Critics say this weekend's new movie releases unintentionally funny
Lawless is supposed to be a period piece. The Possession is a horror thriller. And Oogieloves is a kids movie. But all of them are hilarious on at least some level. All three are out in theaters this weekend.
Three big movies are openings in theaters across America this weekend — and they present audiences with a little bit of everything.
First, there's Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy partnership as bootlegging brothers in "Lawless," as well as the thriller "The Possession" and, for the kids, "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure."
Lawless is based on Matt Bondurant's 2008 novel The Wettest County in the World, which tells a tale of Prohibition-era Virginia and the bootleggers who ran there. All goes well until a new (deputy) sheriff rolls into town and tries to shut down the bootlegging and partying.
Kristen Meinzer, The Takeaway's culture producer, panned the movie.
"I thought it was really beautiful to look at," she said. "But I found it to be overly-complicated. I thought the characters were underdeveloped, particularly Guy Pierce, who plays the deputy who comes into town."
That said, Meinzer lauded Hardy for his role in the film.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday's movie critic, said if nothing else, they got the history right, and evoked the period of the film well.
"It's a very lush-looking period piece," he said.
But Guzman liked the fim generally as well. He called the movie "fun," and lauded the cast.
"It actually has a really good sense of humor about it," he said.
Possession, a film about a girl who is possessed by spirits in a box she buys at a garage sale, is decidedly sad — and scary. A family is being torn apart and the demon, Meinzer said, is absolutely terrifying, but unlike anything she'd ever seen.
"Rather than being one that can be exorcised by a Catholic priest, we need Hasidic Jews to take care of it in this movie," Meinzer said. "So there are a few different twists that make it different from other possession movies."
Guzman said the movie, while scary, was also really funny.
"I think most people in the audience where I was got a real kick out of it," he said. "The movie doesn't take itself very seriously. I feel like it's really not trying to scare you, so much as it is trying to make you laugh at the cliches you recognize from other horror movies."
Oogieloves, the kids' film out this weekend, shares some definite similarities with Teletubbies, which was brought to the United States by Oogieloves producer Ken Viselman. It follows three characters as they search for magic balloons.
"It's very cutesy-wootsy," Guzman said. "it's interactive. Children are supposed to get up, sing, chant, dance; there are on-screen cues for this."
While kids may like it though, Guzman said for parents it might be rough.
"It'll numb your brain," he said.
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