We love movies. All of 'em. For us to be with it, all it has to be is a movie - and we love Big Summer Blockbusters as much as anyone on this planet. Sure, our enthusiasm for spandex-and-leather-clad alien fighters might not come across clearly in our relentlessly negative, tasteless and snooty annual summer movie previews but rest assured: all that follows comes from a place of true love, the kind of true love between a human being and a blockbuster that can only be consumated in a darkened theater on a sweaty summer night.

In this massive two-part preview, Pink Smoke co-founder John Cribbs and shiftless layabout Christopher Funderburg are joined by Pinnland Empire head honcho & twitter image-comparison impresario Marcus Pinn.

Read {PART I}

Descriptions stolen from IMDb and repurposed when necessary.


Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo, Amy Ryan, Said Taghmaoui
Plot: A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Funderburg: I’ve often asked myself, "Am I the world’s biggest Said Taghmaoui fan?" It's likely no one gets their interest piqued more acutely than I at the prospect of Taghmaoui's presence in a film. I’ve loved him since he played an Iraqi solider in Three Kings and have gone out of my way on several occasions to see a movie for almost no reason other than that he was in it (also for the reason that I will see literally any movie. all it has to be is a movie.) But on the other hand, I’m super tired of Escobar & cocaine being the only source of interest Hollywood has in Colombia, so this movie can kinda suck my dick. I don’t know, man, Amy Ryan, John Leguizamo, Said. I’ll probably see it. And stew in my seat, seething in anger as Colombians are portrayed once again as the most savage of criminal animals in their foreboding, lawless land.

Pinn: You would think Bryan Cranston would stay away from stuff like this as it hits too close to being another Breaking Bad. I understand Cranston is on different sides of the law this time but I dunno... it looks like another Vicarious portrayal of evil Latin drug lords. And haven't we run all Pablo Escobar in to the ground at this point?

Cribbs: Breaking Bad would not have been anything without Bryan Cranston – his casting in that show is one of those serendipitous occurrences that happens rarely, where you literally can’t imagine the whole of the project working without Cranston there to play Walter White. He deserves all the accolades and career-boosts that he’s enjoyed because of it, but let’s be honest folks: he’s not right for just any role, especially film roles. Cranston is a TV actor, and I don’t think I’m just being a dick when I say that there are great TV actors, there are great movie actors, every once in a while you discover a George Clooney who can do both. But Cranston is not one of those people, and in every movie I’ve seen where he has a substantial part, from Drive to Trumbo (itself a glorified HBO movie), he’s come off as the cheesiest performer on screen. If I were his agent, I’d be looking for the next great television role for him and not signing him up for leading film roles (although he’s getting Oscar nominations so I doubt my advice would be given credence of any kind). I guess he got this part because it’s another “white guy gets involved in glamorous yet deadly world of drug cartels and gets in over his head” deal, except it’s based on a real guy so it’s gritty, I guess. Infiltrating drama, comin’ your way this summer.


Director: Paul Feig
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael K. Williams, Chris Hemsworth
Plot: 30 years after Ghostbusters took the world by storm, the beloved franchise makes its long-awaited return. Director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today.

Pinn: I'm in a tough spot because as a man, if I say this movie doesn't look good (which it doesn't) I'm going to come off as a “misogynist”. If I say it looks pretty good or “OK” I'd be a liar, and I'm not a liar. It's a lose/lose situation. I truly hope I'm not dragged to see this with a group of friends. And I really wish someone could make Leslie Jones go away forever after seeing what I saw in the trailer.

Cribbs: “Could be worse,” is the position I’ve chosen to take on this thing. We could have easily had a movie where it's Shawn Levy directing the cast of The Watch, for example, and that would have been appalling. I don’t really care that they changed the sex of the squad, although I don’t understand why “women can be Ghostbusters too!” has become such a feminist rallying cry, considering at least two other women this summer (Vera Farmiga in Conjuring 2 and Emily Mortimer in Spectral) are already busting ghosts. I’m not offended by the rebooted cast - Kate McKinnon looks cool for starters – but it’s curious that even after switching genders they decided the types had to be the same: the SNL breakout, the husky one, the geek chic member, the black Ghostbuster. Aren’t these supposed to be new characters? Again, not offended - just seems odd. I haven’t been on the edge of my seat for any new Ghostbusters movie in any form, so none of this supposed controversy really matters to me one way or another.

I will draw attention, however, to the teaser poster. It’s just the poster from the first movie! Did they literally just pull out the old one-sheets? That is some lazy-ass marketing there.

Funderburg: Yeah, it’s a shame that this thing has become such a cultural flashpoint because there’s a good chance it’s just another crummy movie (most movies are crummy.) And that’s that. But instead it has to bear the weight of being this big symbolic event and a True Test in the ever-developing meaning of the box office boffosity of Lady Comedy Stars. But that’s how cultural marginalization fucks you from both sides: because of the lack of cultural exposure, a movie by a black filmmaker has to be a statement about All Black People. And a movie about a group of lady ghostbusters has to become about All Lady Ghostbusters (including Farmiga & Mortimer) instead of this particular group of lady ghostbusters. I saw the preview. Do I think all this new bustin’ will make me feel good? Probably not. The Leslie Jones “durrrr, I’m a black lady so I don’t know about none of this science stuff!” shtick is a fucking outrage for starters - I don't have a calculator handy, but I'm not sure the math works out to try to cancel out sexism with racism. But if this movie is terrible and fails, it doesn’t actually mean jack shit. A bunch of smegma-streaked dickheads of negligible importance are going to think it’s some kind of a vaguely-defined cultural victory, but any such victory will be entirely empty and stupid.


Director: Steven Quale
Stars: J.K. Simmons, Sullivan Stapleton, Ewen Bremner, Clemens Schick
Plot: A team of Navy SEALs discover an underwater treasure in a Bosnian lake.

Cribbs: This Luc Besson produced/co-written film, from the director of Final Destination 5, has been pushed back to the beginning of 2017. So it would be premature to call it the best movie ever made.

Funderburg: This sounds like the Dortmunder book (Drowned Hopes) I always wanted to adapt. Suggested tagline: “Make no Mistake, the take is in The Lake.”

Pinn: And since it's been pushed back to 2017, I don't feel obligated to write about how unenthused I am about it. I'll save those thoughts for next year.


Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock
Plot: From the director of "Drum Guy Screaming and SCREAMING," a jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

Funderburg: Jesus christ. Next.

