Only two major releases this weekend as we hit June’s mid-point. One is a presumed blockbuster and the other a wise counterprogramming move:
Man Of Steel – (RT: 59%, MC: 55%) Following 2006’s forgettable Superman Returns…Superman, uh, returns with this franchise reboot. Brit Henry Cavill steps into the tights this time out surrounded by an impressive supporting cast including Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. Christopher Nolan and David Goyer (The Dark Knight, Batman Begins) write and produce while Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) directs.
Despite Snyder’s less-than-encouraging resume, the first two trailers for this were exceptional. Unfortunately, general consensus from the non-geek press is iffy. While the film is earning high marks for Cavill’s performance, the effects and general scope: the screenplay and all-too-serious tone are taking a beating. “Joyless” is a word commonly used.
While Snyder has succeeded in raising the bar on scale, he’s apparently failed to make it interesting. The hour-long climax reportedly becomes tedious as CGI Cavill and Shannon endlessly battle through the streets of Metropolis killing thousands*.
The film is vital to Warner Brothers’ superhero franchise roadmap so it’s going to be fascinating to watch this weekend’s box-office unfold. Personal interest factor: 6
This is the End – (RT: 83%, MC: 67%) Superbad/Pineapple Express writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg make their directorial debut with this well-reviewed, although almost offensively cheap-looking, end of the world comedy. The all-star cast includes Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and a horde of cameos (including Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Paul Rudd, etc). Should be a safe bet. The film had a strong opening on Wednesday and should enjoy a healthy run until The Heat opens on June 28th. Personal interest factor: 9
Wish You Were Here: Some “white people get into trouble abroad” picture. I phased out within the first 30 seconds of the trailer and still don’t quite understand what it’s about. Maybe it’s good, I’ll never know. Personal interest factor: What was I talking about again?
For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running the James Bond adventure Goldfinger (1964) and Ghostbusters (1984) Friday-Sunday.
Yale is running a retrospective,”The Documentaries of Spike Lee and Sam Pollard”, starting Friday with the filmmakers in attendance. Screenings include: 4 Little Girls (followed by a Q&A w/ Sam Pollard), If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise (Q&A with “A panel of scholars and documentary filmmakers”), Bad 25 (Q&A with Spike Lee) and Slavery by Another Name (Q&A w/ Pollard). The full schedule can be found here.
*Many note that Superman makes no attempt to stop the battle or actually save people (ala the Enterprise crew’s reaction to the destruction of San Francisco in Star Trek Into Darkness). Is casual indifference to the loss of human life a trend this year?