Weekend Movie Guide: Hangovers & Pandas

WEEKEND MOVIE GUIDE: If you’re looking to squander this fine holiday weekend inside, you’ve got The Hangover Part II, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Tree of Life: Electric Boogaloo (in some locations). One second… okay, I’m being told Tree of Life is not actually a sequel. Sorry for the confusion.

THE HANGOVER PART II: Some dudes wake up in Thailand, and you’ll never believe this, but some wacky stuff happens.

RottenTomatoes: 34%

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“Somebody must have roofied me. I left The Hangover Part II feeling dazed and abused, wondering how bad things happened to such a good comedy.” -Peter Travers

“In Roseanne Barr’s recent exposé of TV culture, she got to the core of this dishonesty by cutting through the media’s hypocrisy about Charlie Sheen’s meltdown. Barr dared to describe his TV series Two and a Half Men as the first TV show about a john. That’s the same lowlife behavior that The Hangover movies salute; they come from the same Hollywood sewer. Phillips and Galifianakis pretend that without a steadying, accountable presence, The Hangover Part II is satire. Fact is, it’s unrepentant indulgence.” –Armond White

The Hangover Part II is the worst sequel of all time. I realise that is quite a claim. After all, the 20th century gave us Death Wish II, Child’s Play 3 and Return To The Blue Lagoon.
The 21st has already thrown up such hideous cultural artefacts as Saw III, Daddy Day Camp and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.
But The Hangover Part II trounces all competition by being four diabolical movies in one. It offers an aggressively bone-headed glorification of male sexism, a toe-curlingly racist view of the non-American world, and a Gary Glitterish celebration of sex tourism.
Two years ago, I gave The Hangover a five-star review…” -Chris Tookey, DailyMail

ARMCHAIR ANALYSIS: You can read my full review here, but the gist of it is “monkeys are funny.” (I LOVE YOU, ANNIE’S BOOBS!)

A lot of the hate for this movie seems to be coming from people saying “I ADORED the first one but…”  And frankly I can’t respect any review that begins by telling you how brilliant The Hangover was. If you say you love the first one, but the second one is sexist, you are a cretin. I thought the first one was mildly amusing (and that’s okay!) with a mostly-tired structure (and it does not hold up upon repeat viewings).  This one has a similarly-tired structure (why would you expect anything else?) with (mostly) funnier jokes.  I refuse to be ashamed at laughing at a line like, “Aw, I wish monkeys could Skype.”  I also think most critics want their “outrageous” laughs without an edge of borderline offensiveness, which is bullsh*t.


KUNG FU PANDA 2: There’s this panda, and he does kung fu.

RottenTomatoes: 78%

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“Hardly a scene goes by that isn’t visually striking or ki

netically thrilling, and all of it enhanced by 3-D. -Joe Morganstern,” Wall Street Journal

“Whoever was responsible for all but writing out the original’s best character, Shifu, deserves the most scorn. With maybe seven minutes and a handful of lines, it ends up featuring less of Dustin Hoffman than the eleventh hour reshoots of Little Fockers.” -Erik Childress, eFilmCritic

“Po and friends redeem themselves with a terrific third act, the animation (in three distinct styles) is superb and there’s enough hiii-YA-ing to keep the kids yipping throughout.” -Kyle Smith, NY Post

ARMCHAIR ANALYSIS: So you see he’s a Panda, and Pandas are Chinese.  But the panda also does Kung Fu, which is also Chinese.  Hmm, somehow I feel like I’m failing to adequately render this for the common layperson. Needless to say, between a Chinese animal doing Chinese things, coupled with the Panda’s prodigious girth, I’m sure it proves ground for humor most fertile, ha ha ha!

TREE OF LIFE: Terrence Malick’s luminous, coming-of-age family drama about an 11-year-old growing up in the Midwest.  Also, dinosaurs.

RottenTomatoes: 85%

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

If I have to choose between a movie that contains no ideas at all and one that tries to do too much, I’ll pick the latter. -Dave White,

Daring in concept, occasionally daffy in execution and ultimately unforgettable, Mr. Malick’s film offers a heartfelt answer to the question of where we humans belong- with each other, on this planet, bound by love. -Joe Morganstern, Wall Street Journal

Will you find it ridiculously sublime or sublimely ridiculous? Don’t be afraid to find it both. -David Edelstein, New York Magazine

ARMCHAIR ANALYSIS: I couldn’t make it to the press screening this week, and I have no idea what to make of this without seeing it (which is a good thing).  The New World was boring as hell, but I do like dinosaurs.