Oh my fur and whiskers, here we are we are on the first Friday of the month, and me without a preview already done. Grad school, my friends, is fun and invigorating right up until the point that it definitely isn’t.
Anyway, this will be fast and a little perfunctory, but that kind of sums up my feelings for most of the month’s offerings, anyway.
With Avengers: Infinity War having quite buggered the schedule, I present to you the lowest-key May opening weekend of the 21st Century, and the first since 2006, when Mission: Impossible III kicked off the summer, not to host a movie adapted from Marvel comic books. On the other hand, it has not one but two of Carrie’s most-anticipated films of the spring, and I guess we might as well think of it as a spring weekend again? Because I’m damn sure not going to say that summer starts in April, and that makes the big “first movie of summer” two weeks in the future, still.
Anyway, the films: Overboard, a simply dreadful-looking remake that substitutes in horrifying racial politics for horrifying gender politics, and Tully, the newest collaboration of writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman. I don’t really like either of those individuals together or apart, and a couple people I trust a lot mostly didn’t care for the film, but it has strong reviews, at least.
Lastly, there’s this thing called Bad Samaritan, a terrible-looking thriller directed by Dean Devlin, producer of awful popcorn movies whose first directorial effort was last fall’s dreadfully dull, not even campy Geostorm. I’m not super excited for it, I guess you could say.
There are good Melissa McCarthy movies, and there are terrible Melissa McCarthy movies, and the clearest way to tell one from the other is to check and see whether her husband, Ben Falcone, was involved in making it. Those are the terrible ones. Falcone directed Life of the Party, and that pretty much seals it up as far as I’m concerned, except that Carrie picked this one for her summer most-anticipated list, so I’m stuck watching it anyway.
The other wide release, Breaking In, is obviously going to be a trashy potboiler – a home invasion thriller starring Gabrielle Union as the suburban normie who has to turn into a badass – but maybe there will be something there. For one, I always root for Gabrielle Union. For two, it’s damn short, and short thrillers are always welcome.
Alright, this is a summer movie: Deadpool 2. I wasn’t all that hot on the first one, and this looks like more of the same, but there are two reasons I’m going to hold out a smidgen of hope: first, the trailer looks incrementally better than last time. Second, the film was directed by David Leitch, whose Atomic Blonde was my favorite film of last summer. So my fingers are crossed. Rob, for his part, has much more than a smidgen of hope.
Elsewhere, it’s the most obvious possible counter-programming to an R-rated action comedy. On the one hand, Book Club, a slightly naughty movie about old people with sex drives that has a fucking jam-packed cast of famous old people: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Richard Dreyfuss, Candice Bergen, Craig T. Nelson, Ed Begley Jr, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, and to top it all of, my boy Wallace Shawn. Fuck the Avengers, that’ the obviously-mediocre all-star team-up I’m excited for. On the other hand, Show Dogs, about Will Arnett as a cop with a talking dog partner voiced by Ludacris. It’s early, but Worst of 2018 honors might be all sewed up after this one.
Also, I would not necessarily know to be excited for First Reformed, a limited release character drama about religious guilt (and therefore, to nobody’s surprise, a Paul Schrader film), except that I’ve already seen it, and it is great, so you should see it too.
On 25 May, it will have been 161 days – less than five and a half months – since the last Star Wars film, and I’m sorry, but that’s just not enough of a refractory period. That would be true even if Solo: A Star Wars Story sounded like a good idea, which it doesn’t, and had a more interesting director patching it together than Ron Howard, which it doesn’t either.