starring Warren Christie and Lloyd Owen. Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego. Rated PG-13.
Since there are two (count ’em – 1, 2) horror movies being released with a PG-13 rating this weekend, please allow me to continue my seemingly year-long rant about this suddenly hip-to-be-tamed genre of 2011. Looking back on my past GM/LMs from ’09 (before they were called GM/LMs), I happened upon the one for the PG-13 remake of The Stepfather – what I said then applies to now. Are we soon going to see G-rated political dramas? Or an NC-17 Cars 3? I understand that an R-rating doesn’t necessarily guarantee a horror to be good, but my feelings are that if a horror is R, there should at least be one instance that earned this rating and therefore won’t completely disappoint. What are you buying with a ticket to a PG-13 horror? I’m betting nothing more than a lot of “Boo!” jumps. How does that shape an individual? What are the odds there will be a scene you will remember forever?
The super secretive marketing campaign for Apollo 18 thoroughly annoys me. Are the filmmakers seriously hoping to achieve the goal of convincing a standard audience that these outer space events really happened – that “the U.S. government” (the new go-to Cobra fleet for Hollywood – and I’m saying that as an overall democrat) couldn’t keep this classified information from the public ever since Lieutenant-Sergeant Bungle handed it over to the nation’s projectionists? I assuredly doubt Alien needed the Blair Witch treatment.
starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson, and Jessica Chastain. Directed by John Madden. Rated R.
Madden – who is not at all the football guy that Frank Caliendo impersonates – is more recognized for period pieces like the surprise 1998 Best Picture winner Shakespeare in Love and 1997’s under-appreciated Mrs. Brown. Here he teams with co-screenwriter Matthew Vaughn (the director fresh off his success with the last X-Men film) with this suspense thriller that follows three secret agents at two different points in their lives – in 1997 and in 1966. My hopes are that the twists of the story are treated with care and not overly abundant. With Madden at the wheel, I don’t think this is too much to expect.
starring Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Tyler Labine, and Will Forte. Directed by Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck. Rated R.
I can’t do it – I’m sorry. I just can’t bring myself to become a fan of Sudeikis’ constantly frozen half-swoon of a mug and radio announcer voice when a much more talented “SNL” alum so soon before him with practically the same stage persona is getting a fairly short end of the stick here. I’m talking, of course, about Chris Parnell. Yes, he does fortunately have his recurring role of Dr. Leo Spaceman on the NBC staple “30 Rock” and every so often appears in a Will Ferrell farce, but – for the love of Phil Hartman! – why doesn’t this extraordinarily funny straight man get a headlining comedy to call his own while Sudeikis – a fitting replacement for Pat Sajak on “Wheel of Fortune” – has been shoved at our faces with three tryingly mediocre films (the others being Hall Pass and Horrible Bosses) and a hosting gig at the MTV Movie Awards? Simply put: Sudeikis is obnoxious, Parnell is not. That being said, maybe it’s a good thing Parnell is escaping this more-than-possibly faux-controversial Zack and Miri Make a Porno ripoff. A cameo by David Koechner in a comedy like this is nearly always a bad omen. Exhibit A: Out Cold.
starring Sarah Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, and Joel David Moore. Directed by David R. Ellis. Rated PG-13.
Well, here’s an exercise in the unnecessary. Reader, you wouldn’t believe how many acquaintances have come up to me while an ad for this film plays in the background and said something to the equivalent of “Why don’t they just get out of the water?” These people might as well be handing me crisp $100 bills – I can’t fully express how relieved I am that average moviegoers know crap when they see it. Besides, how could this teen-destroyer possibly top what is without question the one and only most terrifying shark film of all time? Or, you know, that other one… ?
Return next week for the GM/LM for September 9th, 2011 which will include Warrior with Tom Hardy and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star with Nick Swardson. If you regularly visit Twitter, feel free to follow @gttmovies and @MEIER_in_a_CT for more instant and unadulterated reactions to movies.