What To See: Weekend of August 22, 2013

What To See: Weekend of August 22, 2013

EDIT: Mike Fissel, friend of the site and who has been on The MovieByte Podcast with me more than once had something to say in the comments below that I thought was worth bringing up to the top.

So, The World’s End, the BEST thing you can see this weekend (probably this month). This movie is the final installment in “The Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. The trilogy included Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz - both incredibly clever and brilliant comedies. It’s already been out for nearly a month overseas and now we’re finally getting our shot.

For anyone looking for more proof, it’s currently sitting at a 92% on the tomato meter at rotten tomatoes, where as the other two new films are sitting at 14% (Mortal Instruments) and 54% (Frozen Ground). I would say, that if you haven’t seen the first two films in the trilogy, it would behoove you to check them out first, as even thought they are not direct, contiguous, story/narrative sequels, the recurrences in comedy will make each film even better than the last. Also, Simon Pegg is a pretty great actor and Edgar Wright is a pretty fun director.

I really don’t have anything witty to say this week about the new films. I think it must be burn out… But I can say that I am looking forward to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. And I hope to get to The Frozen Ground next weekend because it also looks like it could be good. I’ve heard from a friend that The World’s End is good but I have a hard time believing it.

New This Weekend

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones — PG-13

I’ve been cautiously looking forward to this film because I love a good fantasy series. Nevertheless, this film also has the potential to be cheesy and not good — hence my cautiousness. I know a lot of folks have been preemptively hating on the film. I want to give it a chance.

Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray (Lily Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headey), Clary must join forces with a group of Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures. Based on the worldwide best-selling book series.

2 hr 10 min
PG-13 | Intense sequences of fantasy violence and action, and some suggestive content.
Cast: Lily Collins, Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand, Lena Headey, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Director: Harald Zwart
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

See or not: Cautiously, a possible see.

The World’s End — R

I mean, I’ve seen the trailers for this and stuff and it just doesn’t look good to me in the slightest. A friend told me it was much better than expected, but I can’t muster up enough care to see it. I mean, it just looks like one of those foul comedies that serves no purpose but to be foul. I prefer drama.

Gary King (Simon Pegg) is an immature 40-year-old who’s dying to take another stab at an epic pub-crawl that he last attempted 20 years earlier. He drags his reluctant buddies back to their hometown and sets out for a night of heavy drinking. As they make their way toward their ultimate destination—the fabled World’s End pub—Gary and his friends attempt to reconcile the past and present. However, the real struggle is for the future when their journey turns into a battle for mankind.

1 hr 49 min
R | Sexual References and Pervasive Language
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike
Director: Edgar Wright
Genres: Comedy

See or not: Not (until proven otherwise)

The Frozen Ground — R

There’s something very compelling about a good drama that is based on a true story. That’s why I want to see this film. I’m not really a particular fan of Vanessa Hudgens or anything, and Nicholas Cage can be pretty hit or miss, but I am hoping from good things from this film.

The Frozen Ground is inspired by the incredible true story that follows Alaskan State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage) as he sets out to end the murderous rampage of Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a serial killer who has gone unnoticed for 13 years. As the bodies of street girls start to pile up in Anchorage, fear strikes a chord with the public. Risking his life, Halcombe goes on a personal manhunt to find the killer before the next body surfaces. When a seventeen year old escapee (Vanessa Hudgens) reveals key information about the case, Halcombe is finally on the trail of the killer. But will he catch him in time to save the next victim?

1 hr 44 min
R | Violent content, sexuality/nudity, language and drug use.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, 50 Cent, Radha Mitchell
Director: Scott Walker
Genres: Suspense/Thriller

See or not: Possible see

Still In Theaters

We’re the Millers — R

I can’t wait to not see this film. It looks unbearably disgusting and stupid. If you go see this, I will deny any knowledge of you.

Small-time pot dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished; trying to help some teens, he is jumped by thugs and loses his cash and stash. Now, David’s in big debt to his supplier and – to wipe the slate clean – he must go to Mexico to pick up the guy’s latest shipment. To accomplish his mission, Dave devises a foolproof plan: He packs a fake family into a huge RV and heads south of the border for a wild weekend that is sure to end with a bang.

1 hr 50 min
R | Crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and brief graphic nudity.
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Ed Helms, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy

See or not: NOT!

Elysium — R

I was so very, VERY disappointed by this film. For starters it felt very game-like — power-ups like suites that make you stronger, code that gets downloaded into your brain that you have to take to the final boss level to defeat the bad guys and push the win button. Then there’s the magic healing box that cures all (except that one time when that didn’t work well for the plot). I’ve gotta tell you, I think Neill Blomkamp has a lot of potential, but he needs some serious writing help. The poor guy can’t write himself out of a wet paper bag.

And what was with Jodie Foster? Bad acting, bad dialog, and she had almost nothing to do in this film. I could go on and on about the things I hated about this film, but you should really just go listen to The MovieByte Podcast, Episode 56 where I talked about it with Mike Fissel. There you can hear the full scoop on why I think this film is so bad. Corey also wrote a review of the film for us here on MovieByte, so be sure to check that out.

In the year 2159, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The ultrarich live aboard a luxurious space station called Elysium, and the rest live a hardscrabble existence in Earth’s ruins. His life hanging in the balance, a man named Max (Matt Damon) agrees to undertake a dangerous mission that could bring equality to the population, but Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) vows to preserve the pampered lifestyle of Elysium’s citizens, no matter what the cost.

