REPUBLIBOT WEEKEND MOVIE PREVIEW: Movies Opening 4-16-10

Republibot 1.0
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Alright!! I am done apologizing. So I missed last week. Sue me. You aren’t my boss. You don't tell me what to do. You don't own me. I am Republibot 1.0. I am unique. And intermittently humorous. And occasionally charming. And stuff. So get off my back. But first, be sure to understand this one simple thing: I’ve not seen these movies, nor have I researched any of them. I am putting my trust in my former geek pop culture osmosis powers to help support my very transparently uninformed opionions. All of the film information presented here, including the plot summary, have been pulled from the Opening This Week page of IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/nowplaying/). This week we are previewing Kick-Ass, Death At A Funeral, and Exit Through the Gift Shop, amongst others.

Now, if it is perfectly okay with you, let’s continue this discussion after the jump.

Kick-Ass
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz
Studio: Lionsgate
The Plot: Despite the fact that he has zero superpowers, teenage fanboy Dave Lizewski (Johnson) looks to reincarnate himself as a crime-fighting superhero named Kick-Ass, a decision that will inspire a subculture of copy cats, put his life in danger, and unite him with a similarly minded father-daughter duo (Cage and Moretz).

The Republibot Take: I am looking forward to this movie on a large scale for some reason. I am not sure why. The comic was only decent. It wasn’t mind bending or revolutionary or anything. It was definitely profane and offensive, but I don't generally have a problem with that as long as it is equal opportunity, which it was for the most part. The movie however looks pretty perfect.

All of my comic book geek friends (especially our buddies – even though I think they are a bit embarrassed that we like them – at www.bigshinyrobot.com) have all raved about the movie and all agree that it handles the things that the comic did poorly in a much superior manner.

My plan right now is to sneak out of work at lunch and catch a matinee on opening day.

Death at a Funeral
Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence
Studio: Screen Gems
The Plot: A patriarch's funeral leads to a series of family arguments, revealing dark secrets and possibly murder.

The Republibot Take: I am not sure what to think of this. It is a remake of a Frank Oz film that was dressed up a British comedy of manners. I am actually kinda interested in seeing it based on the cast alone. Plus, the addition of Neil LaBute as a director is a really interesting twist as well.

The Secret in Their Eyes [limited]
Director: Juan José Campanella
Stars: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
The Plot: A retired criminal court investigator (Darin) works on a novel based on a 25-year-old unsolved murder case that still haunts him.

The Republibot Take: This sounds like a laugh a minute. A knee-slapping good time.

Well, maybe not really. It actually sounds kinda depressing.

Ugh… Now I am obsessing on what the secret in their eyes could be. What are they hiding!! I demand answers!! But I demand them in a zany way embedded in a madcap adventure amidst bikini clad scene stealers.

Exit Through the Gift Shop [limited]
Director: Banksy
Stars: Banksy, Thierry Guetta, Space Invader
Studio: Producers Distribution Agency (PDA)
The Plot: In his attempt to locate an interview venerable street artist Banksy, documentarian Thierry Guetta finds his camera turned back on himself in what becomes a chronicle of the rise and commercialization of street art.

The Republibot Take: I guess this is where I admit that I am hopelessly unhip. I am familiar with Banksy in a round about way, but couldn’t identify any of his work. I would assume anything painted on a public building would have as good a chance as any to me to be one of his works.

I really don't get the deification of “artists” at all. We have the same problem with politicians. We raise these people who really aren’t terribly smarter than anyone else up onto these pillars and then when they screw up – which they all will because all they are after all is said and done are just fallible, weak humans – we burn them at the stake. And then we anguish over it for years afterwards.

I am a firm believer that art is solely in the eyes of the beholder. Any value we place in a work is based solely on whatever value we are willing to place there. And once an artist figures out what is valued and focuses on creating works to meet that expectation, it is no longer art, but commerce.

Anyway, I am sure the movie is interesting in a general sense, but not in the sense that Banksy is a genius. As smart as Stephen Hawking is about physics, I bet he couldn’t name the full original line-up of SCTV. What an idiot.

The Joneses [limited]
Director: Derrick Borte
Stars: Demi Moore, David Duchovny, Amber Heard
Studio: Roadside Attractions
The Plot: A picture-perfect family move into a gated community, where they instantly charm their neighbors, who are unaware the new arrivals are secret employees of a marketing company.

The Republibot Take: Can David Duchovny not make a decent script choice? The guy is seriously talented, but he can’t help but pick lame movies to star in. And the two X-Files movies are only a small sampling of the cinematic crap in which he has participated.

He needs to do a superhero movie, or a sequel to Evolution. That is the only thing that will salvage his career in my eyes. Or a new season of Red Shoe Diaries. Except this time on Disney channel and aimed at a teeny bopper audience.

The Perfect Game
Director: William Dear
Stars: Clifton Collins Jr., Cheech Marin, Moises Arias
Studio: IndustryWorks Pictures
The Plot: In 1957, a baseball team from Monterrey, Mexico looks poised to become the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series.

The Republibot Take: So, does anyone want to take a stab at putting together some statistics that allows one to estimate how many different sports there are to different races or oppressed minority groups or individuals so we can see just how many more times we have to see this same movie before they are done making it and remaking it?

If I have to sit through one more pandering, uninspired, clockwork movie that rehashes this same territory I swear I am going to grumble sourly and possibly even avoid the movies completely when they ultimately show up on TNT or FX or USA and are showed repeatedly during their basic cable world premier.

I’m so sorry that I missed last week. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. I swear I will never let it happen again. You mean too much to me. I don’t know what I was thinking. I swear, I will never miss another week again.

Just to show you sincere I am, I do solemnly swear that next week I will, without any preparation or critical thought at all, preview The Losers (which is looking great), The Back-up Plan (which looks just absolutely painful), and Oceans (which looks just a little bit wet), amongst others…

Until then, see you in the comments.

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