MUBI brings you a great new film every day.  Start your 7-day free trial today!

Wide Release Films April 20 2012

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

Scott Hicks (Shine, Snow Falling on Cedars) has not had a hit in a while and this might help. It is a Nick Sparks film (he is the true auteur of these projects, favorite film he was involved in being Message in a Bottle), Sparks is a romance writers who follows a somewhat convoluted formula that usually ends in the death of someone we are supposed to care about. This film looks better than the usual Sparks project, the guy is a soilder who is saved by picking up a picture off the ground, goes in search of the person in the picture and love happens between them, not sure what conflict there will be maybe the person who dropped the picture rolls back into town

This is a film based on a Steve Harvey book, not my interest but variety thought it was okay. Tim Story directs (Fantastic Four) and Chris Brown is in it so it deserves no support from anyone.

The Earth Day Disney doc this year is Chimpanzee. Some portion of ticket money goes to the Goodall foundation so everyone should go despite the fact these flicks have thus far been less than interesting. Tim Allen narrates, kids can pretend its a toy story thing.

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

from variety, boy this thing is overlong!

Translating Steve Harvey’s bestseller “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” into a four-pronged romantic comedy, Tim Story’s breezy if predictable film overstays its welcome. While the result deserves some credit for finding a creative way to bring the book to life, the overlapping storylines simply aren’t compelling enough, despite the best efforts of a game and attractive cast. Mostly, “Think Like a Man” plays like shrewd promotion for the book, but the best advice would be to skip the former and read the latter. Pic falls somewhere between raucousness and date-night schmaltz, and returns should be similarly mixed.
Whatever the film’s assets, more than two hours is a lot to ask of an audience with this sort of flimsy construct, even with multiple stories designed to convey various aspects of Harvey’s guide to helping women understand men on the subject of relationships. Harvey, the multifaceted comic, appears as a talkshow guest plugging the book (Sherri Shepherd has a cameo as the daytime host), then turns up throughout directly addressing the camera.

The conceit is that the book becomes such a sensation that women begin rushing to absorb its secrets and crack the male code. The primary twist, such as it is, involves their practicing Harvey’s teachings to achieve their goals, only to have the men eventually buy the book as well and realize they’re being manipulated.

Regarding those males, several varieties Harvey identifies are conveniently represented by one group of friends who play basketball together several times each week. They include the mama’s boy (Terrence J), who becomes involved with single mom Candace (Regina Hall); the dreamer (Michael Ealy), who stumbles into a liaison with Lauren (Taraji P. Henson), a successful businesswoman who wants a man equally well situated; the non-committer (“Entourage’s” slimmed-down Jerry Ferrara), whose Peter Pan routine is beginning to wear on his longtime girlfriend (Gabrielle Union); and the ladies man (“Weeds’” Romany Malco), who is forced to actually try wooing Mya (Meagan Good), who, after one too many one-night stands, follows Harvey’s maxim about withholding sex in order to find true love.

Finally, there’s Cedric (comedian Kevin Hart), the divorced guy who keeps regaling the group with stories about his ex-wife, frequents strip clubs and functions as narrator, while providing a steady infusion of manic energy seemingly designed to prevent the sappier aspects from weighing down the comedy.

Each of the intersecting plots could be (and indeed, has been) stretched into a romantic comedy all its own. Yet if blending them together offers a way of hedging bets and maximizing opportunities for laughs, it also becomes somewhat numbing, especially in the later stages when Story and writers Keith Merryman and David A. Newman have to race around attempting to neatly tie up all their plot threads.

Best known for “Barbershop” before his sojourn into the spandex-clad world of “Fantastic Four,” Story does deliver some funny moments, and incorporates enough cameos (including NBA players, Chris Brown and radio/TV host Wendy Williams) to leave few marketing stones unturned.

That said, some scenes drag on interminably, particularly when the women or guys are alone discussing dating strategies. One sequence in which the warring factions separately recount a date brings to mind the “Summer Lovin’?” number from “Grease,” only with less music and more drawn out. There’s also something rather quaint, frankly, about the premise of a dating-advice book being so influential, as if there were a dearth of them, or Oprah’s Book Club were still in its heyday.

Pic does make good use of its Los Angeles environs and an expansive soundtrack, especially in the more romantic moments. Kudos, too, to the glamorous way the movie adorns its leading ladies. Ultimately, though, “Think Like a Man” dilutes its strengths — perhaps because nobody bothered to think like an editor.

Camera (Deluxe color), Larry Blanford; editor, Peter S. Elliot; music, Christopher Lennertz; production designer, Chris Cornwell; art director, Charlie Campbell; set decorator, Beth Wooke; costume designer, Salvador Perez; sound (Dolby Digital/SDDS/Datasat), Shawn Holden; supervising sound editor, Michael J. Benavente; assistant director, Steve Danton; casting, Kimberly R. Hardin. Reviewed at Sony Studios, Culver City, Calif., April 3, 2012. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 122 MIN.

