James Franco and Those Great Apes trounced the movie competition this weekend with $54 million bucks – pretty impressive. It’s a movie I won’t ever see because it’s way too violent and creepy and I’m not into animal devastation films (The Birds, Arachnophobia, Snakes on a Plane, etc). But what is noteworthy – and I hope all of you who saw Rise of The Planet of the Apes will comment here – is the fact that Andy Serkis, who plays the chimp Caesar, is already getting buzz about an Oscar nomination. Any merit to this chatter, in your opinion??
The movie I saw this weekend won’t get any Oscar buzz. It didn’t even get very good reviews. Largely because it’s a silly, raunchy film with three extremely appealing actors: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds and Leslie Mann, who are all far better than the film itself. Don’t get me wrong, The Change-up is perfectly diverting and lots of lowbrow fun. You will forget where you are for two hours, hands down. Although your mind may begin to wander back to all the other body-swap movies, and you may begin to think you’ve seen better ones. You may also find it a bit vulgar – but then you have the writing team behind the first Hangover to thank for that.
Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds will still laugh all the way to the bank on this one, because even though it’s not doing particularly well at the box office ($13.5 million) it will — I am absolutely certain — do gangbusters as a rental. It’s that kind of movie and even though there are those who won’t see this in a theater (for any number of reasons) they will easily and effortlessly fork it over in their own living room.
I’ve frequently asked you all about actors (or actresses) who can singlehandedly propel you into a theater. Even when you know the film might be a stinker. For many moviegoers it’s a Clooney, or a Depp, or a Pitt that powers that ticket purchase. Jason Bateman is that guy for me, and I know that Ryan Reynolds is that guy for plenty of people. Leslie Mann (not a household name just yet, but she wowed audiences in The 40-Year Old Virgin & Knocked Up) is also hilarious. So I went to watch Jason Bateman do his exasperated, buttoned-up, everyman schtick, and the best part? He does it beautifully — but then when he and Reynolds swap identities, they’re both even funnier. Evidently, the movie came close to getting an NC-17 rating and if you watch you’ll see why. Many, many bad words and plenty of bare-chested ladies. I laughed a lot and enjoyed the actors plenty even if the plot was ultra-flimsy and predictable. Which brings up the old why-do-we-go-to-the-movies-in-the-first-place question…to which there are many answers, of course. But when you’ve seen just about everything else in your genre wheelhouse this summer, there really are worse things than eating junk food in an air-conditioned room while watching Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds in a funny if forgettable film.
2) 17 Again
3) Freaky Friday
4) Vice Versa