1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fox, 3,996 Theaters, 131 Minutes, Rated PG-13): This film should have been the equivalent of printing money. The best director the franchise ever had, returning to helm a film that unites the two incarnations of the series’ cast, in a story that loosely adapts one of the legendary stories from the comics themselves. Win, win, win.
Then a nasty lawsuit was issued against director Bryan Singer, accusing him of sexually abusing a minor. The case has yet to be settled, and there are facts that weight in Singer’s favor, but the timing of the lawsuit surely was meant to leech attention off this film.
As a result, my excitement for this film has diminished, as I am now in the ‘should I hate the artist, but not the art” mode. It’s the same mode I’m in whenever I hear a Michael Jackson song on the radio or whenever I have the opportunity to see a Woody Allen film in theaters. None of the above were convicted of any crime, but the nature of the accusations make it hard for me to fully enjoy their work.
The film has received good reviews. It will be interesting to see if moviegoers feel as conflicted as I or are able to compartmentalize better. Fox is hoping for the latter, as it is expanding it’s X-Men license into a shared universe.
2. Blended (Warner Brothers, 3,555 Theaters,117 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I am not really an Adam Sandler fan–except when he works with Drew Barrymore. I love both their previous pairings–The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. They have wonderful chemistry together, and these films seem to make Sandler put away his idiot man child persona and adopt a kinder, gentler one.
The pairs previous films have been high-concept ventures. The Wedding Singer was set in the 1980s, and in 50 First Dates, Barrymore played a woman who lost her memory every time she went to sleep. This film is no different.
In this one, Sandler and Barrymore play single parents who have one of the worst blind dates in the history of blind dates. After vowing never to see each other again, fate throws them in the same suite on the same African safari. Will their relationship fare any better with an extended amount of time together? Judging on the other movies they made together, signs point to yes.