Weekend Movies: “Nice Guys” finish first, “Angry Birds” panned


But let’s start with “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” the sequel to the Seth Rogen/Rose Byrne fading hipster/stoner parents in revolt against their new frat bro neighbors.

Passable reviews were garnered for the sequel, which sets out to prove college girls can be just as rude, loud, vapid, stoned and over-sexed as college boys. It stumbles along, and reviews range from indifference to “Well, all right. If you have to.” It’ll make money, but the best bits are in the trailer. Whoops. Spoiler alert.

There’s a lovely, stupidly high approval number on Rotten Tomatoes for “The Nice Guys.” It’s a two hour long, hit-or-miss throwback action comedy with Russell Crowe in the Nick Nolte/Danny Glover role and Ryan Gosling as the cooler but goofy Eddie Murphy/Mel Gibson partner part.

Shane Black’s latest is all over the place. Russell Crowe doesn’t have to do anything funny, and doesn’t. There’s a too-smart-for-her-age kid, and an oddball villain and so on. Nothing we didn’t see on a weekly basis in the 80s and early 90s (“Last Boy Scout,” etc.). The metacritic rating is a lot closer to the mark on this one — subdued.

Anybody who endorsed “The Angry Birds Movie” is not to be trusted. Puerile, leaden, with a sinister subtext, I thought. Pans all around for that one. 

“Hard Sell” and “Almost Holy” are among the limited releases I got around to seeing this week. “Sell” is “Risky Business Lite” — cruder than the original, not funny. “Holy” is a disorganized but engrossing documentary about a Ukrainian preacher who saves homeless kids using threats, cajoling and brute force.

Nothing opening this weekend should challenge “Captain America,” right? Wrong.

Box Office Mojo figures “The Angry Birds” will seize the high ground at the box office. Mojo predicts a $43 to $36 margin for the “Birds” over the “Cap.” “Neighbors 2,” Mojo predicts, will be neck and neck for second with the Marvel movie.

Box Office Guru is leaning towards “Captain America: Civil War” holding on to $40 million worth of audience this weekend. Seems a tad generous.

“Birds” could clear $40, and would win the weekend. “Sorority Rising” could clear $35, and that would be good enough for second, I figure. “Civil War” mid$30s, tops.

Nobody is predicting big things for “The Nice Guys.” Thursday’s midnight shows were all about the frat bros and sorority…girls (“Neighbors”).

Ryan Gosling can’t open a blockbuster, and Russell Crowe hasn’t had a co-starring hit since, what, “Master and Commander”? Mid’teens for “Nice Guys,” maybe more if an older audience can be roused into showing up.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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