film Garry Marshall

Some Movies To See This Weekend, April 29, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016 Rob Samuelson

Hollywood probably doesn't expect too much from the last week of April. A movie that projects to be in the top three grossers of the year opens a week from today, so this Friday we’re getting a trio of options that are more for niche audiences. There’s a satire about action movies done by some comedic masters, another holiday-themed hangout movie for big stars, and a video game adaptation. Let’s dive in.

Director: Peter Atencio
Writers: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens
Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Will Forte, Nia Long

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele form one of the best comedic duos in American comedy history, full stop. It’s been less than a year since their Comedy Central sketch show ended, but that’s too long, folks. Too long indeed. But now they’re back and they’ve promoted themselves to the big screen in an action-thriller parody about a man whose new kitten, named after a certain Matrix star, gets kidnapped during a burglary. A rescue mission is mounted by Key and Peele, whose neurotic middle-class existences don’t really fit with the hardened criminals who they encounter along the way.

Regular Key and Peele director Peter Atencio reteams with the pair for what looks like another pitch-perfect (loving) skewering of genre filmmaking. Atencio’s style is slick and eye-popping and he is able to co-opt the look and feel of everything the team tackled on the show. I trust that he will be able to translate those skills to Keanu as well.

Mother’s Day
Director: Garry Marshall
Writers: Tom Hines, Lily Hollander, Anya Kochoff, Matthew Walker
Starring: Britt Robertson, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis

Garry Marshall will go down in history as a television legend for his creation of Happy Days and others. However, his recent filmmaking output has probably made a few people forget about the earlier entries on his resume. His last several directorial efforts have garnered him a reputation for being slam-your-head-against-a-table bad, with his last three feature films being based around various holidays. The all-star casts get to earn an easy paycheck for a short amount of time spent working, because each of Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and now Mother’s Day has an ensemble so large there is no hope for focus.

This time around, characters played by Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, and more navigate motherhood and the issues parents encounter with their children. Jokes about generational divides -- and Jason Sudeikis falling off a balcony -- follow. That’s fine. These performers are all capable, if not great, with comic timing. They can sell these moments. Expecting something profound would be folly. Heck, expecting something entertaining might be folly, too. But they’re trying, folks. They’re trying.

Ratchet & Clank
Directors: Kevin Munroe, Jericca Cleland
Writers: T.J. Fixman, Kevin Munroe, Gerry Swallow
Starring: James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, Paul Giamatti

In an adaptation of the video game series of the same name, space adventurers Ratchet and Clank have to team up to defeat a planet-destroying cadre of bad guys. Along the way, they get motion sickness, make some jokes, and, as the trailer says, “kick some asteroid.” It’s all right. My skin crawled, too, when I heard that.

There doesn’t seem to be much positive going for Ratchet & Clank, but I’m wrong many times a day. I know very little about the world. Plus John Goodman did a voice in the movie. Goodman makes anything better.

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