GOT ME/LOST ME – May 27, 2011

As if I need to report it by now, the summer movie season is finally here. I expect things to really pick up this week. Here are my quick verdicts on the movies being released for the week of May 27th.


The Hangover: Part II

starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Ken Jeong. Directed by Todd Phillips. Rated R.

While I was killing time on the website for Entertainment Weekly, I read an interesting study on the common patterns of sequels. They said something that rang pretty true to me: Sequels to comedies often bomb (many examples were cited, primarily those of the Austin Powers franchise). However, this conveniently timed piece by the popular magazine brings me to another pattern I’ve recently noticed: Pretty much everyone expects The Hangover: Part II to horribly fail. This is precisely the same overall mindset that occurred just before the original. The first Hangover wasn’t perfect, but a failure it most certainly was not.

I really hope the Bangkok-set flick is not as racist as it has the potential to be. Then again, they did make headlines by declining the Mel Gibson cameo for moral reasons…



Kung Fu Panda 2

starring the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, and Gary Oldman. Directed by Jennifer Yuh. Rated PG.

The original had some terrific vocal casting and was a whole lot of fun. In this one, Oldman plays an evil peacock. As if Oldman playing a villain isn’t enough of a draw (and if that’s not a draw to you yet,… Hi! Welcome to Earth!), they also fit Jean-Claude Van Damme into the already star-packed cast. It will be cool to see the martial arts moves animated with CG again.



The Tree of Life

starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw, and Sean Penn. Directed by Terrence Malick. Rated PG-13.

It won the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival last weekend but was also reportedly booed at its screening. We seem to have another peculiar, not-for-everyone existential film on our hands with this story of a father-son relationship in turmoil. I have to be in the right kind of mood for this type of dramatic genre, but the magnificent cinematography in the trailer looks to be helping me with that. I’ve never seen a Malick film before,… (I’ll pause so you can have time to gasp)….. but I’m finally beginning to think that I’m missing something significant as a lover of film.



United Red Army

starring Maki Sakai, Arata, Akie Namiki, and Gô Jibiki. Directed by Kôji Wakamatsu. Not rated.

At best, this Japanese offering looks like one of the obscure, shoestring-budget action films that Quentin Tarantino might fancy (and I could be saying that in part because it was first released four years ago). Not to knock on Tarantino – a gifted writer/director with the powers of persuasion and the gift of gab – but have you ever tried watching one of his recommendations before? In most cases, it can be quite a chore. Again, this isn’t one Tarantino has praised (so far), but I could see a little film like this at least appearing on his radar – optimistically speaking.



Return next Monday or Tuesday (I always shoot for Monday) for the GM/LM for June 3rd, 2011. If you go on Twitter, feel free to follow @MEIER_in_a_CT along with @gttmovies for the complete rush of movie geekdom.

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