Pinn: I couldn't find the trailer for this but seriously – how long until Ryan Gosling cheats on Eva Mendes with Emma Stone (if he hasn't already). He's got a reputation for being super flirty and this is his third collaboration with Stone. Their chemistry is too good. If I were Eva Mendes I'd be worried. As for the actual movie, I don't know. It's difficult to judge based on no trailer and a few pictures.

Cribbs: Eva Mendes doesn't have to worry about anything. The majesty of Mendes cannot be matched! I've been frustrated with Emma Stone of late, in terms of her film career. Much as I've resisted it, she really is ingratiatingly bouncy and charming in a peppy "dare you to hate me" kind of way. She needs to fire whoever it is in her camp's telling her things like "playing the romantic interest in a Woody Allen movie would be the most relevant move you could make!" and "you've got femme fatale written all over you, check out this script: it’s called Gangster Squad!” It's been SIX YEARS since Easy A, and whether you’re a fan or not you have to admit she could be doing something a lot more A-list than playing ret-conned Spider-Man's girlfriend. I guess she's vying for Oscar-baiting roles in crap like Birdman, but what she really should be doing is becoming this generation’s Goldie Hawn – she doesn’t have much time left before that ship has sailed. And speaking of ships: she displayed her dancing chops in the music video for Will Butler's "Anna" last year. She can really kick those lily white legs. So perhaps this is the right kind of movie for her, I don’t know. I'm looking forward to a summer movie team-up: Bye Bye Man in La La Land.


Director: Drake Doremus
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Guy Pearce, Bel Powley, Jackie Weaver
Plot: In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.

Cribbs: Woah, speaking of THX-1138! Yeah – the preview feels more like a music video than a trailer for a feature film. Do we have any use for the ol’ “white-aesthetic dystopian society where emotions are VERBOTEN!” plot in this day and age? Besides as a quick satirical set-up for a brilliant George Saunders story? Life’s clearly too short for The Notebook set in the world of Logan’s Run.

Pinn: Am I crazy or does this look like the fake movie within a movie from Clouds Of Sils Maria (and yeah, THX as well). This looks like a parody of a science fiction movie. I can't take it seriously. Sorry.

Funderburg: The reason sci-fi returns to this idea so often is that you can clearly see this is the future we're headed towards - just look in the comments section of any article about Hillary Clinton or hop on over to twitter to discuss tipping and you'll see America's real problem: too much rationality. Too emotionless. How can anyone look at the world today and not think "Bunch of fuckin' Spocks out there, that's the problem." And I'm as guilty as anyone. The truth is I’m too repressed. I censor myself too much. So how can I learn to love in a World Overrun By Political Correctness? I mean, they got lady ghostbusters now and everything! It’s bullshit and I need movies like this to remind me how to be human. On an unrelated note, I keep waiting for the future to finally get here so all my furniture, floor & ceiling tiles and lighting can be gleaming white - I’ve long dreamed of living like DMX in Belly and the failure of that future to arrive is a far bigger disappointment to me than the lack of hoverboards.


Director: Justin Lin
Stars: Idris Elba, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin
Plot: IMDb states "The plot is unknown at this time," so let us take a stab at it: Space. Final frontier. Boldly goin'. Tribbles.

Cribbs: I don’t understand people. Why did the internet rise up against the use of "Sabotage" in this movie’s trailer? You know - that song they used in the first of these new Star Trek movies?? The whole approach to cinematic Star Trek these last 7 years has been “Explosions! Lens flares! Boobs! Spaceships like hot rods! Pew-pew-pew!” Now suddenly fans are up on their high horse saying the franchise shouldn't be Mission: Impossible set in space?? I guess since Lin isn't Hollywood's favorite protégé-slash-franchise-ruiner (he's a franchise saver), he can't get away with it. But seriously, what hogwash. Simon Pegg, please produce the subtle, challenging science fiction film on your resume that gives you the right to criticize the trailer of your own movie, nimrod.

Know what I loved about the last Star Trek? Peter Weller. He did such a great job playing a deep space bastard, I'd honestly say he rivals Christopher Plummer and the Gorn as the greatest Star Trek villain ever. Know what I didn't love about the last Star Trek? Pretty much everything else. Which is why injecting some Justin Lin into this version of Trek can only improve it tenfold. I actually can’t think of anything else that would have gotten me into the theater for another one of these.

Funderburg: A tale of deep hypocrisy: I’ve been one of the many folks complaining, crying into my cherry slushee and saying “why do they call it Star Trek if it’s just going to be a space shoot ‘em up? for who? for what?” and now here I am faced with the prospect of the great Justin Lin doing his savage damage to the franchise and I’m super psyched. Psyched as hell. I’m with it, y’all. I bet I’m going to love it and I can tell you right not that it will never, not for one second, occur to me to cry into my Sour Patch Kidz watermelons over it. (Do you think the use of “Sabotage” is a nod to the infamous Shatner “you say sabotage, I say saboteige” outtake?)

Pinn: Just like most of the movies in the Marvel Comic Universe, I'm easy to please when it comes to these Star Trek movies. I had a blast watching the first one in the theater and I enjoyed the second one so much that I watched it on a plane ride to Barcelona back-to-back a few years ago. When folks complain about Star Trek movies being nothing more than action-packed laser shootouts (which is definitely a valid complaint) I find myself shrugging my shoulders and going; "I dunno guys, whats wrong with that?" I'm also an Idris Elba fan (for the most part) so it's nice to see him play the villain. Even though he'll be completely done up in make-up, I like seeing more prominent black actors play villains. Hollywood dropped the ball on not casting actors like Forest Whitaker, Delroy Lindo & Clarence Williams in bad guy roles over the years and I'm not going to let that happen to Idris' handsome ass...


Director: Mike Thurmeier & Galen T. Chu
Stars: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jessie J
Plot: Scrat's epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. To save themselves from peril, Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the herd leave their home and embark on a quest full of thrills and spills, highs and lows, laughter and adventure while traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters as well as a new enemy who is a brother to one of their old foes.

Funderburg: Again, it’s 2016 and they’re still making Ice Age movies? I mean, just look at the cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah. The Hollywood Starz Association’s Most Promising Starz of 2004. I mean, I like Ray Romano more than any of you. I’m not here to badmouth Ray Romano. I’m just saying if they made an animated movie for 2016 it would star Kevin Hart and Melissa McCarthy -- Queen Latifah might show up for two seconds as the voice of a sassy sass­pot ("guuuurl, you got to fix your hair!" she would say to the lead shrimp in Outrageous Crustaceans.) I’m just curious: is there anything Simon Pegg won’t agree to be in? The dude is in 400 movies a year and only 2 of them ever look promising. I'm pretty impressed they managed to snag Jessie J., though. World famous Jessie J., The Hollywood Straz Association’s Hottest New Hot Talent of 2013.

