1. Neighbors (Universal, 3,279 Theaters, 96 Minutes, Rated R): Back in 1981, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd co-starred in a film called Neighbors. That film featured a suburban man whose peaceful life was interrupted when a wild neighbor moved in (In a reversal of type, Aykroyd played the wild card, Belushi played the nebbish suburbanite). Audienceswere expecting a wild and ribald film from the pair. What they got was a weird and creepy big budget art film.
It’s looks like that audience might be getting what they expected out of this version. The plots are similar, only this time, it’s a frat house that’s moving into suburbia. Seth Rogen plays a new father who must battle with a fraternity led by Zac Efron that has moved in next door.
It does provide an interesting take on the whole battling neighbors genre. But would a frat house really move into the suburbs? And wouldn’t Rogen be partially to blame for living so close to a university?
2. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (Clarius Entertainment, 2,641 Theaters, 88 Minutes, Rated PG): Speaking of Belushi and Aykroyd, here is Dan partnered with John’s brother Jim–in an animated film. Would this have been John Belushi’s fate if he lived? Gawd, I hope not.
So, this is yet another Wizard of Oz themed film, one of many that might be coming after the success of Oz, the Great and Powerful last year. The film is a sequel to that film, in a way, as Dorothy has to return to Oz to save it and her friends from an evil jester.
I’m not a big fan of the Oz books, but I don’t think that plot was in one. That just adds to the low-rent feel of the film, starting with the studio to the cast to the plot and, well, there are other, higher-rent options out there. So. we’ll see if this dies a quick death or draws in some people this weekend.
3. Mom’s Night Out (TriStar, 1,044 Theaters,98 Minutes, Rated PG): I am always fascinated when movie I have heard of somehow gets a wide release. You know, I do write for a film site. I keep up on things.
Of course, the poorly photoshopped poster doesn’t really tell us much (seriously, are any two of those people even in the same room when the picture was taken?), except that it might be a distaff version of The Hangover. Although, the most famous names (and they aren’t all that famous) are relegated to second billing and in the background of the poster lends itslef to a vanity project.
However, a little digging shows this is the latest entry in the religious film genre, which is giving us about one film a month (and they say that there are too many superhero films). The film follows a bunch of church-going mothers who try to have a night out of a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant away from their kids. Of course, things don’t go the way they plan.
If this was a normal movie, that would result in drunken debauchery and more than one member of the group being passed out. Instead,we get a stolen minivan and a husband on the way to the hospital. I think they were going to have the women get dessert, but feared a PG-13 rating too much.
I guess there is a Christian message in there somewhere. But I don’t like the “Trojan Horse” approach of putting it out there under the radar on Mother’s Day weekend. I’m sure there might be some moms out there who spent their own “Mom’s Night Out ” on this film without knowing what their getting going in.