What to see: Weekend of June 21, 2013

What to see: Weekend of June 21, 2013

I have a sad. I still don’t get to see Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s infuriating, but it’s not playing anywhere around the Nashville area. I even opened up Fandango’s search parameters to within 100 miles. Nothing. I want to see it! This sort of thing makes it hard for me to know whether I should include it on my what to see list. I’ll just say that if it’s playing in your area you may want to see it.

Of course, with Monsters University and World War Z opening this weekend, it’s not like we lack anything to watch anyway, so carry on.

New in Theaters

Monsters University - G

Go see this. Duh. This should be a lot of fun, it’s Pixar after all, why wouldn’t it be? I’m taking my two oldest with me to see it on Saturday (they are 6 and 4 years old). Pixar films are always delightful, and even their films that I don’t care so much about are way better than most other animated films on their best day.

Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. “Monsters University” unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

1 hr 42 min
G | Frightening Scenes
Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Peter Sohn, Joel Murray
Director: Dan Scanlon
Genres: Animated, Family

See or not: See

New Trailer and Clip for ‘Monsters University’ »
‘Monsters University’ Trailer 3 »
‘Monsters University’ Promos »
More ‘Monsters University’ Viral Marketing »
‘Monsters University’ - A Message from the Dean »
‘Monsters University’ Clip »
‘Monsters University’ Full Length Trailer »
‘Monsters University’ Featurette »
‘Monsters University’ Ad »

World War Z - PG-13

Though I had to warm up to it, I am looking forward to this film now. Who knows whether I’ll like it or not — it is a zombie movie after all — but it doesn’t look like your typical zombie fare. I’ve also heard that despite some production setbacks and a ballooning production budget that the film is really good and you can’t at all tell in the final product that there was such a troubled production behind it.

Also, one of our frequent contributors, Corey Poff, says it’s a good film. Based on his recommendation I will recommend it to you.

A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.

1 hr 55 min
PG-13 | Intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox
Director: Marc Forster
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Horror

‘World War Z’ Clip - Hammer and Nails »
‘World War Z’ Clip - Bad News About the Zombie Apocalypse »
‘World War Z’ “Shows Signs of Life” »
‘World War Z’ TV Spot (and trailer) »

See or not: See (based on Corey’s recommendation)

In Theaters

Man of Steel — PG-13

I hated this film so much — SO MUCH. I had reconciled myself the reboot and even got to the point where I was looking forward to the film immensely, and I was blow away by how bad it was. If you want to look up the definition of bad filmmaking somwhere, I’m pretty sure Man of Steel would be listed somewhere in the prime examples of such. This film has no heart, it is disjoined and non-linear in a way that does not work, it left me feeling emotionally disconnected from the story and the characters and it left way too many things of the plot to chance instead of being intentional. That’s not to say there weren’t some things to like, but the bad far outweighed the good. I can’t recommend this film.

I wrote a review and we talked about it on episode 48 of The MovieByte Podcast.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes “Man of Steel,” starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, under the direction of Zack Snyder (“300,”“Watchmen”). The film also stars three-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne as her editor-in-chief, Perry White. Starring as Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, are Oscar® nominee Diane Lane and Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner. Squaring off against the superhero are two other surviving Kryptonians, the villainous General Zod, played by Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon, and Faora, Zod’s evil partner, played by Antje Traue. Also from Superman’s native Krypton are Lara Lor-Van, Superman’s mother, played by Ayelet Zurer, and Superman’s father, Jor-El, portrayed by Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe.

2 hr 23 min
PG-13 | Intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language
Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe
Director: Zack Snyder
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

See or not: Not!

The MovieByte Podcast #48: I Will Say This Backwards »
Man of Steel - Review »
2 Clips and a 30 Second Spot for ‘Man of Steel’ »
Big ‘Man of Steel’ Trailer »
2 Clips from ‘Man of Steel’ »
‘Man of Steel’ 13 Minute Featurette »
More ‘Man of Steel’ In New TV Spot »
‘Man of Steel’ - New Featurette, New Glimpses of the Film »
‘Man of Steel’ Trailer 4 »

This Is the End — R

This is the end alright, the end of good cinema and good filmmaking. I have no plans or desire to see this film and I recommend you steer clear.

