Weekend Preview – May 10, 2013

Iron Man 3 is still going strong in theaters and is sure to remain at the top of the box office, but that’s not going to stop some counter-programming from trying to take a piece of the pie as well.  This week brings us a flashy version of a beloved classic literary tale, and a familiar looking romantic comedy.

Peeples Poster

Peeples

Another week, another romantic comedy.  Craig Robinson is everyman Wade Walker who is just trying to find the right moment to propose to his live-in girlfriend Grace Peeples (Kerry Washington).  Unfortunately that right moment never seems to come, especially as he deals with meeting the rest of the Peeples for the first time.  Oh, and it turns out her (rich) parents didn’t even know he existed.  Also starring, Tyler James Williams, Kali Hawk and David Alan Grier.

Yes, you saw this movie already, in 2000 with Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro.  Not only is the premise strikingly similar to Meet the Parents, but some of the comedy beats are nearly identical.  Thankfully there are more differences to the Ben Stiller film than just a change of color scheme in the cast, letting it be it’s own film at least half the time.

While it’s not especially original, there’s not a whole lot that is technically wrong with it other than the fact that it has a very “been there, seen that,” feeling to it.  Overall the audience seemed to really enjoy it, so if the trailer looks appealing to you, by all means check it out, but it’s not anywhere on my must see films of the Summer list.

Read my full review here.

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The Great Gatsby Poster

The Great Gatsby

Somehow I have managed to avoid both reading the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel and seeing any of the numerous film and television portrayals.  Most people, though, probably know the story of The Great Gatsby.  Told from the point of view of a young New Yorker, Nick (Tobey Maguire), during the roaring 20′s, this is the story of how he met, and became became entangled in the life of, the wealthy and mysterious Mr. Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). From the moment he comes into contact with his unusual neighbor at an extravagant party, Nick’s life will never be the same as he becomes an integral part in a mystery of money, love, and secrets. Lots of secrets. The cast is rounded out by Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, and Jason Clarke.

From the very beginning things move at a frantic, disjointed pace.  The helter skelter style works during the party scenes, contributing to the barrage of the senses, but nowhere else. The musical choices are uninspired the majority of the time,  the 3D really works in some scenes, though in others it merely succeeds to in making the film muddy. Visually the movie is truly stunning in many instances, though empty. The cast does a fair enough job, with DiCaprio giving the standout performance

It’s a bit pretentious as it grasps at a more meaningful purpose than the chaotic Luhrmann allows it to reach. It’s a complex puzzle with a lot of pieces. Pity none of them fit.

Read my full review here.