The First Purge – By the simple fact that I’m including this movie as the number one on my list of dumpster fires it looks like I have a hate on for this franchise which is untrue. I really dug the first two films, an opinion that is definitely not a shared one when it comes to the original Ethan Hawke led first installment. The second film had a real Escape From New York vibe with Frank Grillo dispatching purgers left and right but the third film started well but totally collapsed by the third act, making me wish I was anywhere but the theater watching this mediocrity. I honestly thought that was the end and, in a way, it was. The new film sees the departure of creator James DeMarco, leaving the director’s chair for this prequel that shows the start of the annual Purge and really just acts as an unenthusiastic launching point for the upcoming USA Network series. With a premise that has limitless potential, this is just a hapless disappointment.
The Leisure Seeker – With a one-two punch of Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland leading your cast it should be an automatic win, should it not? So then, what the hell went wrong with this movie? Mirren and Sutherland play a long married couple with quirks that automatically repel the general public who decide to go on a long road trip in their ancient and beaten down RV known as the “Leisure Seeker”. The real problem is that they repel the movie goers as well as neither of these characters come off as likeable as they should and you kind of want a Thelma and Louise finish to the third act. I hope that Michael Zadoorian’s book is as grating because the underlying story is both sweet and endearing.
Weekend At Bernie’s II – Oh boy, talk about a film that is not just a product of its time but only one the was in the microcosm of its predecessor’s release. Just look at the premise of Weekend At Bernie’s. Two basic assholes use their murdered boss’s body to get them the perks that they could get without him, including cash, drinks and unlimited parties all the while his murderer is looking to silence everyone. Even worse, the sequel had the writer promoted to the director’s chair and employed the subplot of voodoo to reanimate Bernie’s surprisingly unrotten corpse to new levels of hilarity. I for one am glad that we have gone beyond this comedy in some good ways. In other ways we are very much still here or possibly a bar lower.