The comedy This Is The End follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.

1 hr 47 min
R | Crude and Sexual Content, Brief Graphic Nudity, Drug Use, Pervasive Language and Some Violence
Cast: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Genres: Comedy, Horror

See or not: Not

Apple Trailers Page »

Now You See Me - PG-13

I found the film to be somewhat enjoyable, though the nonsensical ending ruined it for me. I’ll say the acting, the design, the craft of the filmmaking, all that was great stuff. In addition to the actors playing The Four Horsemen (Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Jesse Eisenberg), I really enjoyed Mark Ruffalo and Mélanie Laurent in their roles. They did an incredible job. But, as I said, this film has some problems, at least for me.

We discussed this film on The MovieByte Podcast #47 so you’ll want to be sure to give that a listen.

Chad Hopkins also reviewed the film for us, you can check out his review here.

NOW YOU SEE ME pits an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against “The Four Horsemen”, a super-team of the world’s greatest illusionists. “The Four Horsemen” pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, showering the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law.

1 hr 56 min
PG-13 | Language, some action and sexual content
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Director: Louis Leterrier
Genres: Suspense/Thriller

See or not: SEE - it’s worth seeing, even if I was a bit disappointed.

The MovieByte Podcast #47: The Ursa »
Now You See Me - Review »
‘Now You See Me’ Trailer »
‘Now You See Me’ Trailer 2 »
Let’s Rob a Bank In a Clip from ‘Now You See Me’ »

Fast and Furious 6 — PG-13

Alright guys, you were complaining about my complaining when I had not even seen the film. So I saw it and as you would expect, some things about the film were better then I expected, and some were worse. My overall opinion remains unchanged, it’s not a good film. It’s way too ludicrous and ridiculous in concept. This film franchise seems to exist almost entirely for the over-the-top action sequences, wrecking hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cars, defying the laws of physics and gravity etc. There was no explanation or reason for why the bad guy was doing bad things.

The only thing I was surprised by was there was a tiny bit more plot and character development — no that’s too strong, I should say character moments — for the good guys… well, for a couple of the good guys.

Check your brains at the door though because logic and good story telling need not apply here.

I talked about this for a very brief amount of time on The MovieByte Podcast #47 if you want to have a listen to that.

Since Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian’s (Paul Walker) heist in Rio left them and their crew very rich people, they’ve scattered across the globe; however, they must still live as fugitives, unable to return home to their families. Meanwhile, Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has been tracking a gang of lethally skilled mercenary drivers whose second-in-command is someone Dom knows. Unable to take them down himself, Hobbs asks Dom and his crew for help in exchange for full pardons for everyone.

2 hr 10 min
PG-13 | Intense Sequences of Violence, Intense Sequences of Action, Language, Mayhem Throughout and Some Sexuality
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez
Director: Justin Lin
Genres: Action/Adventure

See or not: Not

The MovieByte Podcast #47: The Ursa »
Apple Trailers Page »

The Internship - PG-13

This film looks dreadful to me. I’ve seen the trailers and I just can’t get into it. Something feels a little off about it and I can’t put my finger on it completely. One thing though, is that it feels like one big product placement film for Google. No thanks!

After old-school salesmen Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) find themselves downsized, Billy decides that, despite their complete lack of technological savvy, they should work for Google. The friends somehow manage to finagle internships at the Internet giant and promptly head out to Silicon Valley. Viewed with disdain by most of their fellow interns, Billy and Nick join forces with the rest of the misfit “Nooglers” to make it through a series of competitive team challenges.

1 hr 59 min
PG-13 | Partying, Language, Sexuality and Some Crude Humor
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Josh Gad, JoAnna Garcia, Aasif Mandvi, Jessica Szohr
Director: Shawn Levy
Genres: Comedy

See or not: I’m going with Not.

‘The Internship’ Trailer 2 »

Epic - PG

I was really wrong about this film. I thought it was not going to be that great but I did actually enjoy it a lot and I highly recommend it. I wrote a review that you may want to check out, and we talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast. It was an Epic Review (you may all groan).

EPIC tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world…and ours.

