1. Ride Along 2 (Universal, 3,176 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content, language and some drug material, Tomatometer at press time: 16% Fresh [43 Reviews]): Hey, did you enjoy Ice Cube becoming irritated by Kevin Hart’s antics in the last film? Or maybe you laughed at the way Kevin Hart got under Ice Cube’s skin in the first installment? Well, you’re in luck. The boys are back and this time they’re in Miami.
Hart’s character still isn’t married to Cube’s character’s sister, but he is an official member of the police force. Now he has a legitimate reason to join Cube as he travels to the Sunshine State to bust drug peddlers.
This is essentially more of the same as the inexplicably popular first film. If you liked that, then you should like this.
2. Norm of the North (Lionsgate, 2,411 Theaters, 86 Minutes, Rated PG for mild rude humor and action, Tomatometer at press time: 0% Fresh [16 Reviews]): I wrote a numbered list of how much this film sucks before writing this version. I got up to #15 before my browser froze and I lost everything. And I just don’t have the venom it would take to reconstruct that list.
Not to say I don’t think this film is awful. It is. It’s everything that is wrong with Hollywood wrapped up into one film. It thinks kids are stupid so they don’t deserve anything more than a cheap patchwork of concepts from more popular, thought-out films shoehorned into an asinine plot. I mean, all the idiot brats need is a cuddly character who farts a lot, right? Why bother spending more than 1/10th of what Pixar and Dreamworks spend on their films? If you keep the budget low, it would be easier to recoup their money before people realize how awful the film is!
It’s 0% fresh. Granted, only 16 reviews, but still: 0%. And that’s with at least three writers working on it.
But their is one positive the film brings to audiences. It’s will give them a better appreciation of Pixar and Dreamworks. Because if when they fail, they fail trying to provide entertainment to their audiences, not because they are going for a quick cash grab.
3. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Paramount, 2,389 Theaters, 144 Minutes, Rated R for strong combat violence throughout, bloody images, and language, Tomatometer at press time: 57% Fresh [65 Reviews]): If you are like me, you’re pretty much sick and tired of hearing the word Benghazi. This is not to make light of the people who lost their lives that night, but the attack has been so politicized that the mere mention of the name causes me to tune out.
But for many it is still a hot button topic, yet one where a lot of people in the U.S. do not know exactly what happened on that night three and a half years ago. It is such a polarizing issue that any film dramatizing the events needs to be done with a subtle hand. So who is directing this? Michael Bay, a man who is about as subtle as a tractor trailer crashing into a china shop.
However, reviewers say that Bay has managed to deliver a movie with little to no spin on it. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself, but what’s more amazing, if only by process of elimination, that a Michael Bay film would be the best bet for the weekend. Never thought I’d see that happen.