Weekend Movie Trailers & Reviews: 'The Dictator,' 'Battleship' and 'What to Expect'by: Posted:
This weekend is a good one to go see a movie: with three big new titles hitting theaters and some pretty serious juggernauts still there (namely "The Avengers" and "The Hunger Games"), you'll have plenty of choices. But which one should you choose? Read on for reviews and trailers for this weekend's big new movies:
Rated PG-13, 2 hrs 10 mins
While "Battleship" may officially be based on the classic Hasbro board game, the similarities pretty much stop at the fact that both have battleships in them. The big-screen adaptation throws an alien invasion into the mix, putting a small U.S. Navy fleet up against huge alien ships with incredible descructive abilities. Think "Transformers," only without the transforming, and with more boats.
The movie carries an interesting cast, with stars ranging from vets like Liam Neeson to up-and-comers like Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard, to newbies/pretty faces Brooklyn Decker and Rihanna. But chances are pretty good that if you're seeing "Battleship," you're not seeing it for the acting.
Critics have been very mixed on "Battleship" thus far, with a 39% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The question seems to be this: are you willing to look past (or just laugh at) the silliness of it all, and enjoy the explosions? And, bear this in mind: "Transformers" ended up with a 57%, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" got a lowly 20%, and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" got a 35%. "Battleship" looks to be right on pace, even if it drops another 10% or so.
See it if: You liked the "Transformers" series and want to see another one, even if it doesn't really have the Transformers in it.
Rated R, 1 hr 23 mins
The official logline for "The Dictator" reads thusly: "The heroic story of a North African dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed." That should give you a pretty good idea of the tone of the movie, which has Sacha Baron Cohen as dictator General Aladeen, who makes a trip to New York City and ends up having to pose as a Middle Eastern immigrant after he is kidnapped.
"The Dictator" differs a bit from Cohen's previous efforts, such as "Borat," in that it is mostly scripted as opposed to relying on tricking people into interacting with Cohen as a character. Cohen is supported in the movie by a cast that includes Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, and the very funny Jason Mantzoukas, among others.
Critics are placing "The Dictator" somewhere between "Bruno" and "Borat" in terms of quality, noting that some parts of the movie are riotously funny, while other parts drag. However, with a current 62% and a quick runtime of just 83 minutes, you could certainly do worse.
See it if: You want "Borat" with higher production value.
Rated PG-13, 1 hr 50 mins
Somewhere along the line, making movies based on self-help or nonfiction educational books became a thing that Hollywood was interested in doing. We saw it with "He's Just Not That Into You," and now we're seeing it again with "What to Expect When You're Expecting."
"What to Expect" is another mega-rom-com, bringing a large stable of stars (or semi-stars) together with a unifying theme: babies. Naturally, with a cast this large, there are too many storylines to list here, but suffice it to say there will be lots of pregnancy talk, and some relationship stuff.
The cast includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker, Chris Rock, Rob Huebel, Dennis Quaid, Matthew Morrison, Tom Lennon, "True Blood" star Joe Manganiello, and many others, providing a blend of established stars and up-and-comers, including some very talented comedic actors.
Early reviews have not been kind to "What to Expect," with the early count at only 29% positive. However, that's with only 34 reviews counted, so that number might rise (or fall). Critics are noting that it's pretty much what you would expect: warmhearted and kinda funny. However, the stories are thinner than they are in other super-rom-coms like "Love Actually."
See it if: You're pregnant?