This weekend is a bit of a head-scratcher. I mean, you’ve got to release your movies sometime, I know. But the week before Captain America: Civil War drops doesn’t seem like the best time for even the hardiest of films. And it’s not exactly a murder’s row we’ve got opening this week. Plus of the three films bowing today, one I’ve never heard of, and one I was sure was a direct-to-video title. I think it’s safe to say no records are being broken this weekend.
Mother’s Day may as well be titled Generic Hollywood Holiday Product. It’s got bland white people all over the poster, it’s director Garry Marshall milking yet another holiday for supposedly heartwarming comedy, and it’s probably got a plot I could guess being given just the title and ten minutes to myself. Wait, don’t tell me: mothers and children of various ages will go through various crises and hijinks only to learn that there’s nothing strong than a mother’s love, right? Yeah, I don’t need to spend ten bucks to be told that. And if you take your mom to this as a Mother’s Day gift, chances are you’ll have to buy her something else to make up for it, so just cut out the middle man and get that something else to begin with.
Because video game movies are always a good idea, here comes Ratchet & Clank. This is a 14-year old video game franchise, so credit here for striking while the iron is hot. And look, it’s a platformer, where the idea is to keep doing the same thing over and over again, only in more difficult locations. If that doesn’t scream out for the movie treatment, I don’t know what does. Throw in the fact that this was originally supposed to come out last year but got pushed back and you can just feel the confidence oozing off of this one. When you’ve got great animated fare like Zootopia out there, there really isn’t an excuse for slapdash stuff like this anymore. And really, do you want the word Clank anywhere near your movie?
Which leaves us with Keanu, in which Key and Peele look for their kitten. No, really. It’s the first feature length outing for the comedy duo, and there’s always the risk of people adept at being funny in four or five minute bursts trying to sustain a ninety-minute narrative. I’m somewhat willing to give Key and Peele the benefit of the doubt, since I’ve found their stuff really funny. I just don’t know if I can muster enthusiasm for the premise here. I gather it’s likely just a loose framework on which to hang a series of even more loosely connected scenes. Which is essentially Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but I’m not exactly ready to put Key and Peele on that level yet. I wish them no ill here, but this feels like a rental.
Besides, I’m all about the board games this weekend anyway. Tabletop Day tomorrow, and then a big X-Wing scenario on Sunday. So with all due apologies, ain’t got time for Hollywood.