The Summer movie season shifts into second gear this week (I had to throw in a car reference, forgive me) as Hollywood premieres the next overly-hyped film of the season. But I have a hard time seeing this weekend as anything but a slight breather between the blockbusters.
This time around we have two sappy, cliche-laden flops and the Wachowski brothers resting on their over-inflated, CGI-generated laurels. But don't just take my word for it. Below are the three films opening this weekend, along with their synopsis and trailer. Clicking on the poster will take you to the films official website.
Short answer: Entertainment is a scarcity this weekend. Go outside and get some exercise or read a book instead. Going to the movies this weekend will only rob you of your devaluing dollar and precious time. You will be sorry. I promise.
Speed Racer (PG)
Hurtling down the track, careening around, over and through the competition, Speed Racer is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized—the legendary Rex Racer—whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill.
Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer, the designer of Speed’s thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company’s maniacal owner but uncovers a terrible secret—some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits. If Speed won’t drive for Royalton, Royalton will see to it that the Mach 5 never crosses another finish line.
The only way for Speed to save his family’s business and the sport he loves is to beat Royalton at his own game. With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie, Speed teams with his one-time rival—the mysterious Racer X —to win the race that had taken his brother’s life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as The Crucible.
Judge's Take: Sadly, this is NOT the film everyone hopes it's going to be. I think the Wachowskis have over-stylized this whole thing. The race sequences look like something that would be projected onto the walls of an automobile-themed rave. It's too fantastic. Too far from the real world. The dizzying, seizure-inducing race reminds me of something like a large scale hot wheels track - on acid. The acting looks over the top, the storyline seems formulaic, and the visual style is far too comic book for my tastes. It will be number one this weekend, but that's only because the other two films being released are even bigger steaming piles of crap than this one.
I really had high hopes that this film was going to be worthwhile. But now I realize that the Wachowskis have just been lured into the stereotypical Hollywood big-budget schlock-fest, pandering to 20 and 30-something's nostalgia of something that was - at best - a lame, poorly animated TV cartoon. And spending over a hundred million dollars to do it.
Yahoo has the first seven minutes of the film available online, just in case you have a need to induce vomiting or something.
What Happens in Vegas (PG-13)
Two strangers awaken together to discover they've gotten married following a night of debauchery in Sin City, and one of them has won a huge jackpot after playing the other's quarter. The newlyweds devise ever-escalating schemes to undermine each other and get their hands on the money – only to find themselves falling in love amid the mutual backstabbing.
Judge's Take: com" with Vegas used as both backdrop and excuse. Everything you need to know about the film comes directly from the synopsis. The only plot twist I would like to see in this flick is that both of these idiots die from alcohol poisoning in the first act and the film is actually only 10 minutes long. Unfortunately that doesn't happen and audiences will be Ugh. Yet another abysmal, cookie cutter "romwaterboarded with all the usual sabotage jokes, pratt falls, and silly, yet oh-so witty lines of dialog. Seriously: did someone actually write this, or was it just one of those computer programs that automatically generates a script based off of the elements you pick for it? Come on, people! Dont be tricked into thinking this film is going to be anything more than an excuse to see two idiots stumble all over the screen. This film suffers from two undeniable facts: Cameron Diaz is no longer cute and Ashton Kutcher cant act. This film is an absolute insult to anyone with even a handful of brain cells left in their cavernous skulls.
What happens in Vegas should not only stay in Vegas, but be taken out behind the casino, beaten with a lead pipe and left for dead.
Meet Bill (R)
Meet Bill - a doormat if there ever was one. A man reduced to a mere accessory to his family by working a dead-end job at his father-in-law's bank and arguing about his overindulgent love for chocolate with his wife Jess, who is loathe to explain her "friendship" with the local news anchorman. But Bill's fate begins to change when he becomes mentor to a self-assured boy who engineers Bill's recovery with the help of a cute lingerie sales girl. Together the trio confront Bill's life with humor and energy while forcing him to fulfill his dream of being financially independent and self-confident.
Judge's Take: Leave your brain at the box office, kids. This one is another rubber-stamp, done-to-death zero-to-hero, cliche romantic comedy. I like Aaron Eckhart and I can only guess that he did this one to keep himself seen in the public eye as a funny, charming kind of guy. But I totally see no reason to see this film. Ooo! Jessica Alba plays a sexy lingerie sales girl that helps Bill gain the confidence he needs to take charge of his life. Blah blah blah. Stupid, stupid stupid.