Movies based upon videogames have had many more failures than successes starting with Super Mario Brothers in 1993 to last month’s Ratchet & Clank. The most successful has been the Resident Evil series which sees the sixth and final (?) instalment coming out next January.
Some middling successes include the two Tomb Raider movies (a reboot is coming soon), two Mortal Kombat movies, two Hitman movies and even though Prince of Persia had the highest gross of all, it was still considered a disappointment. The other constant is the disdain the critics have had for all the videogame movies—that is until this weekend with the release of The Angry Birds Movie.
Based upon the annoyingly addictive mobile game, the movie is set on an island populated almost entirely by happy, flightless birds. However, there are three birds that are outsiders: Red (who has a temper problem), Chuck and Bomb. When the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it is up to these three to figure out what the pigs are up to. Featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Hader and Peter Dinklage, it should be entertaining as it is currently getting the best reviews of any videogame movie ever made.
Although The Nice Guys stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, what got my attention is that it is from writer-director Shane Black. He is best known for directing Iron Man 3, but he is also responsible for the underappreciated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer) and The Nice Guys looks to be the same kind of edgy action-comedy.
Set in the 1970s, a down-on-his-luck private eye (Gosling) and a hired enforcer (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the apparent suicide of a fading porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking criminal conspiracy at the highest circles of power. Watch for great critical reviews but more people going to the other adult comedy coming out this weekend. But do yourself a favour, see The Nice Guys before seeing Neighbors 2.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising reunites Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as the hapless couple who are expecting their second child and are looking to sell their house in the now quiet neighborhood. However, when a newly established hard-partying sorority moves in next door, they call upon their old nemesis (Zac Efron) to help battle the sorority sisters. It is not being as embraced by the critics, but should please the fans of the original.
Rose Byrne can be seen in a different role in the acclaimed comedy-drama The Meddler. Susan Sarandon stars as a widow who moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be closer to her daughter (Byrne), but for the latter, it is too close for comfort. After meddling in her daughter’s life, she soon meets other people who are more in need of her assistance.