This Weekend At The Movies (May 27-29)

So this holiday weekend sees two big releases coming out, each targeting a very different demographic.  We also have a Terrence Malick film in limited release.  Also, here in Columbus, Hobo with a Shotgun gets a few screenings for the very first time and you better believe I’ll be there for one of them!

THE HANGOVER: PART II (MP’s Pick of the Week)

Directed by Todd Phillips.  Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Tambor and Jamie Chung.

Right after the bachelor party in Las Vegas, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug jet to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. Stu’s plan for a subdued pre-wedding brunch, however, goes seriously awry.

It’s probably no doubt that this will be a big hit this weekend.  The original was very popular and garnered a large fanbase.  I know a lot of people that have been anticipating this film.  I am looking forward to it as well, but perhaps not as much as others.  I did enjoy the first one in the theater and enjoy all the actors that are in the movie but it wasn’t my favorite comedy of the year by any stretch.  After seeing the trailer for part two, it looked like we were being treated to essentially the same movie as the first but in a different location.  Sadly, the reviews aren’t so hot for the sequel and it seems that we are in fact getting the same story but with more extreme situations.  Is that a bad thing?  I’m not sure.  When you go to a movie like The Hangover, you aren’t going to be wowed by originality in story, you are going because you want to laugh.  I think the sequel has the opportunity to capitalize on the original and make for a better experience this time around.  It has hindsight in its corner to realize what worked and what didn’t and to improve upon it.  I really think that you shouldn’t give the reviews too much thought and just go and have a fun time.  If you are a fan of the original, I honestly don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy the sequel.  I will see it because I enjoy the actors and I know I’ll laugh and really, what more could you want from this kind of movie?


Directed by Jennifer Yuh.  Starring (the voices of) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Angelina Jolie, David Cross and Michelle Yeoh.

Po joins forces with a group of new kung-fu masters to take on an old enemy with a deadly new weapon.

I actually enjoyed Kung Fu Panda.  It was fun and felt like it was made for a kid’s enjoyment but didn’t insult an adult’s intelligence.  The humor also didn’t feel like the jokes were made for adults, like the Shrek movies.  I’m not a fan of Dreamworks output of family friendly CG-animated movies.  With Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon however, they’ve upped their game as far as entertainment that everyone can enjoy.  There are actually some pretty nice visuals in the trailer for the sequel and it looks like the scope of the story has grown from the original.  So I will happily watch Kung Fu Panda 2, though I will probably wait until it hits blu-ray.

THE TREE OF LIFE (Limited Release)

Written and directed by Terrence Malick.  Starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.

The story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.

Did you know this movie contains dinosaurs?  It really does.  Not in the same sense that Jurassic Park has dinosaurs but it is because this movie is supposed to be a look at the history of life (hence the title).  So you won’t be seeing Brad Pitt or Sean Penn running away from any velociraptors or anything.  I actually don’t know too much about the movie other than what I’ve seen from the trailer, which doesn’t give away any of the story really.  But if you are going to see this movie, it’s a fair guess that you’ve seen a Terrence Malick film before or are at least aware of his films.  I, personally, have only seen The Thin Red Line and thought that it was a really interesting film but saw it so many years ago that I don’t remember too much about it (I just got the Criterion blu-ray of that film and will be revisiting it here shortly).  But I think The Tree of Life should be worth a look if you are into a films that make you think about the big and small aspects of life.  I have a feeling this movie could end up being a great discussion movie.


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