1 hr 43 min
PG | for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language
Cast: Beyoncé Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz
Director: Chris Wedge
Genres: Animated, Family

See or not: SEE!

Epic - Review »
The MovieByte Podcast #46: The Smug Look On His Face »
Apple Trailers Page »

Star Trek Into Darkness - PG-13

I greatly enjoyed this film and liked it a lot better than J.J.’s first installment in the reboot of this franchise. I gave my preliminary report of the film over here, and we talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast with Anthony Pascale of TrekMovie.com. Even Joe, who is not a Trekkie enjoyed the film and we had good fun discussing it, even nitpicking it. I also wrote a review you may want to check out.

One caveat though, I would recommend seeing the film in standard 2D. the 3D does nothing for the film.

The crew of the Starship Enterprise returns home after an act of terrorism within its own organization destroys most of Starfleet and what it represents, leaving Earth in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) leads his people (Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoë Saldana) on a mission to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction, thereby propelling all of them into an epic game of life and death.

2 hr 12 min
PG-13 | Intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban
Director: J.J. Abrams
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

See or not: SEE SEE SEE!

The MovieByte Podcast #45: My Name Is… »
Star Trek Into Darkness - Review »
Preliminary ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Report »
Recommended Review of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ »
3 More ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ TV Spots »
“Somewhat Irascible and Cantankerous” - ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ »
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ TV Spots with New Release Date »
More ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Goodies »
Keep Going, Scotty! - ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Clip 4 »
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Clip - “I Allow It” - Plus Thoughts and Opinions »
The MovieByte Podcast #40: Decking Wesley »
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Final Trailer »

After Earth - PG-13

This film is not anywhere near as bad as what critics are saying. Or general audiences for that matter. I enjoyed it fairly well. I give it 3 of 5 stars. Some have complained about the Scientology present in the film, but I thought it was quite simply a decent story.

We talked about this film on The MovieByte Podcast #47 and you’ll want to join in the fun of that one!

People were forced to leave Earth a millennium ago to establish a new home on Nova Prime. Now, Gen. Cypher Raige (Will Smith) heads Nova Prime’s most-prominent family. Cypher’s teenage son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), feels enormous pressure to follow in his father’s legendary footsteps – which strains their relationship. Cypher and Kitai set out on a trip to mend their bond, but when their craft crashes on Earth’s hostile surface, each must trust the other greatly – or perish.

1 hr 39 min
PG-13 | Sci-fi action violence and some disturbing images
Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Zoe Kravitz, Sophie Okonedo, Lincoln Lewis
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Genres: Action/Adventure

See or not: See

The MovieByte Podcast #47: The Ursa »
‘After Earth’ Trailer »
‘After Earth’ Trailer 2 »
‘After Earth’ Clip - ‘Beacon’ with Will Smith and Jaden Smith »

Iron Man 3 - PG-13

This is a pretty great installment in the Marvel Universe. And I loved that it wasn’t just about the suits and another guy with suits more powerful than Iron Man’s suit, etc. etc. This movie had heart, and it was a story about the characters, not the metal that the characters wear. And there were some surprises to the plot that were unexpected, unlike Iron Man 2, which felt a little bit like a paint by numbers job. Definitely worth seeing this one! We talked about this film on Episode 43 of The MovieByte Podcast, and we warned about spoilers when we got to them, so check that out.

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

2 hr 20 min
PG-13 | Sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall
Director: Shane Black
Genres: Action/Adventure

See or not: See

The MovieByte Podcast #43: She Was Totally Gangsta »
Iron Man 3 - Where’s my Super Suit? - Review »
Trailer for the Upcoming ‘Iron Man 3’ Trailer »
‘Iron Man 3’ Official Trailer is Here! »
‘Iron Man 3’ “Extended” Look »
Newest Trailer for ‘Iron Man 3’ »
‘Iron Man 3’ TV Spot »
‘Iron Man 3’ Clip - Tony Is Not Afraid »
‘Iron Man 3’ Featurette and TV Spots »
Tony Stark’s House Blowing Up Around Him »
Tony Stark Has Heart to Heart with Pepper »
Two More ‘Iron Man 3’ TV Spots »