Not a great summer for animation, at least if you’re somebody who expects the phrase “instant classic” to be attached to whatever Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, Universal or Blue Sky sends out.
The reviews for “Turbo” have turned out to be underwhelming. Not bad, just indifferent. A “Cars” with Snails. Will the Fast/Furious crowd show up? It has Latino characters and something of a car culture background (It might have worked better with the snail racing street racers, tuners and others. A snail in the Indy 500?).
“The Conjuring” is a perfectly passable neo-realist horror film from the folks who gave us “Insidious.” The characters, demons and situations may be over-familiar. But there’s humor in the knowing, sophisticated audience’s reaction to these 1971 ghost hunters and their primitive gear and unknowing reaction to what they’re confronting. Chilling enough, and good reviews for this one.
“RED 2” picks up where the first “RED” left off — Bruce in love with Mary Louise, Mary Louise still the naif learning about his life of assassins and attempted assassinations. John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and David Thewlis, a lot of “old man” jokes and a lot of action. And one-liners. Mixed to negative reviews for that one. Tuesday, it was looking like a film that would curry the worst reviews of the weekend, but the hardcore BRuce haters have been voted off the island.
Worst reviews? Those go to Kristen Wiig’s annoyingly off-key “Girl Most Likely.” She’s 40 next month. She’s wearing more makeup than Sandra Bullock, which works against her character — a loser who is ready to give up. Not an awful film. Matt Dillon is over the top funny, Annette Bening amuses. But Wiig isn’t at her best, here.
And there’s also “R.I.P.D.,” which promised a sort of gonzo, goofy “just go with it” quality, which this expensive-looking, heartless miscalculation never quite musters. Funny bits, many of them involving Jeff Bridges and Mary-Louise Parker, but as comic book adaptations go, this one points to how problematic turning thin books into thinner films can be..