Santino

about 2 years ago

I have to admit that Think Like a Man is looking mildly interesting to me. I won’t pay to see it but I might check it out at a free screening. A friend of mine saw it and was pleasantly surprised and the test screenings have been very positive. So who knows, maybe it’ll be a crossover sleeper hit?

This weekend I’ll be seeing Marley for sure and probably The Moth Diaries (I still have hope that Mary Harron will give us another gem ala American Psycho).

Kyle Lewis

about 2 years ago

Think Like a Man looks a lot more appealing than other recently released films that target African-Americans(especially Woman Thou Art Loosed:On the 7th Day) ,but unless I get a date I think I’ll skip it. I’ll watch Marley on demand since it won’t be playing anywhere near me. Chimpanzee I’ll watch for free since I work at AMC theaters.

Polaris​DiB

about 2 years ago

Another one weekend for The Hunger Games and possibly The Cabin in the Woods to tuck away a bit more money.

—PolarisDiB

Rock and Bull

about 2 years ago

I like how the commercial for The Lucky One says “This isn’t your typical love story”, and then goes on to show footage that suggests the complete opposite.

Polaris​DiB

about 2 years ago

Oh, Nic Sparks is very much formula love story. I don’t really understand why he gets separate promotion space from the likes of Nora Roberts et al.

—DiB

keldon

about 2 years ago

will never ever give any money to Think Like a Man because of fucking Chris Brown. Not that I was likely to pay to see it anyway.

Santino

about 2 years ago

^what’s wrong with Chris Brown?

d sparky

about 2 years ago

Society seems to be selective in choosing its targets. For instance, Chris Brown is vilified for the Rihanna assault/abuse case but Woody Allen doesn’t seem to get much heat for his, um, sketchy relationship history.

I’m not making claims about whether Brown’s or Allen’s actions are permissible and I’m certainly not equating the magnitude of their actions, but it’s interesting to note how society collectively views certain famous folk.

d sparky

about 2 years ago

wrt April 20 wide-release films, I have a feeling I’ll be dragged to a showing of The Lucky One by my friends as a One Last Hurrah Before Exams Finish thing (well, given Sparks’ typical style, I think it’ll be more like One Last Extremely Emotional Moment Before Exams Finish…).

Santino

about 2 years ago

Oh, people aren’t going to see a Chris Brown movie because of the Rihanna incident? Seriously?

Forget about Woody Allen – what about Mike Tyson? Those Chris Brown boycotters must have also skipped The Hangover because it featured a convicted rapist.

Come on, man. Separate the person from the artist. Otherwise you’re screwed.

keldon

about 2 years ago

did no one see Dennis comment about Chris Brown in the OP?

For the record, I’ve never seen The Hangover, but I do like Roman Polanski’s films.

My distaste for Chris Brown, besides his shitty music, is the same as most everyone else. Dude still clearly has anger issues (good morning america incident) and its pretty easy to find talented musicians that don’t have anger issues and a past with domestic violence, so I’m not really sure whats good about him. That comparison to Woody Allen is a joke. Come on. Saying “I’m Sorry” on Larry King but still acting like a dick….makes him a dick. His tweet telling all the “haters” to fuck off after he won some grammys wasn’t particularly cute either.

I can’t imagine Chris Brown will ever be in anything I consider artistically relevant though, so its not keeping me up at night.

Rock and Bull

about 2 years ago

Of course Woody is a perv, but the big difference is Chris Brown actually beat a woman.

Santino

about 2 years ago

I suppose beating a woman is worse than raping a child.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

about 2 years ago

^ Hahahahaha!!

Doctor Lemonglow needs to step in here.

I think the main difference between Chris Brown and Woody Allen is that Woody Allen occasionally makes compelling films, disturbing as they may be (mostly I’m thinking the end of Manhattan), but Chris Brown, as far as I know, has never made anything that’s compelling to me. So, they’re both dirtbags, but, separating the artist from the man, I’ll take Woody any day.

Although it would be hilarious if Chris Brown gave dating advice in the movie something like “If she gives you lip, just smack the bitch up!” Disturbing, too, though… :/

Santino

about 2 years ago

^Of course. We gotta separate the two. We give Woody and Roman a pass because they make brilliant films. Chris Brown makes crappy music and has been in crappy films. Of course he’s an awful person and I don’t like his work as an artist either. But he being in a film isn’t going to stop me from seeing the film any more than it would stop me from seeing Polanski’s latest film.