1 hr 49 min
R | Strong bloody violence and language throughout
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama

See or not: Not

Planes — PG

It is very difficult to come up with words for just how uninterested I am in this film. It may not be from Pixar exactly, but it’s in the world of Cars, and while I loved the first one, the second Cars film was a wee bit lacking, and this looks completely devoid of anything that mad Cars good, ever.

From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.

1 hr 32 min
PG | Some Mild Action and Rude Humor
Cast: Dane Cook, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Garrett, Stacy Keach, Teri Hatcher, John Cleese, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards
Director: Klay Hall
Genres: Animated, Comedy

See or not: I’m thinking, probably not.

Kick-Ass 2 — R

This really looks quite terrible actually. All the humor looks to be very crass, stupid, and off color. There’s going to be LOTS of F-bombs, gratuitous violence and such. I’m not sure why on earth I would want to see this film.

Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), aka Kick-Ass, and Mindy (Chloë Grace Moretz), aka Hit Girl, are trying to live as normal teenagers and briefly form a crimefighting team. After Mindy is busted and forced to retire as Hit Girl, Dave joins a group of amateur superheroes led by Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), a reformed mobster. Just as Dave and company start to make a real difference on the streets, the villain formerly known as Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) rears his head yet again.

1 hr 47 min
R | Strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo, Donald Faison
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy

See or not: Not

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters — PG

I saw the first film and it was decent. I love a good fantasy film or book, and this one is not too bad. My wife, who has read the books, did have to fill in a few details here and there that I was confused about because the film seemed to skim over some stuff. But it was not a bad film.

So I’m pleased to report that, though not earth shattering or ground breaking, this is a decent fantasy film and one I think is worth seeing. Joe and I talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast: Episode 57.

Though Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), the half-human son of Greek god Poseidon, once saved the world, lately he’s been feeling less than heroic. However, he doesn’t have much time to brood – the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood are dissolving, and a horde of mythical beasts threatens the demigods’ sanctuary. In order to save Camp Half-Blood, Percy and his friends embark on a journey to the Sea of Monsters – aka the Bermuda Triangle – to find the magical Golden Fleece.

1 hr 46 min
PG | Fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language.
Cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Nathan Fillion, Jake Abel
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Genres: Action/Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

See or not: See

JOBS — PG-13

There is no doubt that Ashton Kutcher looks like Steve Jobs. In fact, so much so, that in many of these pictures, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a picture of Jobs himself. The likeness works less well for the brief portion where he plays the older version of Jobs, but that is just a short part.

Overall, though the film is not without its disappointments to me, I did enjoy the film quite a bit and I do recommend it. I wrote a review which you might be interested in, and Joe and I talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast: Episode 57.

Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whiteley, shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter and produced by Mark Hulme, JOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2001. JOBS plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs’ life.

2 hr 5 min
PG-13 | Some Drug Content and Brief Strong Language
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, Matthew Modine
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Genres: Drama

See or not: See

2 Guns — R

This film could have been decent, I liked the story okay, and the chemistry between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg was great. Unfortunately, they threw in a nudey scene with Paula Patton. There a lot of things I don’t mind that can make a film R-rated, and this is not one of them. It’s a big no-no in my book and instantly drops my star rating of the film by one whole star. Consequently, I cannot recommend the film and give it only 2 out of 5 stars. Catch my review here, and here me talk about it with Chad on Episode 55 of The MovieByte Podcast.

For the past year, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and U.S. Navy intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) have been working under cover as members of a narcotics syndicate. The twist: Neither man knows that the other is an undercover agent. When their attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel and recover millions goes haywire, the men are disavowed by their superiors. Trench and Stigman must go on the run lest they wind up in jail or in a grave.

1 hr 49 min
R | Violence throughout, language and brief nudity.
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller

See or not: Can’t Really Recommend it

The Smurfs 2 — PG

I have no intention of seeing this film. It looks terrible. I do remember that my parents weren’t too keen on my watching it as a kid, and from watching the trailers and stuff I can kind of see why. Some of the mildly crude humor is very much of the sort that the kids would pick up on and repeat all the time.

In any event, the film looks really stupid and I’ll be skipping this film.

In this sequel to Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster comedy The Smurfs™, the evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants, and only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs, Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he has been winning the adoration of millions as the world¹s greatest sorcerer. It’s up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our time, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Will Smurfette, who has always felt different from the other Smurfs, find a new connection with the Naughties Vexy and Hackus – or will the Smurfs convince her that their love for her is True Blue?

1 hr 42 min
Cast: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays
Director: Raja Gosnell
Genres: 3D, Action/Adventure, Animated

See or not: Not

The Wolverine — PG-13

This film is pretty fantastic and it definitely feels like the X-Men franchise may be getting back on track. This film does well in focusing on Logan and his character, and the personal turmoil he would be in after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand.

wrote a review which you may want to read, and Chad and I talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast.

Lured to a Japan he hasn’t seen since World War II, century-old mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself in a shadowy realm of yakuza and samurai. Wolverine is pushed to his physical and emotional brink when he is forced to go on the run with a powerful industrialist’s daughter (Tao Okamoto) and is confronted – for the first time – with the prospect of death. As he struggles to rediscover the hero within himself, he must grapple with powerful foes and the ghosts of his own haunted past.

2 hr 6 min
PG-13 | Language, Intense Sci-Fi Action, Some Sexuality and Violence
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto
Director: James Mangold
Genres: Action/Adventure

See or not: See