1. Jack Reacher (Paramount, 3,352 Theaters, 130 Minutes, Rated PG-13): So, the problem with this film is not that Tom Cruise is trying to play a bad ass. He’s starred in the Mission Impossible films, and he had bad ass moments in all of them.
The problem is that he is playing a character described in the novels the film is adapted from as being a 6’5″bruiser. No matter what you think of Cruise’d acting skills, there’s no way the 5’7″ actor can pull off looking almost a foot taller.
Of course, the last time Cruise was criticized for being miscasted as a popular literary character–Lestat in Interview With a Vampire–he acquitted himself quite nicely. So, maybe the same will happen here.
2. This Is 40 (Universal, 2,912 Theaters, 134 Minutes, Rated R): Judd Apatow is billing this as the “sort-of sequel” to Knocked Up. “Sort-of” is right. Outside of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann (Apatow’s wife) as Pete and Debbie and Maude and Iris Apatow (Apatow and Mann’s daughters), the only other person from the original cast is Jason Segel, who, if I recall correctly, had little or no contact with either Pete or Debbie in the orginal film. IMDB doesn’t show either Seth Rogen or Katherine Heigl, who played Debbie’s sister, in the cast list.
But it appears that this film is trying to attract the same audience. Good luck with that. Ilike Apatow’s work, but Knocked Up focused on a bunch of 20-something stoners goofing around until life butted in. This is about a pair of 40-year-olds dealing with the fact that they are on the cusp of not being able to be called young and beginning to be called old. I don’t see a lot of cross over in those audiences.