Updated: 02/12/2016 4:02 PM
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2/12 TCL Movie Trip
The comedies hit the theaters this weekend and one big Oscar home release. Paul Mcguire Grimes tells us if they are worth the trip.
ZOOLANDER 2 (theatrical release)
It is tough being a male model, just ask Derek Zoolander. He decides to retire from the industry and become a “hermit crab” after facing tragedy after tragedy. His wife is killed in a freak accident and his son is taken away from him. On a snowy night, Billy Zane shows up at his doorstep and convinces him to come out of hiding and go to Rome to get his son back and appear in a fashion show. What Derek doesn’t know is that Billy has approached Hansel for the same reason. While in Rome, Derek is cornered by Melanie Valentina, a member of the fashion division of Interpol. She would like his help tracking down a known assassin responsible for killing the world’s greatest pop stars. She believes Derek may have some insight, as right before they all died, they posted selfies giving the infamous “Blue Steel” look. In exchange for his help, she will help him track down his son’s whereabouts.
-Directed by Ben Stiller who also stars and co-wrote it with Justin Theroux
-Stars: Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Benedict Cumberbatch
-Soooo many cameos along the way from respected journalists like Christiane Amonpour to fashion designers like Marc Jacobs. On the plus side, the cameos never feel forced or in the way or the actual movie
-Attempts to have a couple of different plotlines going, but they aren’t fully realized and pieced together. That being said, most people going to this movie aren’t looking for a deep plot.
-The characters and story are completely ridiculous and over the top, but it all works because everyone’s in on the joke and ready and willing to be silly
-Stiller keeps the comedic timing in check and doesn’t play a joke to death. It’s a fairly short movie unlike many comedies these days.
-We’ve seen a few of these comedy sequel reunions like Anchorman 2, Dumb and Dumber To, but Zoolander No. 2 is the best of these three.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? You’ll laugh throughout, but will probably forget all about it a few days later.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
HOW TO BE SINGLE (theatrical release)
How to Be Single doesn’t focus on moping and feeling sorry for ourselves when we are single but how we should not be embarrassed to be single. All four of the women at the center of the story are at very different stages of the dating scene or lack thereof. Alice is finishing college and decides to go on a break from her boyfriend. She believes it’s temporary only to realize later on that he has moved on and started dating again. She’s back at square one and hitting the town with her new friend and co-worker Robin. Robin is a pro at being single and makes no qualms about her partying and drunken lifestyle. Alice’s sister Meg has always put career first as a doctor but decides to have a baby and be the single mom. Alice and Robin like to throwback a few cocktails at their local watering hole, Tom’s Bar. Tom is the guy next door who refuses to settle down. One of his customer’s is Lucy who is the opposite of Robin. She is looking for her husband and feels like she has it all figured out as she works for a dating app. Alice continues to work on herself first in order to realize what she’s looking for in the long run.
-Stars: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie, Jake Lacy, Anders Holm
-Rebel Wilson very much playing the same kind character we’ve seen from her before. Very funny, confident, sexual type not afraid to be herself.
-Leslie Mann (This is 40) is always hysterical and a highlight of any movie she’s in. Frankly, we could have seen more of her in this.
-Very loose narrative as the film spans roughly a year and follows all four women with different storylines all at various stages of being single or in relationships.
-Has a Sex and the City, Girls vibe to it
-Appreciated that it wasn’t just your standard “chick flick” with the four women pining after some guy or feeling like they need a guy to feel happy. Reiterates that there’s nothing wrong with being single and to cherish the importance of it.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It’s a decent night out with friends type of movie.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
DEADPOOL (theatrical release)
Fans have been clamoring for a proper Deadpool movie for years after Ryan Reynolds first played a version of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That movie has finally come, and according to the audience I saw it with, they loved it. Ryan Reynolds stars as Wade Wilson who was just your standard guy who met a girl and fell in love. He saw his life take a turn for the worse when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He is approached by a mysterious gentleman offering him the opportunity to undergo an experimental surgery that would cure his cancer and turn him into a “superhero.” The surgery goes horribly awry when Wade is subjected to multiple rounds of torture to see if the mutation is working. This would give him super healing powers as a way to rid him of the cancer. He is able to break free but is left horribly disfigured and scarred. He feels ashamed of his body and feels like he can no longer go back to his girlfriend. On Christmas Day he sets out to get revenge on the man that forever changed his life.
-Starring: Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley, How to Train Your Dragon), Ed Skrein (The Transporter Refueled), Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
-First R-rated Marvel film. Definitely not for kids. He’s the “anti-superhero” who is a violent, profanity laced character.
-Great vehicle to rejuvenate Ryan Reynolds’ career
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Slick, stylish, and loads of fun
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
BRIDGE OF SPIES (home release)
Steven Spielberg has tackled many war stories before with Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, and War Horse. His latest film, Bridge of Spies, focuses on the height of the Cold War in 1957. Tom Hanks stars as James Donovan, a Brooklyn insurance lawyer who is asked to defend a Soviet spy who has been captured. While most people would like to see this Soviet spy found guilty, Donovan believes he deserves a fair defense. At the same time, an American U-2 pilot is shot down over Russia and arrested as well as an American student in East Germany. James is asked to negotiate the release of the Soviet spy for the American pilot and student. This becomes an extremely complicated task for Donovan who feels more invested in the two to one trade than the other parties involved, all the while being an the underdog who has now put his family in jeopardy.
-Directed by Steven Spielberg, his fourth collaboration with Tom Hanks as director and actor. Also starring: Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Jesse Plemons, and Alan Alda
-Inspired by true events. Spielberg drew on many memories he had of his childhood to shape the relationship Hanks’ character has with his family.
-It’s exceptionally crafted with a sharp eye to detail in every aspect. Between the production design, cinematography, and score, you are put right into the chilly atmosphere of the late 1950s Cold War era.
-Written by Matt Charman and with some rewrites done by the Coen Brothers
-Unlike other war films or spy/espionage films, the tension is built through dialogue and suspicion versus continual action. It’s not a fast-paced film. Slow burn approach with a cat and mouse game.
-Tom Hanks is the ultimate everyman that you can trust and want to rely on. He stays away from any sort of comedic Hanks characteristics we are used to seeing form him. He’s noble, strong, and captivating.
-Tony winning stage actor Mark Rylance (who’s done a couple of shows at the Guthrie) plays Abel, the Soviet Spy. He’s a master at Shakespeare and this is one of the most subdued performances I’ve seen from him.
-Nominated for 6 Academy Awards including: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Mark Rylance), and Best Screenplay (Matt Charman and the Coen Brothers)
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? This may not be the blockbuster or epic we expect from Spielberg, but it’s just as sharp and exceptionally made like all of his other films.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS