characters except the little girl. The only women in it are: (1) objectified or (2) pre-pubescent. Not exactly empowering.

The last ~5 minutes of the film are a great tribute to Quentin Tarantino-style chick flicks like Kill Bill volume 1 and 2. But it's really not, in my opinion, worth seeing in the theatre.

Eleni said...

Jill - One of the cool things about Date Night, it seems, is that it's an appropriate date movie without being too chick flick-y, so the guys don't have to whine about it.

Hi, Ms.PhD! - That's too bad. Were the pre-pubescent women at least not objectified (hopefully)? I guess comic books have not really been renowned for their representation of women.

At least you had one character to care about--when I saw Law Abiding Citizen (not recommended), I kind of wanted all of the characters to lose.