It’s getting close to the crunch period for a separate project that is taking the majority of my time. For this reason, I’m going to keep these next few weeks shorter than normal. What this means is instead of one film getting the good, bad, and ugly treatment, all new releases will have brief thoughts associated with them.
It’s time to celebrate Independence Day. This would normally mean the biggest heavyweight film of the summer season will soon be upon us. From everything I’ve heard, the one given to us is not worth the hype.
THE LONE RANGER
Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice. *
Brief Thoughts – Disney spent $250 Million to bring this Kentucky native Johnny Depp project to the screens (that does not include its massive marketing budget which is said to be about $150 Million). It’s based on a classic radio show from the early 30’s which in turn became a famous television show from the 50’s. The filmmakers are the same team behind The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. This combination should have resulted in great summer escapism. The early word trickling out is it’s far from decent. Critics have been railing against it, claiming it’s way too long (it clocks in just shy of 2 hours and 30 minutes), overindulgent, and, worst of all, boring. I’m guessing if they had cut 30 to 45 minutes out of it, many of these problems would have been eliminated. As for the huge marketing budget, I have no idea where they spent the money. I had to look up what was the big release for this week before typing this column. If I’m struggling to figure it out, then Disney has failed in marketing their summer tent pole. The trailers appear weak and just past the point of unrealistic to be off-putting. I have no confidence at all in this production.
The Lone Ranger is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material.
DESPICABLE ME 2
Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal. *
Brief Thoughts – I’ve not seen the first one, but I’ve heard it’s quite good. I hope to remedy that situation soon. It probably won’t be in time to catch this new one during its theatrical run, but a discount theater is a strong possibility. The trailer did make me laugh a lot more than many of the so called comedy films this year (the one exception being This is the End). I admit those minions don’t seem to annoy me as much as many other critters that are designed more for marketing then most other children’s movies. Here’s hoping for a quality family movie.
Despicable Me 2 is rated PG for rude humor and mild action.
KEVIN HART: LET ME EXPLAIN
Filmed at a sold-out performance at Madison Square Garden, comedian Kevin Hart delivers material from his 2012 "Let Me Explain" concert tour. *
Brief Thoughts – Stand-up comedy films are always a tough sell. There’s something usually lacking in many of these productions. It’s the feeling of intimacy that comes from a comedian and the crowd. When we see a stand-up act live, we the audience feed off the energy each of us give. We all share in the same joys as the comedian tells funny stories of his misfortunes and observations of life. That’s why things are always funnier with a group than alone. That feeling is lacking in many of these films. That’s not to say there aren’t comedians that transcend the screen and bring us all into the fold. I look towards Richard Pryor, early Eddie Murphy, and Bill Cosby as stand outs in the field. I’m not familiar enough with Kevin Hart’s material to get a sense if he can be one of those few. Unfortunately, the vibe I’m getting from this trailer is that the film resembles more like the recent Katy Perry and Justin Bieber concert documentaries than those classic comedians I mention before.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is rated R for pervasive language including sexual references.
That will do for this week. Tune in next time when giant robots beat up Adam Sandler and crew. Until then, don’t name your band The Lone Rangers. If there’s more than one of you, you’re not exactly lone.
*all movie summaries taken from IMDB.com