Pinn: I honestly don't even know what number we're on with these Ice Age movies. Not for me, guys. Sorry.

Cribbs: Seriously, which number is this? I've never seen any of them. If this were a Jeopardy! question I’d get it wrong. If you showed me a preview for the second or third Ice Age movie and claimed it was the new one, I would be none the wiser. I’m shocked these are still theatrical releases. I guess lazy parents take their kids to these things.

Funderburg: The same thing happened to me with the Chipmunk movies - if you told me there were seven of them I'd be really hard pressed to disagree with you even though that doesn't sound at all right to me.


Director: David F. Sandberg
Stars: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello, Billy Burke
Plot: A woman is haunted by a creature that only appears when the lights go out. Uh-huh, blast, blast, blast.

Cribbs: You see, how am I supposed to tell this movie apart from The Darkness? Obviously, I want to see one and not the other. It’s funny that, watching the trailer, I thought ‘Guess they’re going after that It Follows success.” But of course, It Follows is really just like every goddamn horror movie, and so is this one.

Pinn: No. It Follows is worse than your average horror movie but for some reason no one will admit that. As for Lights Out – yes, you are right. This looks like any other movie. And wait a minute - aren't all these loud screeching jump cut horror movies supposed to only come out at the beginning of the year (in an effort to just get them out of the way) or around Halloween? These are the kinds of horror movies that come with those stupid trailers that show audience reactions. I'm not seeing this.

Funderburg: It’s based on the Peter Wolf song. I hope they keep the original choreography. (Seriously, go to around 2:30 in that video.) Teresa Palmer is going to be huge star someday, once she stops appearing forgettable nothings like this, the Point Break remake and Freidberg/Seltzer’s Nicolas Sparks Movie.


Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Aidan Gillen, Katie McGrath
Plot: Feature film version of the classic Sir Lancelot story.

Cribbs: Hollywood's obsession with the King Arthur legend is a lot like its obsession with Peter Pan. Why does this story need to be told yet again? What fresh insights or radical new angles could they have possibly pitched that made the studio shout, “Green light this motherfucker!” Will Sir Lancelot be reenvisioned as Lance, a skating enthusiast in the early 90's who spends all his time at the Holy Grail Arcade and manages to capture the eye of mall girl Gwen, much to the ire of popular quarterback Artie? (Gen X-Calibur?)

Funderburg: This seems like it has taken a while to come out. I feel like I saw the poster a million years ago. This is the Kiera Knightley movie, right? This is that movie. If I'm understanding this press kit correctly, they digitally replaced Ioan Gruffudd’s face with Charlie Hunnam’s and Jude Law has secretly been Clive Owen all along.

Pinn: I couldn't find the trailer. It kept leading me to the 2004 King Arthur movie. But it really doesn't matter. Even though this movie isn't out yet, it's like I've seen it already. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I've already seen enough King Arthur movies to last me a lifetime.


Director: Mandie Fletcher
Stars: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Rebel Wilson, Jane Horrocks, Kathy Burke, Celia Imrie
Plot: Edina and Patsy, still living the high life of glitz and glamor, are blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more.

Funderburg: I’ve never seen a single episode of Absolutely Fabulous. This might not strike you as weird, but I’ve seen fucking everything, especially if it was a British comedy airing on PBS in 1995 (when I didn't have cable.) Fawlty Towers, The Young Ones, Mr. Bean, Monty Python, Black Adder, Red Dwarf - hell, I watched dozens and dozens of episodes Are You Being Served? I watched East Enders, which isn’t a goddamned comedy - and I watched that one about a vicar when I was a kid and didn’t even know what the fuck a vicar was except that they existed mainly as a punchline in Britcoms. Anyway, I’d watch a Young Ones movie. Hell, I just watched a Mr. Bean movie on Netflix last week (Willem Dafoe played a pretentious director debuting a film at Cannes.) I probably won’t watch an Absolutely Fabulous movie for the same mysterious reasons I never watched the show.

Pinn: I was a kid when Absolutely Fabulous was on TV. I never quite got it then and I never really made a point to revisit the show as an adult. I tolerated it when my parents watched it but a movie (that's two decades too late) just seems pointless, no? And Rebel Wilson is the female Kevin Hart in my opinion so I doubt I'll see this.

Funderburg: It's inexplicable tardiness is in keeping with this summer's theme of "why now?"

Cribbs: I never enjoyed French and Saunders, so I never watched Ab-Fab. Maybe that’s not fair, but life is short.

Funderburg: Life is pretty short and usually pretty cruel. Even the staunchest Ab-Fab fan couldn't deny that.


Director: Mike Birbiglia
Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher, Lena Dunham, James Buster Douglas, a dog dressed up like Rick Wakeman & a signed photo of Ted Danson.
Plot: When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group - all best friends - start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.

Pinn: I love the premise and the cast but after the mild disappointment that was Keanu I have very low expectations. A lot of improv/sketch-comedy based movies come out being just ok or they miss their mark.

Cribbs: Sounds more depressing than funny, kind of like his last movie.

Funderburg: Sounds like the last five minutes of Man on Wire expanded to a feature film. And about an improv troupe instead of a gaggle of insufferable French hippie jugglers. Even reading the description is upsetting. I'm with, John - this doesn't sound like Keanu. It wouldn't surprise me if it were soemthing like crushing hospital hallway scene in Henry Fool expanded to feature length. This is a really, really great cast, though - Jacobs, Key & Micucci are all personal faves.


Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Tommy Lee Jones
Plot: Jason Bourne returns, feels some angst, punches some heads.

Cribbs: Oh thank god. Thank christ - back to basics. Everybody, we've got Julia Stiles returning to the franchise. Whew. Seriously, why not call it "Jason Re-Bourne?" Since they’re so eager to bury the last movie, which was just fine by the way. This series needs to adapt a lighter attitude in general and stop trying to be super-relevant to the times in which we live. A dude in the preview says that Bourne’s release of sensitive documents “could be worse than Snowden!” Is that an in-joke? Oliver Stone, you’ve been called out.

Funderburg: I love the Bourne movies. I guess I don’t really have much more to say about it than that. These are always a highlight of Summer Blockbuster Season for me, I didn’t even mind the one they made starring Gary Cherone.

