The Hangover Part II

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week in DVD… the international edition! Well not really, but half of this week’s twelve titles covered are from foreign lands. Not only that, but they’re the best of this week’s releases too. Today’s releases include the extended and very timely cut of the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, the underwhelming Cowboys & Aliens, the final season of Big Love, three Italian films of varying quality, the year’s most disappointing sequel and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Body Puzzle Someone is killing Italians and removing singular parts of their anatomy, and those pieces are winding up in Joanna Pacula’s house. Surprisingly, she’s none too thrilled at this turn of events, and with the help of a determined detective they work to discover the killer’s identity and motive. Lamberto Bava’s early nineties giallo isn’t well known, and having finally seen it I can’t understand why. The kills and set-pieces are stylishly done, the script is fairly sharp, and the movie as a whole is good fun. It’s actually become my favorite of Bava the younger’s films. RaroVideo’s new DVD also features a strong and vibrant transfer and a booklet featuring an essay on the film. [DVD includes no extra features.]

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Drinking Games

One of the biggest hits of 2011 was The Hangover: Part II, raking in tons of money this summer and giving fans a chance to watch the same shenanigans from the first movie played out again. With recent news that The Hangover: Part III will start shooting next year, this trend doesn’t look like it will stop. Whether you liked the first movie, the second movie or both – or if you hated them – this choice for a drinking game is a no-brainer. Toast the Wolf Pack and get started on your own hangover.

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The Reject Report

And around and around it goes. Kind of like the box office. It comes and goes, and sometimes you look around and wonder what exactly is changing? Well, the movies are getting bigger. The animation is getting slicker. And the sequels are starting to take over. They’ve even got PIXAR in their grubby claws this weekend. Cars 2 is the big Summer movie, the likeliest candidate to the the top spot, but where will it rank among the rest of Pixar’s slate? Does Bad Teacher have a shot at a big opening? Is Ryan Reynolds still flying around space or did he get eaten by the Super 8 monster? Okay, that last question probably won’t be broached, but we’ll hit on everything else in this week’s Reject Report.

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The Reject Report

In darkened theaters… In brightest lobbies… Yeah, I’m not finishing that. Instead I’m looking forward at what’s in those darkened theaters this weekend. We have Green Lantern. We have Mr. Popper’s Penguins. We also have the returning Super 8 looking to hold onto that nostalgia for one more weekend. One of these is sure to come out on top of the heap. The other two will be submerged into a vat of self-pity. Unless the winner is the penguin movie. Then all three films as well as American audiences should really take a hard look in the mirror and gauge their worth. But I’m not judging. It’s the Reject Report, and no evil shall escape our site. Lame.

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Culture Warrior

You’d be hard-pressed to find two filmmakers who are more wildly different than Woody Allen and Terrence Malick. One is a notably prolific and economic filmmaker who still releases one movie a year well into his senior years, while the other is a perfectionist who labors over his films and has thus far released, on average, barely more than one movie per decade. One has an unmistakable public persona, while the other is a notorious recluse. One makes films about life in a great city, while the other turns his lens to nature and the experience of the rural. One is as much an atheist as his characters, while the other is a spiritualist who searches for “God,” whatever that may be, through the lens of the camera. Allen and Malick are, in many ways, perfect opposites. But after watching the strong new work by each of these talented filmmakers this past weekend, it became apparent that, at least in the shared thematic preoccupations of Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Malick’s The Tree of Life, these two ostensibly dissimilar filmmakers may have more in common than meets the eye.

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The Reject Report

Oh, yeah. It’s a verb now. It’s not easy for anyone to open a period piece with no A-list names and the only brand loyalty coming in the form of its director and producer. It’s even difficult for J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, which would indicate why Super 8 underperformed in its opening weekend. Don’t get me wrong. $37m is a great opening. When you consider the sci-fi/family drama/coming of age story reportedly cost $50m, that $37m seems even more impressive. Analysts, myself included, were estimating in the $45-55m range, and much of that stemmed from Spielberg and Abrams, who is directing his first film that isn’t part of a large franchise with this one. We obviously overshot the estimate, but maybe some of us just wanted the film to perform better.

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The Reject Report

Could have been a B-. Maybe even a C+. The point being X-Men: First Class rose to a somewhat acceptable occasion, about what was expected. Especially by analysts who realized the film wasn’t being backed by Hugh Jackman, the first time in the franchise, and was comprised of an entirely new cast. Add into that mix the idea that X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine were both such colossal disappointments, and it seems X-Men: First Class did rather well despite all it has going against it. It still opened larger than 2000’s original X-Men, but the film still came in fourth among the franchise’s debuts.

