Hitting movie theaters this weekend:
The Hangover Part II - Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms
Kung Fu Panda 2 - Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan
Movie of the Week
The Hangover Part II
The Stars: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms
The Plot: Right after their infamous Las Vegas bachelor party, 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.
The Buzz: Like many wines and cheeses before him, Hangover II writer/director Todd Phillips has aged well. With Road Trip, his directorial debut, he made a film just funny enough to facilitate the production of his 2nd film, the far superior, Old School. From there Phillips helmed Starsky and Hutch, which was respected well enough, for what it was, before taking a major misstep with School for Scoundrels. Phillips bounced back big-time from his first flop, with 2009′s The Hangover, which brought in $277 million at the box office — a mere $260 million more than School for Scoundrels.
Coming off the major success of The Hangover, Phillips followed with Due Date, which received rather mixed reviews, and came across as a bit of a disappointment to many. It brought in a somewhat underwhelming $100 million domestically, or just barely over one-third of The Hangover's take. I imagine for many of Phillips' fans, The Hangover Part II represents a potential bounce-back -- perhaps time for a little redemption?
Every Friday we'll have new reviews of the latest films.
New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:
Anton Chekhov's The Duel (BD/DVD) - Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Tobias Menzies
The Big Bang (BD/DVD) - Antonio Banderas, Thomas Kretschmann, William Fichtner
Burning Palms (BD/DVD) - Zoe Saldana, Jamie Chung, Lake Bell
Gettysburg: Director's Cut (BD) - Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang
Gnomeo & Juliet (BD/DVD) - James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith
Gods and Generals: Extended Director's Cut (BD) - Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels
The Great Dictator [Criterion] (BD) - Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie
I Am Number Four (BD/DVD) - Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron
Le Mans (BD) - Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen
Papillon (BD) - Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory
Platoon (BD) - Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Public Speaking (DVD) - James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, Truman Capote
Solaris [Criterion] (BD/DVD) - Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet
Blu-ray/DVD of the Week
I Am Number Four
The Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron
The Plot: John (Pettyfer) is a teen not of this earth, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student in order to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him.
The Buzz: I enjoyed this film a lot, but I didn't like it near as much as Disturbia or Eagle Eye, director D.J. Caruso's two previous films. Pettyfer is a little bland, Agron is too Britney Spears, and the giant dog alien at the end of the film was just dumb. Still the film does have a lot of spirit and I love Teresa Palmer (she should have had a lot more screen time) and Timothy Olyphant is the man. Some neat special effects and good high school hijinks. All in all, an entertaining romp, as long as one's expectations are meager.
Check out our reviews of these movies and more ...