Pinn: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Vincent Cassel & Matt Damon back together again? An Ocean's reunion? Sign me up! No but in all seriousness I'll probably see this. Greengrass & Damon always deliver. Plus, I've seen the previous three movies in the series so I have to this one, right? I can't wait to see how they top the final fight scene from the third Bourne film.

Cribbs: "Previous three movies!" There are FOUR! You see? Hollywood must have successfully retconned The Bourne Legacy, if cinexpert Marcus Pinn doesn't even remember it.


Directors: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Stars: Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Jada Pinkett Smith
Plot: A woman with a seemingly perfect life is actually over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms and all go on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities, going on a wild un-mom like binge of freedom, fun and self-indulgence - putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.

Funderburg: See? What did I tell you – the ladies are totally getting in on all that sweet and hilarious fart–swilling bro comedy action. I like this whole cast. I like every single one of them. I keep waiting for Kathryn Hahn to become a movie star (because she deserves it) and someday my patience will be rewarded. You might say she's the lady Said Taghmoui in some ways. In most ways. Also, I can sympathize with this movie because my son started kindergarten this year and let me tell you! All of the other parents – every single one of them! – are fine. They're all fine. Everyone's just trying to be happy in this world.

Pinn: Ok... I know I'm not a parent but as I watched this trailer I couldn't help but think to myself; "this woman's life doesn't have to be as difficult as she's making it". I can't imagine how tough it is bringing up two kids (I honestly mean that). But everything else in her "CRAAAAZY" life could easily be rectified. Stop wearing uncomfortable shoes if you know you're going to be running a bunch of errands. Don't go to the PTA meeting if you can't make it. Done. But at the same time, this hits a little too close to home. My fiancée's sister (who I think is awesome, along with the rest of her siblings) has expressed serious excitement in seeing this and she reads The Pink Smoke sometimes (she the loved the 90's write-ups) so I don't want to trash this too hard.

Cribbs: Entertainment Weekly promises "a wilding at the grocery store" in which the partying bad mamas slam mudslides and toss a ham. I’m down with momsploitation, but we’ve got another lazy title here. When is Hollywood going to stop applying the word “bad” to the front of whatever set of characters they’re sending up? I’ll tell you when. Bad Santa: $20 million price tag, $75 million take. Bad Teacher: $20 million price tag, $200 million take. Bad Grandpa: $15 million turned into $150 million. Bad Timing: $345 billion. But the answer is, as soon as “Bad” movies stop generating 10 times the amount of money invested, that’s when they will stop.

Funderburg: I am against the” ___-sploitation!” trend. Please don't let film criticism become as dumb as music criticism with its nonstop "-core's" and "-wave's."


Director: James Schamus
Stars: Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman, Tracy Letts, Ben Rosenfield, Linda Emond
Plot: In 1951, Marcus, a working-class Jewish student from New Jersey, attends a small Ohio college, where he struggles with sexual repression and cultural disaffection, amid the ongoing Korean War.

Pinn: Putting aside their excellent choice in the lead's first name, this doesn't sound appealing in to me at all. Pass.

Cribbs: Philip Roth has not faired as well in Hollyweird as John le Carre. Elegy had naked Penelope Cruz, but The Human Stain and The Humbling weren't well-loved by pretty much everybody. He hasn’t even had his Cider House Rules-level of critical success yet. I did enjoy Sarah Gardon in Cosmopolis, but I strongly dislike Ang Lee and by association James Schamus so I don’t think I’m in danger of ever seeing this one.

Funderburg: Philip Roth sucks. Pretty soon all the baby boomers who venerated him will start dying off and I’ll never have to watch another shitty adaptation of one of his terrible books just because Sarah Gadon and Tracy Letts are in it. Penelope Cruz was in Elegy, so I saw it despite it being called fucking goddamned Elegy and being about a college professor with a waning libido. I’ve always heard James Schamus is a straight-up great guy so my apologies to him. Props to pursuing your muse. F- to finding it in Philip Roth.


Director: Meera Menon
Stars: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Alysia Reiner, Sarah Megan Thomas, Sophie Von Haselberg
Plot: The first female-driven Wall Street film follows a senior investment banker who is threatened by a financial scandal and must untangle a web of corruption.

Cribbs: Another actor breaking out of Breaking Bad onto the big bad screen. I want to support female filmmakers, but to be honest I almost fell asleep in the middle of that plot description.

Funderburg: “The first female-driven Wall Street film?” That’s progress for ya. Finally, a Boiler Room of one’s own. Who knows what this will be like - I haven’t seen a trailer and none of the parties involved are such pungent and striking flavors as to decisively indicate what’s what - but it’s a weird pitch. Since when do Wall Street insiders untangle corruption? “Oh my goodness! My bullshit equity firm built on ponzi-schemes, credit rating deceptions, colluding with cartels and bilking pension funds might be corrupt!”

Pinn: I don't like male-driven Wall Street movies so I highly doubt I'll like this.


Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Patrick Wilson, Linda Cardellini
Plot: The story of McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc.

Funderburg: I just made fun of that dumb Max Perkins movie back in Part I of this preview and now here I am, goddamned psyched (siked!) for this fucking ray Kroc movie. I don’t know, the human heart is inscrutable. What can I tell you? Michael Keaton does not get a hubba hubba, but obviously he's a national treasure and I keep waiting for Linda Cardellini to become a movie star (because she deserves it) and my patience has occasionally been rewarded. She turns up in interesting stuff – for example, her presence helps get me psyched to watch Ray Kroc say "I'm not in the burger business, I’m in the real estate business" and then come up with a plan to sell his milkshakes.

Pinn: I wonder if that's where Vince McMahon got his famous saying of; "I'm not in the wrestling business. I'm in the entertainment business". Anyway, this is an interesting premise but at the same time I'm tired of all the “origin stories”. And a McDonalds origin story at that? Eh, I dunno. The movie stars Michael Keaton so I'm sure it will go on to earn a bunch of money at the box office and win a bunch of movie awards so what does it really matter what I think?

Cribbs: Now here's a subject I would have been curious to see Oliver Stone's interpretation of. Much more than that of John Lee Hancock, king of harmless vanilla biopics, a genre which includes The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks. “Oh shit Ray Kroc, get ready to be treated with even-handed reverence and a low level of inquiry. No, don’t bother moving, your pedestal won’t be lowered a single inch.” But since Michael Keaton is starring, I guess this will win Best Picture next year (Keaton, of course, will not win Best Actor).


