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Weekend Preview – April 26, 2013

The Big Wedding Poster

It’s a weekend of comedies, though the two films could not be any more different.

Pain and Gain Poster

Pain & Gain

Michael Bay takes a break from giant robots and even bigger explosions with a much lower budget and smaller scale film than he’s directed lately. Based on the real life exploits of the Sun Gym Gang,” Pain and Gain is the story of a group of criminal bodybuilders, portrayed here by Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Mackie in this extremely dark comedy.

Inspired by motivational speaker Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong), Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg) decides it’s high time he and his good friend Adrian Doorbal (Mackie) have the money to go with their bodies. Recruiting Paul Doyle (Johnson), a fresh out of prison coke addict turned born again Christian and bodybuilder, the three of them put a plan into motion to get themselves rich. What starts as a simple kidnapping extortion scheme turns ugly, though, as their target (Tony Shaloub) proves to be a difficulty and liability. Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris,and Rob Corddry costar.

There are times when the movie works, but other times where it descends into demeaning, comical territory that doesn’t give the weight needed to certain characters or situations.  The production values are high, the wits are sharp, but the morals are low.  You may like this, but should wonder if you should.

Read my full review here.



The Big Wedding Poster

The Big Wedding

Every year gets at least one ensemble comedy and 2013 gives us The Big Wedding – a romanticish comedy with a big cast and a big wedding they’re all involved in.  The ensemble rundown looks like this:  Robert De NiroKatherine Heigl, Diane KeatonAmanda Seyfried, Topher Grace and Susan Sarandon with Robin WilliamsBen Barnes, Christine Ebersole, David Rasche, Patricia Rae, and Ana Ayora.

With a setup too complicated for a brief summary, the plot boils down to Don and Ellie (De Niro and Keaton) pretending to still be married to keep up appearances for their adopted son’s (Barnes) wedding.

I was surprised to find that it is a comedy first – and not even really a rom-com.  It’s just a comedy that takes place around a wedding.  Yes there are romantic and chick flicky moments, but those things are secondary to it being a funny film.  I actually found much of it funny, though judging by other reviews, I’m one of the only ones, so this might be a hit or miss for you.

Read my full review here.


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