The irony of course is that there are far worse people out there than Chris Brown and yet we revere them because we don’t know how awful they are. Why? Because it’s show business – this is why publicists exist!

keldon

about 2 years ago

Its easier to overlook Polanski’s past because it was almost 40 years ago, and like you guys have said, he has made some great movies. I don’t think many people on Mubi would put Chris Brown above Polanski in terms of artistic output. From what I understand, Polanski is kind of a creep and didn’t handle the aftermath of the rape in the best way, but seems to have wised up during my lifetime (aka the last 20 years). I wasn’t alive when the rape actually happened, so I don’t have that perspective like some of you probably do.

In contrast, Brown has very publicly been a jerk recently whether its his adversarial tweets or blowing up on a morning talk show, so its much harder to separate that image from who he is in the movie. I’m sure as time goes on I will care less and less, but it just seems as if the guy is still an idiot, and his output doesn’t change my mind, so I think my time is better spent elsewhere.

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

Chris Brown is a women hating homophobe, few worse people in show biz

at least Mel Gibson had decades of good moments and most likely has a mental illness

Brown is just a hatemonger.

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

Woody hooked up with an adult and has stayed with her for decades

He is not Chaplin or Jerry Lee Lewis (both of whom deserve more credence than Chris Brown)

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

from variety:

From his groundbreaking work on the BBC’s “Blue Planet” and “Planet Earth” series, Alastair Fothergill has established himself as the foremost auteur of nature documentary filmmaking. Directing here with Mark Linfield, he turns his attention to the social structure of chimpanzees, with visually stunning, almost impossibly intimate results. Unfortunately, this footage is welded to a creakily executed story and narrated by a schticky, frequently bellowing Tim Allen, too often betraying the beauty of the imagery. Young kids should love it, promising respectable B.O. returns, but given such once-in-a-lifetime footage, one would have hoped for more.
A Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release of a Disneynature production. Produced by Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield, Alex Tidmarsh. Executive producer, Don Hahn.

Fothergill’s previous Disneynature project, last year’s “African Cats,” also combined elegant photography with a hokey story and kid-friendly narration (from Samuel L. Jackson), but the film at least knew when to let the footage speak for itself, and the superimposed story was more simply sketched.

Here, the narrative concerns an immensely adorable 3-year-old chimp named Oscar, and follows him as he navigates the complex ape hierarchy and learns the ways of his elders. However, a rival band of chimps from the wrong side of the tracks, led by the villainous Scar and always accompanied by doom-laden score cues, is poised to impose on their territory.

After a territorial battle, most of which appears in the form of whip pans and rustling trees, Oscar’s mother is killed, and he must find a new parental figure or risk starvation. If Oscar’s real-life fate mirrors the one depicted here, it reps a genuinely heartwarming turn of events, but given the sometimes visible string-pulling going on to shape the story, one is never sure just how seriously to take things.

Unlike the cheetahs and lions of “African Cats,” the chimps here are so eerily humanlike that giving them jokey personality traits feels even more unnecessary than usual. As expected, the primate behavior on display is fascinating, as deftly framed by the filmmakers; one could watch this band of apes make tools and crack nuts for hours. A particularly masterful sequence sketches out the pack’s intricate strategy for hunting a high-perching group of monkeys, although the presumably brutal aftermath is understandably edited out.

Allen’s narration is clearly aimed toward younger viewers, but his habit of indicating tension by simply yelling frequently breaks the film’s spell, and a forced instance of “Home Improvement” quotation provokes heavy groans.

Like many of Fothergill’s previous projects, “Chimpanzee” is chockfull of art gallery-worthy time-lapse landscape photography, and one insert sequence of falling raindrops causing seed pods to burst into steam could easily be spliced into a new cut of “The Tree of Life” with no one batting an eye. Sound design and editing are thoroughly pro.

Camera (color), Martyn Colbeck, Bill Wallauer; editor, Andy Netley; music, Nicholas Hooper; sound, Tim Owens; supervising sound editor, Kate Hopkins; re-recording mixers, Matthew Gough, Andrew Wilson. Reviewed at Walt Disney Studios, April 6, 2012. MPAA Rating: G. Running time: 78 MIN.

Polaris​DiB

about 2 years ago

Think like a Man did surprisingly well this weekend, at least its income surprised me. It’s unfortunate that this weekend didn’t let Cabin in the Woods percolate some more noteworthy income like I mentioned earlier, but surprisingly Hunger Games’ diminishing returns have a diminishing rate of decrease, which is giving it the exact opposite curve than it should have???? I don’t know, but it made third.

Looks like Nicolas Sparks will still make movies. Sigh

—PolarisDiB

HAKKKED LOL

almost 2 years ago

so…the book its based on also gets product placement in the movie? weird. Id rather watch steve harvey trudge thru a fmaily feud. all 3 movies look pretty bland.

maybe there should be a dedicated celebrity gossip thread so all you catty bitches can snipe at whoever you want ad nauseum and these threads can maybe focus on the movies.