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Weekend Forecast for July 27-29, 2012

By Reagen Sulewski

July 26, 2012

That poor cow.

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And that's pretty much the end of the giant opening weekends for a while. The last weekend of July and the whole month of August pretty much limp their way home to the finish line, which isn't to say there's nothing worthwhile coming out in theaters – it just won't be putting up any gaudy numbers.

Another of Ben Stiller's ensemble comedies leads the way for the two new films this week. The Watch (formerly Neighborhood Watch) puts him, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade (of The IT Crowd) as a group of suburban dads who form a watch group to help counter an alien invasion, which is apparently just taken as a given here.

With this foursome and director Akiva Schaeffer (of Lonely Island fame), it's going to play heavily on the Comedy of the Lame aspect, with the trailer and commercials putting a lot of emphasis on just how ill-prepared and power-trippy this group is. “Look, they're playing gangsta rap to look tough, but they're not tough!” Ha ha ha, we get jokes. This looks to be combined with the Ben Stiller influence of taking a joke way past the point of where it's funny into that uncomfortable area where it drags with the hope of taking it even further to the point where it's funny again (aka The Rake Scene Scale). Really, most of the film seems to be assembled from the basest level of each actor's shtick – Stiller's barely repressed rage, Vaughn's brash arrogance and Hill's insecure man-child. Really, looking back on that group, it seems like an inherently flawed group of actors, who are all playing the same note. Only Ayoade gets a bit of a pass here since American audiences aren't that familiar with him.




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I'm maybe not being totally fair to the film, which also has some action-comedy set pieces to fall back on. Even those are fairly unimpressive, though, and a weird outline effect plus exploding cows does not a comedy masterpiece make. Reviews are appropriately terrible too, which will probably bring down the film's opening from Stiller's decent comedy average. I'm not sure the addition of the other actors add anything to that either, as the overlap between Stiller and Vaughn's audiences is pretty close to complete. I look for around $17 million this weekend.

If you had predicted six years ago that the Step Up series would be on its fourth film and making multiple tens of millions of dollars of profit each time, you'd have been viewed as a mad genius. I remember the '80s, and that breakdancing fad sure seemed to come and go a lot faster than this one, which is closing in on a decade-long run. But I guess the So You Think You Can Dance people have to get jobs somewhere, right? Anyway, here we have Step Up: Revolution, which shifts the scene from... wherever... to Miami, where dancers set up flash mob dances to show just how inequality is affected the world, and all those Wall Street fatcats have to suck it! Look, you come up with a better current-events themed plot line in the ten minutes they thought about it, okay?


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