Director: David Ayers
Stars: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Jowl Killerman, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Adam Beach, Ben Affleck
Plot: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.

Pinn: These DC comic movies just look a little too corny for my taste. Almost like the hot topic franchise opened a movie studio and took creative & artistic control over the look of the characters. Marvel is where it's at for me. Will I see Suicide Squad? Of course. Viola Davis looks damn commanding. But I'll have to down a few beers in order to fully enjoy myself.

Cribbs: Full disclosure: I'm a huge fan of the original John Ostrander/Kim Yale comic series of the same name. It's a title that's often left out of conversations about "adult" post-Crisis DC comics while names like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns get tossed around ad nauseam. The concept is basically "Dirty Dozen with supervillains," with one of the best non-superhero comic characters ever written in the Lee Marvin role. I'm very excited to see Viola Davis play Amanda Waller, although I will say - they couldn't find a talented plus-sized actor to play the part? (I can't be too mad tho, I love Davis.) While I'm sure the mission statement got changed to "Fast & Furious with supervillains" when pitched to Warner Brothers, and I’m cool with that. I just wish, for once, a comic book movie could stand on its own without all this integration into its company’s “universe.” But that’s a tall order in this era.

Funderburg: Not you guys, but man, people really have their knives out for this one. It’s funny that so many folks are like “the trailer is a total rip-off of GotG’s trailer!” as though no trailer has ever cut punchy humor and bursts of action to an unexpected pop classic. That’s basically all trailers ever are. Anyway, I’m with you – there are way, waaaaaay worse prospects on this release schedule than “Fast & Furious with supervillains.” And very few with notably better concepts.


Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Robbie Amell, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Walken
Plot: A stuffy businessman finds himself trapped inside the body of his family's cat.

Cribbs: This sounds like the joke-movie you'd find inside an actual movie, complete with Sonnenfeld, Spacey and Walken all cameoing as themselves. Suddenly the Garfield films seem like studies in wit and nuance. I think it’s safe to say that Keanu will be the cat America falls in love with this summer, not Kevin Spacey as “Mr. Fuzzy Pants.” I mean holy shit guys, this thing exists. Go watch the trailer. It’s unfathomable that all these people got together to produce this. (Well, it’s a perfect mom/wife role for Jennifer Garner – I’m not surprised by her involvement. But even Sonnenfeld… he used to work with the Coen Brothers!)

Funderburg: Yeah. I thought I had no interest in this until I took your advice watched the trailer and looked at the promotional material and… now I don’t know what to think. It’s beyond simply being bad – it’s almost beyond judgment. Kevin Spacey dressed up as keyboard cat is genuinely bizarre and Christopher Walken in full “should my candy bars be included in the census?” mode is certainly appealingly baffling. Cribbs, you and I were just discussing how Men in Black III is secretly great and there’s more to Sonnenfeld than meets the eye… so… I’m in on this? That doesn’t seem right. Somebody check my math.

Cribbs: Walken is clearly in magical-gifter-with-tinge-of-Twilight Zone-irony Click mode. Just call him Mr. Destiny. Or Willie Walken.

Pinn: Shit! John you took the words right out of my mouth. I was watching this trailer like; "wait this shit is an actual movie?" Isn't this supposed to star Rob Schnieder instead of Kevin Spacey?

Funderburg: It's supposed to star Fred MacMurray or Don Knotts and have been made by Disney several decades ago.


Director: David Lowery
Stars: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, Robert Redford
Plot: The adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon.

Funderburg: Here it is, everybody, the bottom of the barrel! When it comes to pointless remakes, unrequested sequels and flailing reboots, it’s going to be tough to beat redoing Pete’s Dragon, a nothing of a movie fondly remembered only in the most vague and empty capacity. Although, I would strongly prefer Hollywood keep making movies like this and not movies about New York heiresses who dream of becoming opera singers, despite their terrible voices.

Pinn: Wait I'm confused - is this a Pete's Dragon remake or a Tarzan remake. Furthermore, I thought we already touched on the Tarzan remake. Next...

Cribbs: Full disclosure: my brother and I were big fans of Pete's Dragon when we were kids, no doubt enchanted by the combination of Mickey Rooney's slurred "drunk singing" and various "invisible dragon buddy" antics. So this remake is weird, because my flying, invisible best friend growing up was actually a Great Waldo Pepper-era Robert Redford. He'd show up spontaneously wearing an aviator jacket and scarf, occasionally do some fancy wing-walking on the side of the bathtub. Every once in a while, I'd wake up in time to see him mercy-kill Edward Herrmann. Of course my parents were never able to see my spectral barnstormer, and years of therapy repressed many of these memories. Point is, this looks like dogshit. And “Oakes Fegley”?


Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda
Plot: The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.

Pinn: Meryl Streep & opera? I almost fell asleep reading the description of this movie.

Cribbs: Remember when Stephen Frears was the director of The Hit, My Beautiful Laundrette, Prick Up Your Ears and The Grifters? It's easy to forget these days, now that he's the director of Mrs. Henderson Presents, Tamara Drewe, Philomena and Florence Foster Jenkins. He only agrees to make movies with female names in the title, I guess, but Judi Dench must have been busy so we get Meryl Streep instead. Which is perfect casting in the role of a talentless rich woman. (Zing!)

Funderburg: What happened to you, Frears? Your ass used to be beautiful, man. Are we the world’s only film website that is staunchly anti-Streep? Are we the only two people in the world who are staunchly anti-Streep? I’ll change the banner: “Pro-David R. Ellis, Anti-Meryl Streep.”


Directors: Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon
Stars: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek
Plot: An animated movie about one sausage's quest to discover the truth about his existence.

Cribbs: Am I taking my daughter to see this one? Is there any reason not to? Something tells me most of the double entendres, starting with the title, will fly clear over her head. And swearing? What do I care if she hears lots of swearing? No, the main reason I won’t take her to see this is that it’s by Madagascar guys and, accordingly, the animation looks awful.

Funderburg: Danny McBride and Walton Goggins have a show on HBO coming out soon. Just biddin’ my time, trying not to get roped in. Between this and that Nick Swardson/Bob Odenkirk devil movie, are we in the midst of a mini-trend? Pottymouthclaymationsploitation.

Pinn: Animated or not, I'm sick of 90% of the cast in this movie I'm just glad Will Forte wasn't dragged along.


