In this week's new releases, 'Bourne' a bust, 'Hope' a plus, 'Campaign' stupid, hilarious
If you're looking for a movie to see this weekend, put Hope Springs on your list, but steer clear of The Bourne Legacy. That's the consensus of our expert movie reviewers. Plus you might consider checking out The Campaign.
Three big films hit the big screen this weekend and the cross the gamut of topics: from seniors (not) having sex to an action-adventure chase flick that builds off its three predecessors.
The Bourne Legacy builds on the three-part Jason Bourne series, but does so without Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. Rafer Guzman, Newsday's film critic, called Damon's omission "glaring."
"Basically what you have here is a bait-and-switch. It's the Bourne name that has nothing to do with the last three films and nothing to do with the Bourne series, really," Guzman said.
Even worse, though, Guzman said it's not a good film, setting aside the bait-and-switch.
"It is a really, talky, dragy, boring, boring thriller," he said.
As bad as Bourne was though, Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell, was the exact opposite.
"It's really funny and certain moments and it's really touching at certain moments," said Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for The Takeaway. "I heard people guffawing with recognition and laughter during the first half, and by half-way through, the middle-aged man sitting next to me was sobbing."
Guzman called it a "really good movie."
"It's much more of a tender, funny comedy and romance," he said. "This is actually, I think, Meryl Streep's most, frankly, sexual role. I've never seen her do some of the things on screen that she does."
The other big opening this weekend is Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis in The Campaign, about a bumbling politician's effort to win elected office.
Guzman called the flick "stupid and hilarious."
"I think the funniest part about this movie is all they really have to do to get laughs is just behave like actual politicians," he said.
Meinzer agreed, and said the best parts come in moments inspired by actual campaign flubs. For example, in a synagogue, Galifinakis calls a yarmulke and yamaha.
"Not too different from Mitt Romney calling a Sikh, a sheikh," Meinzer said.
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH Radio Boston.