What to See This Weekend: 2/7/14

I understand that people do not have the money to see newly released films. So I decided to break down each new release and hopefully this will help you choose the film that best suits your tastes. Warning, I have not seen any of these films yet; so I cannot attest to the quality.

Wide Releases

The LEGO movie (Rated PG, 100 minutes)


Genre: Obviously this is a children’s flick, but instead of solely being stop-motion or animation, it blends both styles. The movie seems to parody everything from pop culture to real people; I would not call it an exact parody but it contains the similar ‘off the wall’ elements.

Plot: An ordinary LEGO figure, Emmet (Chris Pratt), is mistaken for the Master Builder and must help the heroes of the world defeat Lord business (Will Ferrell) from gluing the universe together.

Director(s): This is the third film from writer and director duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They have previously directed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and 21 Jump Street: both were critical and financial successes. They do not have a distinct directorial voice, however, they have directed two hilarious films.

Cast: While this film is more about the animation, it does boast a fantastic group of voices: Will Arnett, Christ Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Allison brie, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, and even Morgan Freeman.  The ability to get this many stars bodes well for the quality of the film.

Trailer: I fell in love with the trailer, however, not everyone has talked highly of this film. In fact, I have seen the preview several times in theaters; sometimes people laughed, while other times the audience remained awkwardly silent.

Metacritic Score: Even though I wanted to see The LEGO Movie, I did not think the reviews would be this positive. Based on thirty-five reviews, the film has an average score of 81 out of 100.

Should You See It: If the reader got any indication from this article, he or she knows I want to see The LEGO Movie. But now that this got amazing reviews, I cannot recommend it enough. It seems like a cute kids movie that any adult who has played with LEGOS (and had an imagination) could enjoy.

The Monuments Men (Rated PG-13, 118 minutes)


Genre: Obviously this falls under a war film; however, with the PG-13 rating I am going to assume that it is more of a biopic drama. It is important to note that The Monuments Men is based on a true story; hopefully it will avoid the normal biopic clichés.

Plot: An unlikely platoon attempts to rescue stolen art before the Nazis destroy it.

Director: This one was written and directed by Clooney himself; Clooney seems to be a hit or miss director. He directed the amazing Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and the Oscar nominated Good Night, and Good Luck. After the latter film, people were expecting the best from Clooney, but after, he delivered the sub-par Leatherheads and the average Ides of March. When one expects the best from the director, he or she will be disappointed by an average film. For instance, a quick comparison would be if Affleck followed Argo with several disappointing projects.

Cast: Essentially the cast is why I would see this. Besides Clooney the cast includes Matt Damon, Billy Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin (The Artist). This is an impressive cast that boasts potential; just saying the names alone would be reason enough to see the film.

Trailer: I loved the initial trailer with the song ‘Kiss the Sky.’ However, the second trailer made me nervous because the two trailers had completely different tones: the first one had humor, while the second trailer looked like a straight drama. This made me wonder, will this film have a tonal issue? And if I am wondering that, I already doubt the film.

Metacritic Score: Currently based on thirty-three reviews, the film has an average of 53 out of 100. The score falls into the mediocre range, and again, makes me nervous to see the movie.

Should You See It: I have always wanted to see this film; it is a World War II drama with a twist. Instead of blowing things up, they are attempting to save culturally significant items. But should you see it? Between the mixed tonal issues of the trailer and how the flick got pushed from December to February, I am really hesitant to recommend The Monuments Men. If the reader likes Clooney’s films then I would recommend it; however, if the reader is like me and feels that Clooney’s directorial efforts have varied in quality, then I would tell him or her to wait and rent.

Vampire Academy (PG-13, 104 minutes)


Genre: The IMDB page has it listed under action comedy, and fantasy; however, I am ‘going out on a limb’ to call this a tween film. I miss the days when vampires did not sparkle; as much as I loved Interview with the Vampire, I blame it for the state of vampire films today.

Plot: I have no idea. The trailer did not really tell a plot; it basically looked like Mean Girls but in a vampire school. And when I attempted to read the plot on IMDB, it looked like a different language: “Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story.” Does anybody know what that means? If so, did anyone get that from the trailers?

Director: Mark Waters is a ‘hack’ director who has been around for awhile. He has made a living off tween flicks and has even made one or two good films (Mean Girls): but I am going to say that the good films were more out of luck than his talent. Usually, when a director’s filmography reads like a list of ‘Disney Channel exclusives,’ one could tell that he is not a quality director.

Cast: Again, I do not mean to crap on this film, but the cast reads like an ABC Family television show. I do not really know the lead actresses Zooey Deutch and Lucy Fry; both of them have done less than eleven projects. The more famous part of the cast is former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects).

Trailer: As one could tell this is not a film for me; I hold hatred for this film for ultimately no reason. Even though I am supposed to be impartial and give all films a decent shot, I would not see this film if my life depended on it. So after saying all that, one could assume my thoughts on trailer.

Metacritic Score: Even though this film comes out today, Friday February 7th, there are no reviews posted. This usually means the studio knows it is a bad movie and they refuse to screen the film for critics. They do this because if the critics ‘bad-mouth’ a film it could affect the box office.

Should You See It: I know I have been complaining about Vampire Academy; but the real question is should you see it? If one likes tween movies then I would tell him or her to see it; but remember that this film was not screened before critics. To everyone else out there, I would tell them to avoid this film at all costs. Do not give this film your money just because there is nothing else out there; let the studios know that they should not make bad films. I mean we will never change the studio system; but hopefully, next time a studio will hesitate before making a bad movie.

Prediction of Box Office Winner:

The LEGO Movie


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