This week’s Now Playing concerns a nasty political race, a PG-13 comedy about sex, and a movie wondering what Johnny Knoxville would do if he had to tone down his shtick. First, we need to reopen the Treadstone files and realize there was never just one.
THE BOURNE LEGACY
An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films. *
The Good – The Bourne series have always delivered in the high octane action department. What directors Doug Limen and Paul Greengrass, along with Matt Damon, have brought is a more realistic take on the action genre that has changed the usual MO for action scenes. Its influence can be felt in the recent James Bond films, the Total Recall reboot, and The Hunger Games, just to name a select few. Jeremy Renner (Paper Dragons) takes the mantle from Matt Damon as a new character named Aaron Cross, another agent from the Treadstone project. Jeremy has put a stamp on quite a few things recently (The Avengers, Mission Impossible) but has not worn out his welcome… yet. I still look forward to a movie when I see his name attached.
The Bad – Despite the name, I refuse to acknowledge this a Bourne movie. If Jeremy Renner was playing a version of Jason Bourne, then I can understand using the name. Instead he is playing a separate character entirely, with Matt Damon only appearing as a photo on a news report. It’s fine to be set in the same universe as the previous films, just call the movie something else. For example, it could be called The Treadstone Legacy. The name establishes its connections to the Bourne series while also setting itself up as something different. The Bourne name is only there for marketing purposes and to sucker the audience into parting with their money.
The Ugly – I’m thinking of what would be left of the guy who would be on the opposite side of Damon and Renner if the proposed Bourne 5 film is made, utilizing both of them. The cleaners may need a mop.
The Bourne Legacy is rated PG-13 for violence and action sequences.
In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center. *
The Good – The film is directed by Jay Roach, who has helmed the Austin Powers series and Meet the Parents. It also stars the comedic talents of Will Farrell (Criminal Hearts) and Zach Galifianakis (Flushed). If all bring their A-game, this film could challenge Ted for best comedy of the summer.
The Bad – Then again, it could also challenge That’s My Boy for the worst. In the Will Farrell filmography, there are quite a few duds. For every Anchorman and Stranger than Fiction, there is a Semi-Pro or a Land of the Lost to make us ponder his abilities. Those two films are so bad that they make me question my sanity for subjecting myself to their horrors. The jury is still out on this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if The Campaign turns into another unfunny mess.
The Ugly – Here is the requisite statement about real life politics being more of a mess then The Campaign.
The Campaign is rated R for crude sexual content, language and brief nudity.
After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship. *
The Good – Tommy Lee Jones (Black Moon Rising), Meryl Streep (She-Devil) and Steve Carell (H.U.D.) are the headliners for this comedy that would mostly appeal to the older crowd. It resembles the Jack Nicholson/Diane Keaton film Something’s Gotta Give, a film that was only OK (it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it). All three actors are solid and this film appears to be entertaining enough to warrant a matinee date with your significant other.
The Bad – While a nice alternative to the slam bang summer blockbusters that litter these dog days of summer, I am not expecting this movie to make much in the terms of box office. It should be a decent amount from the folks looking for an escape from Superheroes and explosions, but it may be quickly forgotten like Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was at the start of the summer.
The Ugly – The two leads are looking to bring back the intimacy in their relationship. I’m trying not to picture Tommy Lee Jones in that situation. (shudder)
Hope Springs is rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving sexuality.
NITRO CIRCUS: THE MOVIE 3D
Travis Pastrana and his tight-knit, highly-skilled, adrenaline-addicted friends bring their impossible, ridiculous, insane and hysterical adventures to the big screen for the first time. *
The Good – Think of a tamer Jackass.
The Bad – Think of a tamer Jackass.
The Ugly – Think of a tamer Jackass.
Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D is rated PG-13 for depiction of extreme and dangerous stunts throughout, and for language.
That will do for this week. Tune in next time when The Expendables solve all the world’s problems, 80’s Action Movie Style!!! Until then, please refrain from punching babies. I don’t think that will help your campaign.
*all summaries taken from IMDB.com