The weather might be beautiful and sunny in Reno this weekend, but it will be raining cats, dogs, wedding dates, and Ewan McGregor at the box office. Here are my picks for what to see for this July 8 weekend.
The one that your kids already pre-ordered tickets for and didn't tell you yet: "The Secret Life of Pets"
I had almost forgotten that "The Secret Life of Pets" was coming out this weekend, and I have no idea how. I first saw the trailer for this movie way back in March, and Cinemark has been running the add where the main character chases a gift card to that infinitely catchy "Cold War Kids" for almost as long. Early buzz has been good for the film, which is currently sitting at a 76 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and had a strong Thursday night with $5.33 million dollars. When you look at the cast, which includes Louis C.K. (insert his show's infinitely catchy them song here), Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart (who is honestly probably in every movie this summer, we just have to find him), and Jenny Slate and Ellie Kemper (two of the funniest women to ever appear on network television), it looks like this film has enough star power to keep everyone in the audience entertained.
The one that looks like my kind of movie: "Our Kind of Traitor"
Growing up, I cut my teeth on Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne movies; and fell in love with idea of spies. This film features Ewan McGregor as a man who gets caught between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, after falling into a Russian Oligarch's plans to defect to the west. The movie is based on the novel buy John Le Carre, who also wrote "The Constant Gardner" and "Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy" so you know you are in for a slow burn of a thriller. I'm really hoping this movie will take me back to the days where I craved to carry around manilla folders marked "Top Secret" in my briefcase.
The smart movie hidden within an incredibly crass and occasionally outstanding comedy: "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates"
Oh boy, this movie is an enigma. On one hand, it is an extremely by the numbers comedy that does not shy away from a gross out gag. On the other, it is an incredibly forward thinking movie that tackles issues like feminism, relationships, self identity, and race in way that shows the best of what Hollywood can do.
The movie follows the titular brothers, Mike and Dave Stangle, played by Zac Efron (who is slowly winning me over with every movie) and Adam Devine (LL Cool J get at me!) who are forced to bring dates to their sister's wedding. Enter Tatiana and Alice, played by Anna (pitch perfect in everything shes in and now I don't care how terrible that pun is) Kendrick and Aubrey (dominates every screen she appears on) Plaza as two down on their luck girls looking to score a free trip to Hawaii after Kendrick's Alice gets left at the alter.
This movie is as flawed as its four leads, (who in a refreshing twist, acknowledge at the end of the movie just how flawed they are) but at the same time it shows the kind of heart and humanity that will keep me from throwing it into the pile of forgettable comedies that will be released this year.
I would also be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Kumail Nanjiani, who steals the movie with no more than three minutes of screen time. If his work on Silicon Valley hasn't put this man on your radar (and it darn well should have) than you were born without the ability to be surprised and therefore have never experienced the joys of laughter. I pity you.
Tell me what you think of the cinematic offerings we have been offered this week in the comments below! Happy Watching!