Weekend Openings (June 17-19)


Father’s Day weekend sees the release of a superhero action flick, a family comedy about a man who learns about the TRULY important things in life, and an indie dramedy about a depressed teenager who learns…the same lesson.  Boy, haven’t seen any of these kinds of films in a while, have we?

I CANNOT be the only person who thinks this movie is going to suck... For whatever reason, there’s been a lot of excitement building up for Green Lantern based on its trailer(s), which I can’t understand since everything I’ve seen of the film so far looks like every superhero origin story told ad nauseum via a barrage of gratuitous CGI vomit.  The story involves a cocky fighter pilot (Ryan Reynolds) who is chosen to join an intergalactic brigade of heroes when an evil force threatens Earth.  So far critics have been agreeing with my instincts, complaining that it’s overproduced, joyless, derivative, and impossible for anyone outside of the comics’ diehard fans to really understand it.  Since there doesn’t seem to be that much competition this weekend (sorry, but I just don’t see Super 8 being the cultural phenomenon that it was anticipated to be), I think it’ll end up topping the box office with $40-45 million.  Conservative, I know, but right on the heels of Thor and X-Men: First Class, I cannot be the only person who’s getting sick of superhero origin stories…right?

Jim Carrey stars in the beloved children’s book adaptation Mr. Popper’s Penguins, about a workaholic whose life is turned upside-down when he inherits six wacky penguins.  Gee, do you think the penguins will teach him the value of being a family man at the end?  Aw, maybe I’m just being a sourpuss.  The majority of critics are giving the film positive, if unenthusiastic notices, mainly due to Jim Carrey’s still-got-it comic energy.  Actually, “unenthusiastic” appears to describe the current state of anticipation of Mr. Popper’s Penguins from general audiences.  Just about every source I’ve tracked – Facebook, Twitter, Fandango, etc. – does not bode well for the film, and with family-friendly Cars 2 only a week away, it looks like this release will flounder with $10-15 million at the end of the weekend.

Another for the pile, I suppose... In limited release is The Art of Getting By, starring Freddie Highmore as a brooding, ambitionless teenager who falls in love with a Manic Pixie Dream Girl played by Emma Roberts…presumably because Zooey Deschanel was unavailable.  Critics have dismissed Gavin Wiesen’s debut as an artificial, formulaic rip-off of dozens of other (better) indie hipster films, and is at this point most likely destined to join The Wackness and Away We Go as a failed bid to attract Oscar voters with its self-conscious “quirkiness.”

Sigh…I’m usually not this grouchy, I swear.  There’s going to be (hopefully) some releases to get excited about over the next few weeks.  If you take your dear old dad to any of these films, let us know right here on The Awards Circuit!