1. Tammy (Warner Brothers, 3,400 Theaters,96 Minutes, Rated R for language including sexual references): I read someplace a writer who compared Melissa McCarthy’s film output to Chris Farley’s. They compared the types of movies they headline and the similarities between them —both stars are overweight, they typically play bumbling oddballs who get it right in the end, and both get most of their yucks from physical humor, mostly tied into to their size.
This seems to be a pretty fair assessment of the pair. I will say that I believe McCarthy has more to offer than Farley did, but I fear that we will never see it. As long as films where McCarthy makes a fool of herself and falls down a lot make oodles of money at the box office, she’d be silly not to ride that formula as long as it lasts.
In this one, she plays a woman who decides to go on a road trip after a particularly horrible day. She takes her grandmother with her, but the trip soon takes a direction towards crime and destruction.
2. Earth to Echo (Relativity, 3,229 Theaters, 89 Minutes, Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language): When I first saw ads for this film, I thought that it was a cheap, bargain basement sci-fi film, perhaps one with a religious message to it (as it flew under my radar like those films often do).
Turns out that this film started it road to movie screens at Disney, who developed and shot the film. For some reason, they gave the distribution rights to Relativity. So, this is a Disney film in everything but name. However, there must have been some reason why the House of the Mouse dropped it.
The film centers on a group of kids who find a robotic alien and risk their lives to try to help it get home, dodging government officials along the way.
In other words, it’s E.T. with better special effects. Maybe.
3. Deliver Us From Evil (Sony/Screen Gems, 3,045 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated R for bloody violence, grisly images, terror throughout, and language): Anytime a horror film claims to be inspired by real events, I get worried. Because hauntings and demonic possessions aren’t quite as exciting in real life as the are on the screen. This means that you aren’t going to get a faithful adaptation, yet people watching might get the idea these things really happened.
This film tells the account of a real life NYPD detective who partnered with a priest to track down a murderer that the clergyman said was demonically possessed. The cop doesn’t believe the priest, until more unexplained events happen during the investigation.
Marvel Cinematic Universe fans who are wondering what the Doctor Strange film might look like might want to check this one out, as it is also written and directed by Scott Derrickson.
4. America (Opening in Wide Release, Lionsgate, 1,105 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for violent images): If you happened to view the trailer or some of the more vague descriptions of the you might be fooled into thinking that this is a speculative look on how the world would have been different if we lost the Revolutionary War. Taking that into consideration, you might think of checking the film out since it falls during July 4th weekend.
However, what this film really is is another piece of right wing propaganda from the ultraconservative Dinesh D’Souza where he takes it on himself to defend this country from all the “progessives” who keep saying about how bad this country is. He does this by pointing out all the good things about America, including, according to some reviews I’ve read, pointing out the good that came from institutionalized slavery and the removal of Native Americans from their lands. Really.
So don’t be fooled by D’Souza’s deceptive marketing. He thinks you’ll be willing to drink the Kool-Aid if all he does is advertise it as a Banana Daiquiri.