Director: Nic Mathieu
Stars: James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Emily Mortimer, Bruce Greenwood
Plot: A sci-fi/thriller story centered on a special-ops team that is dispatched to fight supernatural beings.

Funderburg: So... Ghostbusters? Or it is “The Conjuring... on steroids!” Either way, I’m ok with it. This is up my alley. Straight up it. (Promotional material tells me it is “Blackhawk Down meets Ghosbusters.” Even. more. in. Even if it sucks, I’m still in for one lazy Wednesday afternoon when the rest of you fuckers are in your cubicles sweating it, worried your boss is going to walk by while you're reading this. Sure, I’m all in for Spectral and you can make fun of that all you want, but who’s really living their life the wrong way here?)

Pinn: Unfortunately this is not up my alley. How is this not a straight to Netflix movie? Because Emily Mortimer is in it?

Cribbs: My wife's a fan of Emily Mortimer, but I've always found her a little too dowdy. She's the kind of gal that, if you knew her in high school, and your friend called to get you to hang out but revealed that Emily Mortimer was over there you'd have second thoughts about showing up. "Call me back if Emily Blunt shows up." Mortimer's just a drag, man, and she will only drag Max Martini down.

Funderburg: You leave Emily Mortimer alone, you son of a bitch. We didn’t want you coming bowling with us anyway.

Cribbs: That’s fine, she never shares her mozzarella sticks.

Funderburg: And yet you always still end up with marinara on your shirt. Got it.


Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Anna Camp, Judy Davis
Plot: A young man arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry. There, he falls in love, and finds himself swept up in the vibrant café society that defined the spirit of the age.

Pinn: Didn’t Woody Allen just make this movie two years ago with Colin Firth & Emma Stone? And before that didn’t he make this in the form of Midnight In Paris? I’m just not a Woody Allen guy. And after a his last movie I highly doubt I'll see anything he does again.

Cribbs: I somehow end up seeing every new Woody Allen movie no matter how much I’m sure it will suck (and the last few have been really dreadful). Obviously the reason this time is Blake Lively, and the newfound respect for Kristen Stewart following Sils Maria. On the other hand, Jesse Eisenberg in a Woody Allen movie sounds like I might actually end up punching the TV.

Funderburg: Judy Davis!! Woody Allen is like Adam Sandler in that they both consistently load up their supporting casts with actors I really love and will go out of my way to see in virtually anything. Plus, I find them both equally funny. Just kidding: I find Sandler much, much funnier than Woody Allen, who sucks and is a creep. Stewart, Lively, Davis… that’s how they get ya. "So, Funderburg, you're not going to watch the new Woody Allen movie? Well, how about not watching the new Judy Davis movie?" And of course I'm not skipping that. Anyhoo, can you imagine 80 years from now when some hack shambling around way past his sell-by date is making movies about the golden age of Starbucks-based screenwriters? Or worse: all of the upcoming Vinyl-esque "Austin: Where it all Went Down!" nostalgia puke-puddles?


Director: Luis Prieto
Stars: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Lew Temple, Chris McGinn
Plot: A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

Cribbs: Halle Berry seems to be spending most of her time these days looking for kidnapped children. This one sounds just like The Call, except this time it's her kid who gets taken and she's gotta go all Bryan Mills to bring her home. If you can even locate this Lifetime movie in a theater somewhere, I leave it up to you whether it’s worth your time and money to invest in a ticket.

Funderburg: Man, that is some generic shit right there. I was thinking, “For once, I'd like to see a movie about a mother who will stop at basically anything to recover her kidnapped son." But that's just The Ransom of Red Chief, I guess. They should reboot Ruthless People, I’d be up for that. With my luck it would star Melissa McCarthy, Kevin Hart and Jason Sudekis.

Pinn: You guys pretty much said everything that needed to be said. I honestly hadn’t even thought about Halle Berry for quite some time until this very moment.

Funderburg: Folks, after more research, I’m not 100% sure this movie exists – try finding images from it on the internet. It might just be a generic screenplay template that fell out of some Bigtime Exec’s briefcase and ended up being listed on the release schedule after being discovered in a trash bin by zealous tipsters working with internet sleuths determined to get the inside-est scoops over their competition. And now Hollywood has two months to actually make the damn thing.



Director: Travis Knight
Stars: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes
Plot: Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.

Funderburg: The title reminds me of Mojo Nixon's "The Story of One Chord." I bet the plot is basically the same. Looks kinda awesome – although I might be reading waaaaaay too much into its vague (and excellent) “Samurai Jack meets Coraline” vibe.

Pinn: I have nothing against animated features but this is just another one I wont be seeing.

Funderburg: I'm beginning to doubt that you don't actually hate all animation.

Cribbs: Based on Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls, I have no cause to doubt Laika until they give me a reason to. The director, Laika's lead animator, was a rapper in the early 90's who went under the nom de plume Chilly Tee. Here is the cover of his album:

I'm willing to snap my neck to this new venture.

Funderburg: I like how you’re throwing that out like Marcus and I don’t know everything about Chilly Tee, like we wouldn’t have brought it up if it weren’t old news. Call me when you got some Scott Caan/Hooligans jokes. Goddamn, though, have you read about that dipshit’s hostile takeover of Laika after his dad couldn’t buy him a rap career? It will make your blood boil, even if it doesn’t seem to have affected the quality of their work yet.

Cribbs: I just assumed the average reader wasn’t up on their Chilly Tee. However, the other day when I was humming “Get Off Mine,” you did misidentify it as Big Tymers’ “Get Your Roll On.”

Funderburg: I misidentified nothing.


Director: Peter Chelsom
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino
Plot: A young man raised by scientists on Mars returns to Earth to find his father.

Funderburg: I was going to say “the only space I care about between anybody is outer space!” but then I read the description and discovered that wasn’t even true. They take all these potentially interesting sci-fi films these days and load ‘em up with teenagers in love. I just want to watch Bruce Dern tending to his space garden with a couple of robot buddies. Anyway, as this summer movie preview becomes more and more pessimism soaked, I’m struggling to see the good in every film as I write about it and this is one where there’s potentially something there. I mean, I can guarantee I’ve seen worse movies just because Carla Gugino or Gary Oldman was in them.

Pinn: Looks like another forgettable science fiction movie.

Cribbs: From the director of Town & Country, Serendipity, Shall We Dance and the Hannah Montana movie comes a movie about Asa Butterfield in outer space that promises to be greeted with the same steely critical and commercial silence as Ender’s Game.


Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Stars: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Morgan Freeman
Plot: A falsely accused Jewish nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his Roman best friend, who betrayed him.

Cribbs: I can't believe they'd have the gall to remake a classic like Ben-Hur! I'm incensed! I'm outraged! I'm - oh yeah, the Charlton Heston movie was itself a remake of a well-loved film. And Ridley Scott already remade Ben-Hur again a couple years ago with Exodus: Gods and Kings. And yet Paramount Pictures decided this was releasable to theaters while The Little Prince wasn't. Go figure.

Funderburg: Is it a Tale of the Christ or not? Don’t make no Ben-Hur and take the Christ out of it. Also: don’t make no Ben-Hur. It’s just not necessary. Especially not with "Made for TBS!" grade production values.

Pinn:In an effort to not sound like a typical hack movie critic bashing the pointless, stupid, shitty movie (did you all watch the trailer? What can be said about it that hasn't already been said about George Zimmerman's ugly fat face?), I'm just going to confirm with you guys that I wont be seeing this either.

Funderburg: George Zimmerman? Christ, there's a lot of weird rage simmering under our comments. I'm just glad we could all get together for a group therapy session and point to the spot on this Pete's Dragon doll where Emily Mortimer touched us.


Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas, J. B. Blanc, Bradley Cooper
Plot: The true story of two young men who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.

Funderburg: He gets tarred with The Hangover brush but Todd Phillips is actually an interesting filmmaker. His early documentaries on college hazing and G.G. Allin are hugely entertaining (if apparently bullshit) and I genuinely like a lot of his comedies – Old School is exactly the kind of fart–swilling bro comedy I adore. What I’m saying is, I'm interested in him trying to be interesting again and it doesn’t make sense to write off him for trying to do something interesting just because of the Hangover sequel cash–in's. That’s backwards thinking. Jonah Hill has a similar profile where he's more adventurous as a performer than he gets credit for. I guess he was nominated for (or even perhaps won – who's to say?) an Academy Award so what do I know? Nothing. I know nothing. Sorry to reveal that so late in this piece. Anyhoo, truly this will be a latter–day "Joqaoiun Phoenix in Buffalo Soldiers."

Pinn: Looks like Todd Phillips is trying to cash in on the tone & vibe of Wolf Of Wall Street while still trying to squeeze out whatever he has left in the Hangover tank. I cant tell what this movie is trying to be or do.

Cribbs: Hard to say if this "biographical criminal war comedy" will be more Lord of War or Wag the Dog (or maybe Pineapple Express?) The poster is some kind of Scarface parody, which seems like there might be some attempt at grittiness (hopefully Miles Teller being tortured to death with a chainsaw - he has a face that makes me want to punch him right in his stupid face), unless it’s a straight-up goof. Preview seems to suggest the latter… either way, I’m going to have to at least see True Story before weighing in on this.


Director: John Stockwell
Stars: Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sara Malakul Lane
Plot: A kickboxer is out to avenge his brother.

Pinn: Bautista & Van Damme? Say no more. Just take my money.

Cribbs: Look, I’m not just going to blindly accept a new Kickboxer movie without some proof that – woah, John Stockwell?? Sign me up.

Funderburg: Pink Smoke peas-in-a-podliness: I literally thought “whoa, John Stockwell? Sign me up!” - our only true disagreement being over the spelling of “whoa.” But neither one of us is going to be a Fascist about it. Peas in a pod. Anyway, it's like they sat down and really strategized how to get me on board for a remake of a movie I don't like half as much as Lionheart or Maximum Risk: The Other Side of Safe: Stockwell, Bautista, Carano, bringing back Van Damme, adding some young woman named Sara Malakul Lane who is foxy enough to be in an X-Men movie...


Director: Richard Tanne
Stars: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers
Plot: Chronicles the summer 1989 afternoon when the future President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, wooed his future First Lady on an epic first date across Chicago's South Side.

Cribbs: This is some amateur no-budget bullshit that somehow wormed its way into distribution. And anyway, didn’t we learn how interested audiences are in president’s love lives from the tepid reception of Hyde Park on Hudson? If we’re going to get a movie about a future president and his first lady-to-be, why not a film about Rachel Jackson, who was a bigamist and died before Andrew’s inauguration? I’ll bet that relationship was more interesting than a trip to Baskin Robbin’s in Roseland.

Funderburg: I’d rather watch a movie about Woodrow Wilson’s wife secretly running the country when he was braindead. Or James Buchanon’s constant chum, William Rufus de Vane King. Politics aside, these two are an adorable couple, maybe there’s something there. The only bar it has to clear is PT 109, that “John F. Kennedy in the navy” movie. Truthfully, after his term is up I’d rather see Obama star in a second remake of The Killers where he gets punched in the face by Xan Cassavetes. But reality is never as beautiful as our dreams.

Pinn: I guess Chadwick Boseman was busy filming Captain America, huh? (isn't he the guy that’s supposed to play all the famous black icons in movies right now?) What’s going to piss me off about this movie is that it’ll be universally loved by black audiences because it’s safe & non-threatening and when it doesn’t get recognized for a pointless Oscar (as it probably shouldn’t), Jada Pinkett Smith is going to start another bullshit anti-Oscar twitter campaign all while ignoring the progressive black voices in film trying to get a project off the ground. I’m also mad because I know my fiancee is going to want to go see this with me.



Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh
Plot: Arthur Bishop thought he had put his murderous past behind him when his most formidable foe kidnaps the love of his life. Now he is forced to travel the globe to complete three impossible assassinations, and do what he does best, make them look like accidents.

Pinn: I don't love Statham like you guys do. I didn't even see the previous Mechanic until years later when it was on cable. Now... I'm not saying this is going to be terrible or anything. I wasn't able to track down a trailer but I did see some behind the scenes photos and I don't imagine this will be any better or worse than any other Jason Statham action movie.

Cribbs: Statham and Alba together provides the erection in "Resurrection" - adding Michelle Yeoh to the mix makes me wonder if this is some Hands on a Hardbody-type ruse to get me to come see this movie that I otherwise would have been iffy on. Part of me laments that Statham doesn’t get more original material to work with like The Bank Job; that he’s always cast in remakes, reboots and sequels to remakes/reboots. But he always makes the part his own – his Arthur Bishop is really just the Transporter – so I have no real reason to complain. And is he gonna fight Yeoh? I gotta say, I do not like his chances!

