Opening in New Haven – Weekend of May 23rd, 2014

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X-Men: Days of Future Past: Bryan Singer, the director of what’s arguably the best superhero film of all time, returns to make an even better-reviewed sequel.  91% on RT (98% from top critics).

It’s amazing what a turnaround this franchise has made in just a few years. Let’s hope Singer can keep up the momentum with 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.

Personal interest factor: 10

Blended – Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite in this tale of two bickering single parents who unexpectedly find themselves on vacation together.  It’s a clear attempt to recapture the success of their previous collaborations (2004’s 50 First Dates and 1998’s The Wedding Singer) although based on an RT score of 15% and a MC score of 31% that didn’t work out so well.  Things aren’t looking much better financially as early estimates suggest Blended could open below 2012’s That’s My Boy, which was Sandler’s lowest grossing comedy opener in 18 years. 

Like most, I gave up on Sandler well over a decade ago (although the aforementioned That’s My Boy was not without it’s charms) but one has to admire his longevity in the industry despite his general lack of effort.

It’s possible that audiences have finally recognized the error of their ways, but the actor’s overall track record + the continuing success of his ensemble pictures (ala Grown Ups and next year’s mega-budget Pixels) should keep him going awhile.  He’s also never tapped into his emergency sequel reserve (Billy Madison Goes to Grad School?  Happier Gilmore?Bigger Daddy?)

Also: it’s puzzling why everyone is talking about Barrymore’s involvement as if it’s a comeback of some kind.  The actress has had six wide releases from major studios in the past five years (one of which she directed).  It’s not that she’s withdrawn from leading roles, she just hasn’t made anything people have wanted to see.

Personal interest factor: 0

For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running Pulp Fiction (1994) Friday and Saturday evening and The Wizard of Oz (1939) Saturday and Sunday morning.

 

5 responses »

  1. That’s My Boy had ‘charms’?!
    …maybe I was wrong about The Miller’s, too.

  2. X-Men was really solid. I don’t think it quite hit the heights of the second film, but it’s easily the best since.

    I do miss the more playful tone of First Class, though. John Ottman’s score is also a big step down from Henry Jackman’s work on that feature.

  3. Underwhelmed by X-Men, but then I have been by every one of them. Don’t get the fuss over this one, but it’s better than First Class. Review tomorrow.

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