We really shouldn't have expected much from a film adaptation of a Saturday Night Live sketch. After all, of the ten movies that the show has spun off, you can count the ones that are entertaining on one hand (The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, Superstar, list over). But the MacGruber sketches are so funny, with a bomb-defusing Will Forte getting held up by father-son issues, political correctness and heroin addiction, that we thought there was no way the movie could fail -- especially with co-star Kristen Wiig on board. But the redband trailer, which surfaced last week, makes it look like a huge mess. Maybe they're focusing on the more risqué elements for this particular trailer, but since it's the first one we've seen, we're gonna go ahead and assume the rest of the movie is like this, meaning a shoestring assembly of far too on-the-nose jokes.
There was a strange phenomenon happening with MacGruber in its early months of test screenings -- the project quickly went from a laughably ill-advised idea to a buzzed-about, anticipated comedy, and nobody could believe it. I saw the movie last night, and I can tell you that although I definitely did laugh quite a bit, it is far from a classic, and anything but brilliant. Stupid, childish, forgettable fun, however? That, it absolutely is. And I think that's all it wants to be.
In the movie The Perfect Storm, two weather patterns merge with a hurricane to form a George Clooney-killing whirlwind of death. I wouldn't say that Away We Go was my perfect storm, but a bunch of me-friendly elements collide in this film, and let's just say there was some light flooding in my pants.
As a TV comedy fan, I have a huge man-crush on The Office's John Krasinski, and have been waiting for him to appear in a movie that did not make me want to hang myself. (Leatherheads was okay, but License to Wed is a license to kill anyone whose name appears on the poster.) Similarly, I miss Maya Rudolph from SNL something awful, and have been looking forward to her film follow-up to Idiocracy. I'll admit to being slightly biased towards these two, but the pair of them teaming up in this movie makes me think the Make-A-Wish Foundation got my letters and bought the whole "I've-got-lupus" story.
Mark Wahlberg has been out promoting Max Payne over the weekend, and in the process making -- and breaking -- a lot of news.
- In a Q&A with ComingSoon.net, Wahlberg said that Darren Aronofsky's The Fighter might not be happening at all, much to Wahlberg's disappointment (and ours). Wahlberg says he's not going to stop training for the tale of real-life boxer Mickey Ward (whom Wahlberg was to play), but that he's doubtful it will happen now, but he wouldn't elaborate, saying it's "too depressing to talk about." Maybe the reason is that Brad Pitt's no longer involved. (I have to wonder: Does Pitt have something against Aronofsky, because he keeps signing up for his movies and lending them a high profile, then dropping out. The Fountain recovered with Hugh Jackman, but sounds like The Fighter might not.
Whether or not you've read the children's book it's based on, you're probably as curious as I am to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the upcoming animated film from Sony. I mean, come on -- it's a movie about food falling from the sky! Even if you don't consider the more horrific aspects of what that implies, it's something that's never been seen on film before -- although Adam Sandler's new movie Bedtime Stories apparently features a hail of gumballs. But does it feature as amazing a cast as Cloudy?
The recent announcement that SNL's parody sketch "MacGruber" would be following MacGyver into movie theaters got us thinking about the state of the SNL movie machine. We haven't seen a new SNL sketch-based movie in a while, probably because the last dozen or so have been terrible, but not all of them have been. Some of the earliest ones, like The Blues Brothers and Wayne's World are classics, and even Superstar and The Waterboy are pretty damn funny. So we shouldn't let travesties like The Ladies' Man and It's Pat keep us from getting funny movies based on funny, funny sketches. The formula can still work, dammit! Here's a bunch of sketches we'd like to see feature-length.
The Tribeca Film Festival in New York City opens tonight, bringing with it a more streamlined approach than usual. Variety says there are 25% less movies and a more centralized means of getting to them, addressing prior complaints from former attendees like me. The festival, co-created by Bobby De Niro to stimulate downtown Manhattan activity after September 11th, is in its seventh year and has the usual mix of the obscure and the mainstream. While the Tribeca Fest doesn't have the Upper West Side snootiness of the New York Film Festival, the French snobbishness of Cannes nor the ghost of Harvey Weinstein a la Sundance, it does have Travis Bickle shooting you at close range if you act up at a screening. So be on your best behavior if you go.
Warning: This review contains spoilers.I think I've figured out J.J. Abrams' recipe for a successful Star Trek reboot:
12 facial tattoos
1 Simon Pegg
1 McCoy impersonator
3 black holes
1 Cloverfield monster
1 green woman in her underwear
Stir vigorously for 126 minutes.