Opening in Chicago, 06/29


Goodbye First Love (trailer)
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve (Father of My Children)
Personal Interest Factor: 9
Father of My Children was one of my favorite movies from a couple years back, so I’m excited to see Hansen-Løve’s followup. I’m frankly relieved to be getting the chance, after I blew the chance to see it last month; I wasn’t sure if it would get a real theatrical run.
Metacritic: 80

Last Ride (trailer)
Director: Glendyn Ivin
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Australian film that’s a few years old already – it premiered in 2009 – and is now getting a US release. It stars Hugo Weaving as an outlaw on the run with his young son. Looks possibly worthwhile for the outdoor photography.
Metacritic: 84

Magic Mike (trailer)
Director: Steven Soderbergh (The Girlfriend Experience, The Informant!, Contagion, Haywire)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
The latest from the prolific Soderbergh, and an interesting AGEBOC case. It’s being promoted as something along the lines of the ultimate women’s movie, and I don’t doubt that there are a lot of women who are eager to see it. But there’s also a huge percentage of the population that simply will not go see it under any circumstances, and I’m not just talking about straight men. There are a lot of prudish types out there who would feel uncomfortable going to see something like this, as Hollywood finds out almost every time they try to push something with overt eroticism or assorted sleaze. Anyway, the odds of me going to see it would be extremely low if not for Soderbergh, just based on the cast alone, even if it wasn’t about male strippers.
Metacritic: 71

People Like Us (trailer)
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Personal Interest Factor: 4
Apparently the name of this movie is “People Like Us”, as in “people similar to us”, and not “People Like Us” in the Sally Field Oscar-acceptance sense. FYI. I’m guessing it’s been forgotten before it’s even been released.
Metacritic: 50

Ted (trailer)
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Here’s the thing – I’m not a regular watcher of Family Guy by any means, but I’ve never found MacFarlane’s stuff all that funny. And the premise for this seems rather thin – how long can the novelty of a dirty-minded stuffed bear really last? It seems like something that’s better suited to a series of SNL sketches than a feature film.
Metacritic: 58

To Rome with Love (trailer)
Director: Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Whatever Works, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Midnight in Paris)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
After all the acclaim for Midnight in Paris, Allen is right back to making movies that I don’t particularly feel compelled to see. This one seems to be getting the worst reviews he’s gotten since, oh, probably Scoop or thereabouts.
Metacritic: 55

Also this week:
The Graduate – a personal fave, in its 45th anniversary reissue
Grand Illusion – another exciting reissue, for the 75th anniversary of Renoir’s film
The Invisible War (trailer) – doc about military rape, by Kirby Dick
Madea’s Witness Protection (trailer) – better or worse than Larry the Cable Guy’s witness protection movie?
Never Stand Still (trailer) – doc about dance
Paul Williams Still Alive (trailer) – doc about the former celebrity


11 responses »

  1. I’m having trouble figuring out why I don’t want to see Magic Mike, especially since it’s Soderbergh. I can watch gay male porn without batting an eye, but I just don’t want to see a movie about male strippers. Funny.

  2. There is something not right about Magic Mike – or maybe it’s just male strip clubs. I have nothing against strip clubs, but my assumption was always that most of the male strippers were gay (nothing wrong with that). But there is just something really weird about a gay man trying to turn on a straight woman. So when I think about it that way, the movie seems beyond unrealistic since I know the actors aren’t gay. And beyond that, I’m not attracted to any of them.

    I think the other thing is it’s a movie – it’s not a live performance. What’s a strip club if you can’t drink alcohol and put dollar bills in someone’s g-string? My guess is this is aimed at a crowd of people who are too shy (or young) to go to an actual strip club, but want to be able to drool over half naked bodies. Like Twi-hards, or semi-prudes who act like they’re not going to see it but buy a ticket for something else and sneak in.

  3. I just had a thought…Magic Mike is going to do much better on Netflix. I was just thinking about how so many trashy romance novels always seem to be in the top 100 ebook ratings. But ladies can download the book and not advertise that they’re reading it.

  4. I didn’t want to see ‘Ted’ after viewing the trailer and the fact that ‘Family Guy’ dropped off so badly after it’s first couple of seasons that I gave up on it after Season 4.

    But the reviews have been good and my girlfriend was interested in it so saw it last night. Unfortunately my doubts were more than justified.

    How this has been getting such good critical reviews is a mystery to me. Apart from the odd funny moment and a drug-driven party sequence with Sam ‘Flash Gordon’ Jones, this was almost as bad as ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’.

    It has a particularly bad mix of the cliche topics of modern Hollywood “comedy” (gay-panic jokes, jokes entirely based on sexually crude language) and random pop culture references that made ‘Family Guy’ so tedious to watch.

    Worst of all, in the closing 30 minutes it completely flips around and becomes sentimental slop as it expects us to become emotionally involved in the relationship between Wahlberg’s character and Ted.

    Avoid. Rating: D+

  5. Agree with everything you felt about TED, Marco, except:

    1. I believe McFarlane adds the homosexual jokes as kind of an ironic over-the-top answer to the ridiculous things people say about homosexuality in reality. Or something like that. Sorry I can’t express it better.
    2. It had a good ten minutes of ‘pee your pants’ funny things…but yes, the rest was awful. (And it also has the best joke I’ve heard in a decade. The joke about Boston women is so true and the last line so funny that joke should go into some joke ‘hall of fame’.
    “I’m gonna go eat some pepperidge farm”

  6. Caught Magic Mike on HBO and thought it was terrific. A perfect blend of Soderbergh’s indie and commercial sensibilities. Tatum oozes charisma and his interplay with Cody Horn’s character is delightfully natural. I enjoyed that the romance is played so conservatively in a film about male strippers.

    It would have made my top ten of 2012, easily.

    The “I won’t see a movie about male strippers!” thing is rather silly, although I do understand why some may have wanted to wait for video out of embarrassment. I personally wouldn’t care.

  7. Magic Mike was okay. Kind of a familiar story, with the exotic location of a male strip club. In checking out some reviews I see that the female lead, Cody Horn, came in for some savage criticism, suggesting she got the part because her father is a bigwig in Hollywood. She did remind me, both in looks and acting style, of Kristen Stewart, which is not a compliment, but her character was supposed to be something of a fuddy-duddy. I’ll need to see her in more roles to determine if she’s really a bad actress.

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