Funderburg: I read in Box Office Boffo magazine online that they just took the scripts for Alien Resurrection and Russell Mulcahy's Resurrection and combined them together into a Mechanic movie. Fuckin’ figures, right? Another film in the endless Mechanic franchise. That’s Hollywood for ya, I guess: totally bereft of ideas. Anyhoo, Statham is the man, Michelle Yeoh is even more than the man, Jessica Alba is sexier than a Prince protégé and it’s an OUTRAGE that Tommy Lee Jones seems to no longer get his due – lemme tell you, you better pay that devil his due because the park is his. He's a national monument craved in granite.


Director: Fede Alvarez
Stars: Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang, Daniel Zovatto, Jane Levy
Plot: A group of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they'll get away with the perfect heist. They're wrong.

Cribbs: A heist-gone-horror premise? I can get behind that. Those two genres need not be exclusive of each other. This is Round 2 for the much-touted director of the Evil Dead remake, whose Evil Dead remake was largely unexceptional.

Funderburg: It’s got the young lady from the Evil Dead remake and Fun Size and she’s pretty cool. I applaud the filmmaker’s intentions to cultivate a dynamic duo-osity with her. "They go together like Alvarez and Levy!" we'll all say decades from now. This plot just sounds like The Collector, that Saw sequel script that got rewritten to be a stand-alone movie and then got its own sequel (or possibly reboot?) if I’m remembering things correctly, which I almost definitely am not.

Pinn: This is crazy! Years ago I had a similar movie idea where a group of film students break in to an elderly Werner Herzog's house to steal the only copy of his movie A Game In The Sand (an early movie that he has vowed to never show because it gets out of hand). Once the students break in to his house they discover that Herzog is batshit crazy and proceeds to hunt them down and kill them one by one. Doesn't that sound good? Certainly better than this run of the mill horror movie that'll probably be forgotten about long before it even leaves the theaters.

Cribbs: Change the director to Ron Howard and the heist to steal a print of the long-rumored director’s cut of EdTV and I will get that movie financed for you, Marcus.


Director: Jean-François Richet
Stars: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Elisabeth Rohm, William H. Macy, Thomas Mann, Michael Parks
Plot: An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.

Pinn: I just want to know if Mel Gibson is gonna yell: “GIMME BACK MY DAUGHTER!” But yeah, fuck him I have no reason to see a Mel Gibson movie.

Cribbs: I could do without the domestic violence and the racism. But honestly? These last few years have been my favorite iteration of Gibson since in the early 80’s. Edge of Darkness and Get the Gringo are guilty pleasures that don’t make me feel that guilty, and in Blood Father he looks just as grizzled and unkempt and ready to throw down as those two new classics. Teaming with the Mesrine guy seems like a good move, and it’s been a while since Mel went on a good old fashioned road trip with people who want to kill him hot on his tail. This promises to be a much grittier Bird on a Wire.

Funderburg: I hate having to have an opinion on Mel Gibson because I clearly love him. He’s clearly one of the greatest movie stars there ever was, up there with Cary Grant & Jason Sudekis. But he sucks and is a creep. His gross, moronic dad whom he supports unconditionally is a holocaust denier who thinks the last few popes are apostates. Gibson beats up women, drives drunk and obviously deserves to have an anvil fall on his head and cripple (but not kill) him. I don’t know what you want me to fucking say. I’m excited to see this movie and I’m excited to see it because it stars Mel Gibson.


Director: Joshua Marston
Stars: Michael Shannon, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Danny Glover
Plot: As a man contemplates moving to a new state with his wife for her graduate program, an old flame - a woman who often changes identities - reenters his life at a birthday dinner party.

Cribbs: The dinner party scene from The Lady Eve with Michael Shannon in the Henry Fonda role? Sold.

Funderburg: The Lady Eve with Rachel Weisz in the Barbara Stanwyck role? Pass.

Pinn: I couldn't find the trailer but after last year I realized how much I'd been sleeping on Rachel Weisz as an actress (she's definitely in her share of terrible movies but she's still great). And Michael Shannon's presence is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned. This could be a sleeper. I'm in.


Director: Jonathan Jakubowicz
Stars: Edgar Ramirez, Robert De Niro, Usher, Ellen Barkin, Ana de Armas
Plot: Legendary boxer Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel change each other's lives.

Pinn: God, I hope this is good. With the rise of mix martial arts & the continued popularity of professional wrestling (even in the weird place its in right now), boxing needs all the help & attention it can get. Its #3 in the world of “combat sports” and who cares about third place, right? There are so many great stories within stories when it comes boxing (like in the case of Roberto Duran) and I think if more folks knew that they'd show more interest in the sport. Unfortunately, I think this movie, like most biopics, will be “ok” at best. But who knows? I thought Creed was going to be average and it proved me wrong and then some.

Cribbs: I'm curious to see how they're going to chronicle the "No Mas" fight between Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, where Leonard's strategy was to postpone the match long enough for Duran to gain weight from excessive partying and pure gluttony. It's possibly the most brilliant pre-fight strategy in boxing history and resulted in Leonard dancing around the ring while Duran swung weakly at him until he simply up and quit in the 7th round. I imagine a Rocky-style montage, cutting between Leonard training vigorously in Hawaii and Duran gorging himself on bologna sandwiches while getting blow jobs.

Ramirez is a little too pretty to play Duran (but that's just Hollywood - what, am I complaining that an actor's too handsome?) Usher's fairly on-the-money physically as Leonard, although casting Mark McGrath would have been funnier. Curious to see him pop his collar and break out those well-rested dramatic acting chops for the first time since Texas Rangers. Ana de Armas - she's fantastic. Jurnee Smollett-Bell is also lovely.

Funderburg: Every summer, a new actor pops up in a bunch of movies, some doe–eyed ingenue or SoCal superhunk who appears as from nowhere only to capture our hearts and, more importantly, our eyeballs. This year, it is some lady named Ana de Armas – and holy shit! It’s the chick from Knock Knock! She’s great. I hope she becomes a movie star. I hope all those crazy kids out in Hollywood make it in the bigtime, every producer gets to reboot a Pete's Dragon of their own, that every director yells "cut" at just the right moment and that their Hangover sequels are never held against them, that every executive follows the smart money until they are smart and moneyed beyond sense and reason, that everyone who ever dreamed of making Hollywood great – and of finding Hollywood's greatness within themselves – sleeps soundly at night, their dreams fulfilled.

~ MAY 11, 2016 ~

NEXT WEEK: No more summer movie previews. The summer movie preview is over. Go buy a ticket for something and leave us alone.