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The Reject Report

And I hope they’re teaching math. But this class is probably more about learning skills like flinging energy beams from your eyes or learning how to hone you telekinetic abilities. I kind of wish I had some of those right now. That way I’d know exactly how many audience members will be attending X-Men: First Class this weekend, and my numbers will be a bit more accurate than they were this time last week. Thanks a lot, Kung Fu Panda 2. Regardless, it seems pretty evident First Class will come in #1 this weekend, as it opens unopposed. That is, if you consider the gargantuan second weekend Hangover Part II is likely to have. Still, I’m sticking with my guns. First Class all the way, but its debut might not be as astonishing as some would hope. Let’s look into that more right now.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr follows Jamie Chung to Thailand, hoping to get married. Unfortunately, someone slips him roofies, which made him black out and spend a drunken night in Bangkok. Once he got out of that city, he headed over to China to become the new pot-bellied dragon warrior. After all, if a cartoon panda can do it, why can’t he? That didn’t stop him from spending another night in the hospital, and maybe a little time in a Bangkok jail. And then the real horror happened… Kevin saw The Tree of Life.

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features a group of grown men reliving their drunken nightmares in Thailand, a group of animated animals kicking Kung Fu ass throughout China, and one man taking an epic journey through everywhere ever.

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The Reject Report

Another Summer weekend, another slate of motion pictures fighting for your hard-earned dollar and precious minutes. But what could possibly pull it out and end up at the top of the heap this Memorial Day weekend? Could it be the one with the monkey, all cute and cuddly and human-like? Or could it possibly be the one with the monkey? Or even better yet, and this one is an outside shot, it could be the one that’s already been in release, the one with the monkey. Zombie monkey. One of these movies – it’s gonna be the one with the monkey – is going to come out on top. Let’s look a little closer at them and sort out which one it’s going to be. Monkey.

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What do you do when you’ve made the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever? Well, you make a sequel and hope you strike gold one more time. And thus we have The Hangover Part II. Todd Phillips reunites the Wolfpack once again for yet another pre-wedding day disaster, this time set in the seedy underbelly of Bangkok. Stu (Ed Helms) prepares to marry anew, and much to the dismay of Phil (Bradley Cooper), intends to avoid any and all possibility of a repeat of his last bachelor party by, well, not having one. With a last minute, half-hearted wedding invite to Alan (Zach Galifianakis), the entire gang is on their way to Thailand. Following an uncomfortable dinner with the family of Stu’s soon-to-be wife Lauren (Jamie Chung) at the resort they are to wed, Stu is convinced to allow Lauren’s younger brother Teddy (Mason Lee) to accompany the boys to a simple beach bonfire with only a six pack to split between them. …and then The Hangover happens, or at least a pretty pale shadow of it.

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Jaws didn’t mean to do it, but Summer has become the biggest business in movie-making. This summer, we’re getting a new batch of movies that the studios are hoping to be gigantic, but thankfully for us, they fit into 6 handy categories. Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius have worked tirelessly (except for five or ten naps) in order to break these movies down and present them to you. What will you be watching this summer? What excites you the most? What do you have the highest hopes for? These films all have the potential to bust blocks, but will it be your block they’re busting? Here they are, the six types of films coming out in the following months.

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If it ain’t broke, take it to Thailand. The first full trailer for The Hangover Part II mimics the first one fairly closely. The guys have their celebration, they wake up, and the hits keep coming. Instead of Mike Tyson, it’s a bunch of ass-kicking monks. Instead of a tiger in the bathroom, it’s a monkey on your shoulder. Instead of a missing tooth, it’s Mike Tyson on your face. Check it out for yourself:

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The first trailer for the sequel to The Hangover has hit the web and it has absolutely everything that a teaser trailer for a sequel to a highly successful film should. First we get a bunch of reminders about how much everyone like the first film. Then we get assurances that the main characters we loved from the first film are all going to be back. Then we see a brief glimpse, though not too much is given away, that new hijinx will be had involving a monkey. And finally, the characters make meta, self-referential comments to each other about how weird it is that they’re all back together and having the same things happen to them. You see, you want to let a potential viewer know that there is going to be new stuff, but not too much new stuff. This will be very much in the same wheelhouse as the first film. There’s nothing that you aren’t comfortable with here. As a matter of fact, squint and you might think you’re watching the first film all over again. And didn’t we all have so much fun with that? So anyways, The Hangover Part II is on the way, and I hope it makes me laugh my ass off. I imagine it will. Get teased yourself after the jump.

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