If you read Reel Talk expecting hard-hitting analysis of cinematic trends, this column will not be for you. I suggest you stop reading.
Honestly, there’s probably a lot that needs to be said about this weekend’s new releases (I’m lying: no there’s not). Both Hit and Run and The Apparition probably appeal to a broad subsection of our popular culture, and I want you, as someone who takes awful-looking movies seriously, to read a preview that does justice to both of them (again I’m lying: no I don’t).
But guys, this isn’t going to be your column.
Honestly, until five minutes before I started researching Hit and Run I assumed it was the movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a supernaturally heroic bike messenger. Nope, that movie is Premium Rush. Then, I wrote three paragraphs about the ups and downs of Matthew Lillard’s career before I realized it was Dax Shepard, not Lillard, who starred in Hit and Run.
There’s just no way you release a movie starring one of the stars of the first season of Punk’d and expect me to take you seriously. Pairing him with Veronica Mars doesn’t help. And Veronica Mars always helps.
I don’t want to beat up on Shepard here, because for all I know he could be a good guy.
But there’s simply no way he gets this movie made without the help of his friends and loved ones. Shepard wrote the script, and he (a generic-middle-class-looking-dude) is meant to convincingly portray a reformed bank robber. His fiancée (Kristen Bell, who we all know as Veronica Mars) plays his wife, and his longtime friends Bradley Cooper and Tom Arnold also star.
We’ve seen this movie before. The comedy is derived from the frantic overreactions of everyone involved, and as an audience we’re supposed to find it all ever-so-crazy. Did a corn-rowed Bradley Cooper really just hit a guy in the face with a golf club? Hilarious! Did Cooper really just say he got raped in jail? LOL.
As a genre, the action-comedy has been stale since Beverly Hills Cop 2, and Hit and Run certainly isn’t going to fix it. Instead, it will just go down as another movie that completely misused Kristen Bell, and we won’t remember it existed by the time next week’s Reel Talk comes out.
This weekend’s other new release is The Apparition. I’ve watched the trailer eight times this morning, and each time I felt like I understood less about the movie’s premise. I seriously recommend watching it and trying to describe what happens.
As far as I can tell, Draco Malfoy is a scientist who hangs out with the hot girl from Twilight and the guy who slept with Serena at the polo grounds in the second season of Gossip Girl. They invent a machine that, according to the narrator, creates a supernatural entity with their minds.
Then one of their friends gets sucked into a wall and we cut to the girl from Twilight walking around with no pants on and the movie pretty much becomes Paranormal Activity, but it’s only shot as a found-footage film for part of the time. At one point, Draco Malfoy freaks out because his chair moves backwards, which you’d think seven years at Hogwarts would have prepared him for. Just get off the chair, man.
There’s a suggestion that the ghost they created with their imaginations presents a threat to humanity at large, but there’s also a suggestion that the ghost is just the girl from The Ring hanging out in washing machines. Who’s to say, really. I’m pretty sure the selling point is supposed to be the pants-less Ashley Greene, not the plot.
So yeah, I have no idea what The Apparition is about, and I’m pretty sure the people who put the trailer together didn’t know either. But I like what they did. Good job guys.