Is it wrong to take joy in the utter failure of something that someone worked really hard on? If so, I should feel very bad about how happy I am regarding Fantastic Four. A critical and commercial failure that is projected to lose Fox about $60 million, the future of the franchise is now in jeopardy. The sequel which had already been announced is currently on the verge of being removed from the slate, since this movie couldn’t even beat the fifth installment of a 20 year-old franchise…in its second week. Why am I so happy about this? Because, if director Josh Trank is to be believed, the reason Fantastic Four sucks is because the studio wouldn’t stop interfering by forcing him to film re-shoots that “work”. Well maybe now Fox will see that their input doesn’t work, and they’ll do what Sony intelligently did and work with Marvel (a la new Spider-Man) instead of hogging their toys and setting them on fire. I do feel bad for Trank, as this could derail his career after a promising start with Chronicle. I almost felt bad by actor Michael B. Jordan (who plays the Human Torch), but his talent transcends this crummy movie and he will have a long career regardless.
Anywho, let’s move on to a movie that is surprisingly on the brink of becoming the biggest surprise blockbuster of the year.
Straight Outta Compton – (R) 147 min – I’m going to be honest here: I had never actually heard the full “Straight Outta Compton” song until I listened to it preparing for this article. I knew of it and heard fragments of it, but never listened in its entirety. This is less surprising when you take into account that I am a lower-middle class Caucasian that has lived in a lovely neighborhood his whole life. My conclusion about the song is that it’s really good; a bit misogynistic and violent for my tastes, but really good. Most importantly, it’s made me want to see Straight Outta Compton, the new biopic about NWA, to see how this song drew inspiration from their lives. It was pretty obvious that rabid fans of hip-hop would clamor to see this movie, but early positive reviews and a very addictive trailer has set Compton to make a ton of movie this weekend. I feel like all I do is lament upcoming movies in this editorial, so when I say that I’m actually interested in seeing a movie, you should take that as a good sign. I don’t expect Straight Outta Compton to be an Oscar contender (except for musical categories), but it should be entertaining.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – (PG-13) 116 min. – Guy Ritchie started his filmmaking career strongly with the fun, multi-layered Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. He then followed it up with the even MORE fun, multi-layered Snatch. Then, he stopped doing things worth talking about for 15 years. Will The Man from UNCLE be what Ritchie needs to be relevant again. Ehhhhhh probably not. The plot seems pretty fun, actually. Set in 1960s, a suave American CIA agent (Henry Cavill) is forced to team up with a KGB opertive (Armie Hammer) in order to uncover and dismantle a criminal organization that is dabbling in nuclear weaponry. The trailers look fast-paced, silly, and pretty fun. However, the same could be said of Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies which turned out pretty bleh. One thing that I can say about Ritchie’s action, though, is that it’s not offensively stupid. So there’s that.
The Bottom Line – Straight Outta Compton? More like “Straight Into The Movie Theater To See This!” ha ha I’m sorry. Seriously though, you should probably check it out. Summer is almost over and this could be the last big thing that everyone is talking about. You don’t want to be left out of the conversation, do you?