Weekend Movie Guide: April 13-15
One hot Rock, with a double serving of Hamm, and a side of LaBeouf.
Are you hungry, or are you just thirsty? Yes, folks, that’s right: No matter how you like your man meat, there’s a little (or not-so-little) something for everyone at the box office this weekend, from ripped scientists to stoic diplomats to charismatic actor-types to aggressive, abrasive athletes. Let’s dig in, so to speak, and see what’s coming to a theater near you:
There have been a lot of movies based on video games in theaters lately, but only one has a thirty-foot flying wolf in it, and it’s this one. Plus, watching the Rock do sign language with a giant gorilla (getting more giant by the day) is almost as satisfying as watching an even bigger gorilla destroy heckin’ everything. And then fight the thirty-foot flying wolf! It’s like Congo meets King Kong meets Donkey Kong meets Godzilla meets...whatever the Rock is cookin’. What does it smell like? Extra butter sauce! See you in the front row.
Do you prefer your explosions to have some basis in true events? If Don Draper’s later life had gone just a little bit differently, he might have ended up a lot like the lead in Beirut—a consummate negotiator and alcoholic who gets swept up in spy games during the Lebanese civil war. Now, we’re not huge fans of seeing another country’s complex political history and trauma play out through the eyes of a neutral audience surrogate (that means white dude), even if those eyes do belong to no-nonsense charm-factory Jon Hamm, but since Beirut is written by the same screenwriter behind Michael Clayton and the Bourne saga, we’re willing to suspend our suspicions and get swept up in the intrigue of an extremely delicate operation. Plus, it’s not every weekend that you can see an espionage thriller that also happened to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
It’s also not every weekend that you get to go HAM for Hamm—twice! This time, he plays the mysterious brother of an even more mysterious Zachary Quinto, who pays for sessions in cash from a therapist (our favorite alt-actress of the moment, Jenny Slate) who should, honestly, probably lose her job, because she’s messing around with Hamm in secret. Is your mind getting bent yet? Wait, there’s more: Quinto’s character might be seeing the manic pixie dream girl of his, uh, dreams (Sheila Vand, best known for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), but she might also not even exist! Whatever’s going on here, Quinto’s haircut alone is sure to make you feel a little bit better about the state of your own life, at least for a couple of hours. And here we thought he couldn’t possibly do worse than the “Spock”!
Borg vs. McEnroe
And finally, this weekend you can finally do something for that tennis lover in your life, and take them to see this 80s-tastic sports drama based on the historic Wimbledon match of the same name. Nowadays when we think about tennis, we mostly think about Venus and Serena Williams (and rightfully so), but back before John McEnroe was playing himself on episodes of 30 Rock, he was screaming at referees opposite a Swedish man-machine by the name of Björn Borg. And honestly, who better to play the volatile tennis star than Shia LaBeouf, also known as the actor out here doing the very most right now? Yes, from lighting up at a Broadway show and then screaming at a cop about it to doing weird, vaguely political performance art for YouTube, LaBeouf has both the curls and the churlishness to do McEnroe proud. We heard he reached out to production himself, in fact, because he identified so strongly with the role. This movie dramatizes a classic sports-movie plot: the rigorous, regimented athlete versus the phenomenal yet undisciplined savant. Will it be something to love, or something to give a score of “love”? Only one way to find out.