‘The Amazing Spider-Man,’ ‘Twenty Twelve,’ ‘Savages’ — Check It or Chuck It
It’s Check It or Chuck It, a weekly column in which we recommend five things to check out and five things to “chuck.” Highlights this week include some web-slinging superhero fun, Oliver Stone’s return to the criminal underworld and BBC America’s Summer Olympics spoof. And, as always, we recommend a few things to avoid in your weekly media diet, including a fairy tale-based Blu-ray release and a pair of slumping reality shows.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Spidey’s back! And he’s all new (for some reason). Despite the middling reviews for Sony’s ‘Spider-Man’ reboot, opening Friday, we’re still itching to see ‘(500) Days of Summer’ director Marc Webb’s take on the web crawler’s origin. The movie’s story may not surprise, but the special effects are sure to dazzle. Plus the cast features a few of our favorite Hollywood heavies, like angry comedy genius Dennis Leary and the lovely Emma Stone.
After last year’s disappointing ‘Wall Street’ sequel, we’re glad to see Oliver Stone return to the violent, blood-soaked crime movie genre with ‘Savages,’ opening in theaters this Friday. The film follows two California pot dealers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) who come up against a deadly Mexican cartel (led by Salma Hayek), after the cartel kidnaps their Blake Lively-shaped girlfriend (Blake Lively). John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro also appear in supporting roles.
Beloved character acting badass David Morse and indie vet Martin Donovan star in this tense and funny crime thriller written and directed by Donovan, opening at New York’s IFC Center this Friday and now available on VOD in most areas.
Premiering Saturday on BBC America, this mockumentary spoofs the making of London’s 2012 Summer Olympics. ‘Downtown Abbey’s’ Hugh Bonneville leads a cast that also includes UK comedy vets Jessica Hynes (‘Spaced,’ ‘Shaun of the Dead’), Olivia Colman (‘The Office,’ ‘Green Wing’), and Graham Hitchins (‘Primeval’).
Marc Maron Interviews Joel McHale
‘Community’ star Joel McHale sits down with comedian Marc Maron for a fun, revealing chat on Maron’s WTF podcast. Maron is never one to shy away from probing questions, so ‘Community’ fans can expect to hear what McHale really thinks about show creator Dan Harmon getting the boot shortly after its fourth season renewal.
People Like Us
A new film involving Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the co-writers of ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fringe’ and ‘Transformers’ would usually land on our “Check It” list. Unfortunately, Kurtzman’s directorial debut, the recently released ‘People Like Us,‘ is a poorly received two-hour long soap opera – perfect “Chuck It” list fodder.
Mirror Mirror on DVD and Blu-ray
There couldn’t be a more perfect “Chuck It” contender than this flamboyant retelling of the ‘Snow White’ story (yes, another one), available on DVD and Blu-ray this week, which was booted out of theaters after only a few short weeks.
Support for a Spin-Off of ‘The Office’
We have nothing against Rainn Wilson, the comic actor who plays Dwight Schrute on ‘The Office.’ But it’s hard not to expect the worst from NBC’s hammy idea for an ‘Office’ spin-off centered on Dwight and his relationship with two very sitcom-y siblings (who have never been mentioned before now) and their efforts to run a bed and breakfast. Yeah, that’s happening. Probably next season. And the writer-producer mostly responsible for the last few crummy seasons of ‘The Office’ is in charge. We will not watch, we will Hate Watch.
Feeling Sorry for Bristol Palin
The premiere of Palin’s new reality show ‘Life’s a Tripp’ was number one on our “Chuck It” list a few weeks ago, and it looks like the rest of America agreed with us. The show premiered to dismal ratings (726,00 viewers), forcing the Lifetime network to air it an hour later than originally planned, essentially killing its chances for renewal. Instead of feeling sorry for Bristol, let’s celebrate a wonderful development for man, child and animals alike — the Palin name finally seems to be fading away from the cultural landscape. (What can we say Bristol? Life’s a trip!)
Feeling Sorry for Snooki and JWow
Last week’s premiere of ‘Snooki & JWoww’ on MTV wasn’t a mega success either. The show pulled in lower ratings than Snooki’s former ‘Jersey Shore’ housemate Pauly D’s spin-off, ‘The Pauly D Project,’ earning a little more than 2 million viewers. Could this be the end of the ‘Jersey Shore’ crew polluting our TV screens with their banal crudity and stupidity? Untanned fingers crossed.