Without reviews or friend recommendations, it can be tricky to decide what movie to see in theaters. Sequels, prequels, threequels, dramas, thrillers, horrors, actions, comedies … it can be a dizzying array to get through. Factors ranging from what actors are in the movie to what animal you picked out of your food this morning could determine what film you dedicate 2 – 3 hours of your precious time to. You know, unless you were just sitting in a corner playing, “Don’t Be Productive.”
Sometimes, however, the new releases make your decision that much easier. Here are three recent films that you can just look at the plot and know that you are in for a bad time.
1) “Premium Rush”
The first sentence of the plot synopsis: “Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies, open doors, and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day’s work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York’s agile and aggressive bicycle messengers.”
First of all, was someone drinking when they spelled his name “Wilee”? I don’t know if he’s of the free whale or the chasing coyote variety, and frankly I don’t care. What this movie boils down to is all those cool car chase action sequences from films like “The Bourne Identity” and “The Fast and the Furious,” but on bikes.
ON BIKES. As in, take 120 mph and cut it by four. How is it possible to keep it tense with those speeds? Does Joseph Gordon-Levitt break a bike chain? Does he miss a bunny hop and skin his elbow? At least take off the helmet and elbow pads, and we can maybe talk.
For all I know, maybe JGL gets decapitated by an 18-wheeler at an intersection and can never ride a bike, or live, again. However, I doubt it. Taking the speed away from a chase is like taking CGI away from Michael Bay. There isn’t anything of substance left.
2) “The Possession”
The first sentence of the plot synopsis: “Based on a true story, “The Possession” is the terrifying account of how one family must unite in order to survive the wrath of an unspeakable evil.”
“Based on a true story” has become the equivalent of “100% Juice” and “Won’t Cause That Much Cancer” in horror movies; it’s just there to sell more. It’s like people will read it in the synopsis and think, “I want to see it now. That chick ACTUALLY died.” You won’t be more scared because the events actually happened. You’ll just feel more guilty when the valiant father gets torn to pieces by Demon McKillaLot (patent pending).
That being said, for an unspeakable evil they sure have a lot to say about it. All the tropes of the genre seem to be here: creepy girl, oblivious family, wise old psychic … and they all seem completely uninspired. The only way I’m seeing this movie is if I’m possessed myself by the director.
3) “Celeste and Jesse Forever”
The first sentence of the plot synopsis: “Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) met in high school, married young and are growing apart.”
I actually got up from my seat in the middle of that sentence to go do something else. I don’t think it’s possible to make a movie seem any more boring.
And I know y’all thought the same thing as me when you finished reading the sentence: “no s***.” You’re telling me a romance that seemed ideal and everlasting starts going bad in this movie? That’s AMAZINGLY ORIGINAL. Just set my eyes on fire now, because I don’t need to see anything else ever again.
The least they could have done is spice up the end with a twist. Here are my humble suggestions:
“…and are growing apart because of Jesse’s dog fighting problem.”
“…and are growing apart because a black hole has opened in their home.”
“…and are growing apart because they are actually related by blood.”
Watch out Hollywood, here I come.