Around the Multiplex: How to Train Your Chloe Greenberg Hot Tub (to) Eclipse Sleeping Beauty

As you can see by the title, there’s a whole mess of movies out this weekend, and we’re short on time, so we’ll make this snappy and sweet, like the M&M’s stuck to the bottom of your theater seat by some “A.B.C.” Bubbilicious. Out now are: How to Train Your Dragon, Chloe, GreenbergHot Tub Time MachineThe Eclipse, and Waking Sleeping Beauty; we’ll a take look at the trailers and make our judgments based on what studio execs thought was good enough to air as an enticement.

How to Train Your Dragon

This here’s my personal bet on being the biggest box-office draw, as a kids movie that parents wouldn’t mind seeing. Which, if it does well, would put the film’s star, Jay Baruchel, in a landmark sort of position – appearing in two high-earning movies out in theaters at the same time geared toward two diverse audiences: children with How to Train Your Dragon, and teenagers with She’s Out of My League. Granted, at this point the film’s about broke even, but the latter seems like the kind of movie that’ll do very well when it hits the home entertainment market. Here’s the trailer for this Dreamworks animated picture that tells the tale of a young Viking named Hiccup who captures and trains a dragon.

It looks fun, frankly. If I didn’t have ulterior plans this weekend, I’d probably be watching it in theaters, despite not having kids. On second thought, I may wait a few weeks anyway, to make sure the kids have gotten to it and have it out of their system – I don’t know that I want to sit in theater filled with kids – kids are apt to whine. Beside the story, which seems keen and while not original, at least honest, there’s the cast to consider: it’s a venerable who’s-who of modern comedy. We’ve got some obvious ones from the Apatow circle: Baruchel himself, of course, was in Knocked Up and the short-lived Undeclared tv show; and Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse of Superbad fame. Among the others are America Ferrara (Ugly Betty), Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show), Kristen Wiig (SNL, Adventureland), Gerard Butler (The Bounty Hunter, which is not doing so well), and David Tennant (the latest, titular, Dr. Who; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Barty Crouch Jr.). I give it four-and-a-half out of five bolas on seeing it in theaters (maybe even in 3d even?)


If you’ve tuned into this blog before, you may have heard me mention such a concept as “poignant crap.” Greenberg, seemingly a conglomeration of Annie Hall meets Office Space, at first glance at the trailer, classifies heavily as such. Get a gander at this one:

Starring Ben Stiller in a serious role (which I’m not sure I can quite wrap my head around), Greenberg seems meandering and pointless and absolutely beautiful – truly a Bard’s work: “a tale told by (about) an idiot, signifying nothing.” But those idio…I mean actors are varied and good – I can’t stand Stiller in his usual roles, but Chris Messina (Six Feet Under, Julie and Julia) and Rhys Ifans (The Replacements, Little Nicky) are primavera in whatever role they’re in, and I’m excited they’re working. I give it two-and-a-half unemployment checks to see it in theaters when it distributes more widely (it’s only in limited release this weekend), with a five of five mid-life crises for seeing it when it hits the shelves.


This one has three solid actors in Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, Children of Men), Liam Neeson (Star Wars Episode One, The Clash of the Titans), and Amanda Seyfried (Dear John, Jennifer’s Body), in what looks like a very freaky thriller wherein a woman (Moore) hires a hooker (Seyfried) to check to see if her husband (Neeson) would cheat on her. This all has dire consequences, surprise, surprise. Here’s the very sexy trailer:

Under no circumstances should you take your significant other to see this movie. Sit through The Bounty Hunter if you have to, just don’t see it with someone you intend on ever having sex with again. Thankfully, you don’t have much choice this weekend as it’s only opening in limited release. That said, I’ll give this four-out-of-five lipstick stains on the collar for seeing it in theaters and or on DVD if you’re single.

Hot Tub Time Machine

John Cusak and three people he would never hang out with in real life party it up in a hot tub, which turns out to have a time machine function, which transports them from our time back to the eighties. Surprise, Rob Cordry is the nerd’s father! Shock, Chevy Chase is in it! Awe, Cordy invents Girls Gone Wild. Will they ever make it back to the future? Thoughts after the trailer.

Actually, no thoughts. This one has the smackings of taking home a shit ton of money over the weekend, despite having some of the most inane interjections I’ve heard in a comedy in a while. I give it a total pass in theaters and go next time I can’t sleep and it’s playing late night on Comedy Central.

The Eclipse

I don’t know any of the actors in this Irish…what, thriller? Romance? Thromance? About a widower who sees a ghost-professional when his (almost?) dead wife starts haunting him. This isn’t usual Irish fare since it deals wit ha guy talking about his feelings. Don’t take my word for it – there are moving pictures ahead:

This is only showing in New York and Los Angeles, so if you’re in those areas and want to watch Paranormal Activity meets Fatal Attraction, you may want to make the trip. I give it two-of-four proton packs for seeing it on the big screen and maybe a three-of-five ectoplasmic reticulums for rental off Netflix.

Waking Sleeping Beauty

I was skeptical putting this on the list at all, considering I have issues with Disney. But look at this trailer; talk about a Cinderella story! I had no idea that the animation studio was in so deep late 80’s-early 90’s. Just take a look:

Given that I like documentaries, and that this seems extremely interesting (and because my fiancee’s uncle worked for Disney during that time-period of re-emergence), I am likely going to see this film. I happen to think it will be immensely enlightening (and a better view of the eighties than Hot Tub Time Machine), so I’m giving it a four-and-a-half Mouseketeer ears for seeing it in theaters this weekend if you’re in LA or NY (where it’s screening limitedly), and a top ranks (five of five Space Mountain rides) for catching it when it comes on DVD.

That’s it for me and this post; have a great weekend and fun at the movies!


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Filed under Around the Multiplex, Celebrities, Movies, Moving Pictures

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