There's something for everyone at the movies this weekend. If you want a shoot-em-up action-adventure flick, you've got one. If you want a romcom, you've got one. And if you want a kid's flick, you've got that, too.
The Five Year Engagement
Jason Segal seems to play one character over and over, and he does it very well. From Forgetting Sarah Marshall to the Muppets and now with The Five Year Engagement, Segal perfect his sappy, devoted boyfriend-next-door routine to play Emily Blunt's five-year fiance. The flick has a host of guest spots from comic actors, includding Rhys Ifans, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, and Chris Pratt to sweeten the deal for those not up for a romcom.
Perfect For: If you're going on a date, this would be a safe bet: it has enough raunch to satisfy the men in the crowd (thanks to producer Judd Apatow's (40 Year Old Virgin) involvment, and Nicholas Stoller's screenplay (of Forgetting Sarah Marshall fame). And it has enough of a gooey center to satisfy the ladies who want romance in their comedy (also: Segal is only second to Paul Rudd for most heart-ed comedy leading man ever.)
What the Critics Say: It's funny, but imperfect and could've used some scissors in the editing room. Writes Glenn Kenny of MSN.com."Those who've been mourning the death of the intelligent romantic comedy need mourn no more: This is the smartest, most likable such film I've seen in years, even if you might think it does need to have its mouth washed out with soap." The AP is less kind: "Halfway through you want to yell at the screen for them to run off to Las Vegas and just get it over with already; then again, it becomes increasingly difficult to root for them to stay together when they seem to be headed down such divergent paths."
Our Take: We'd see it. We like Segal and Blunt and they look like a good time for two hours.
Jason Statham stars as a reformed down-and-out cage fighter, who went the criminal route after leaving the police force, who finds redemption in the form of a 12-year old girl. When he sees that she's being followed on the subways by the same bad guys who killed his family, he swerves in to protect her and finds out she holds the valuable, mathmatical key to cracking a code that his ex-nemesis needs. In the process, he bonds with the little girl while kicking bad guy butt.
Perfect For: Guys will like the spy thriller and shoot-em-up aspect; their female dates will like the Statham-little girl storyline.
What the Critics Say: Good for a Jason Statham flick (which is not the same as good). Indiewire.com writes in a review titled, "Twisty, Action-Packed NYC Noir 'Safe' Is The Finest Jason Statham Actioner Yet": The finest of the generic output of action stud Jason Statham, 'Safe' is a take-no-prisoners crowd-pleasing asskicker, one that invests its familiar mob war trappings with the forward momentum that can only be provided by a filmmaker smart about genre." The Hollywood Reporter is less impressed, saying its more of the same one-note action: "Millions of loyal, undemanding fans who have already made Statham a one-man action franchise will doubtless flock to make his latest star vehicle a solid multiplex hit, but anyone expecting him to diversify into more complex material in the tradition of Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone should sit this one out."
The Pirates!: Band of Misfits
In most of children's lore, pirates are bad, bad, no good, and very bad. But in The Pirates! Band of Misfits, the captain and his ship are too silly and disorganized to be much in the way of villainy. It helps, of course, that the animated pirate is voiced by Brit actor Hugh Grant, making his first foray in the world of celebrity animation. Meanwhile, a sexy piratess is played by Selma Hayek. The plot is thin: the pirate wants to win the Pirate of the Year Awards and so he tries and fails to plunder booty from any number of ships in order to take home the prize. Directed by Peter Lord (Chicken Run), it also features Jeremy Piven, Brendan Gleeson, and David Tennant in character roles.
Perfect For: The whole family.
What the Critics Say: They love ye olde fashioned stop-motion animation. Variety: "After dipping its toes into pure CG animation for Arthur Christmas, Aardman integrates its feted old-school stop-motion technique with top-drawer visual effects to create the irrepressibly amusing The Pirates! Band of Misfits." The Hollywood Reporter: "A delightful romp whose varied pleasures should please kids all along the age spectrum."
Our Take: If we had kids, sure, we'd watch it.