For a week full of strong wide releases, is there anything here that has anyone really that excited? Something about Wall Street 2 is rubbing me the wrong way, two family films are being released the same weekend during a month when kids are in school, and you have a wildly overrated documentary. Let’s meet a couple of police officers. They are all good guys.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – The sequel 23 years in the making. In WS:MNS, Michael Douglas (The Game) returns as Gordon Gekko, partnered with a young Wall Street trader (Shia LaBeouf) to alert the financial community of an upcoming crash. Some things are really setting off my Spidey-sense on this one. Fox cancelled a lot of screenings that they had set up for critics, and while it’s not the first time that has happened with a movie it always feels like a studio has something to hide when it happens. Second, I just noticed a couple of weeks ago that this is rated PG-13. C’mon Fox, you’ve managed to sign both Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas onto your sequel to an 80s classic, but you are holding Stone to a PG-13 cut? How many middle school kids do you really think are clamoring to go see a movie on the financial crisis, whether or not the kid from Transformers is in it or not?
Catfish - The indie everyone is talking about. Catfish is a documentary about an online relationship between a young photographer in New York and an artistic family in Michigan, and if I tell you anymore than that someone will try to kill me. Perhaps the greatest thing about this film is the advertising campaign being done by Rogue Pictures, a division of Relativity Media. I didn’t really notice until I started getting emails promoting the movie, but the posters for the film are very horror inspired, all red and black. Then you have the pseudo-Blair Witch Project trailer. The film has no connection whatsoever to horror of any kind, being more comedy than anything else, but you have to give Rogue a hand. They bought Catfish at Sundance in a bidding war and now they have to make their money back on it, which is the hard part. So far, they are doing a commendable job. Watch the trailer here.
You Again – The first of the family films being released this weekend, although on second though maybe they are thinking of this one as a PG girls-night-out movie? I don’t know. What I do know is that the women in the cast (Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Betty White, Odette Yustman) are 1000% more important to the film than the men, so why not just skip the men all together and use that as a gimmick? Seriously, Victor Garber deserves better than this anyway. Also, I know The Women bombed with the same all women casting idea, but didn’t that have more to do with “she’s creepy now” Meg Ryan playing the lead? The story here is everyone had an enemy in high school and over a 5 day period Bell tries to break up her brother’s engagement to her arch-nemesis (Yustman), and Curtis finds out that Yustman’s beloved aunt is her high school bff turned enemy (Weaver). White just shows up for the paycheck. We have the trailer!
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole – You never want a film to bomb, but if it has to happen it might as well be big, right? This 3D animated feature, rumored to have cost in the neighborhood of $150 million to produce, is tracking horribly. As I said alluded to above, if a studio believes that a cartoon has the opportunity to attract repeat business, they’re not likely to release it during the middle of the first month of school. The film, if successful, is to be the first of a franchise based on a series of best selling children books published under the Legend of the Guardians name. For those parents out there that may find themselves buying tickets this weekend to see this, the film finds Soren, a young owl, escaping a fake orphanage that is being used as a training ground for brainwashing owlets into soldiers. He and some friends make their way to the island of Ga’Hoole, to help the owls there fight the brainwashed army. Jeez, that’s complicated for a kids movie, have fun with that.