An Unromantic Time at the Movies

Deadpool, Zoolander 2

February 14 is just a day on the calendar to some, but to most it’s Valentine’s Day. You know, the day Hallmark invented to sell hundreds of thousands of cards that all take too long to say, “I love you.” The day where the restaurant industry is booming and if you didn’t make a reservation your significant other will give you the side eye for the entire evening. The day chocolate and flower companies thrive on. The day both new and old couples cannot figure out what to get for their special someone. The day single people feel more alone than ever. It is the “most romantic” day of the year.

With said romance, people all over run around aimlessly trying to plan the perfect evening to showcase their love for another person. In that planning, most people end up going to the movie theater to see some type of romantic movie. But, why?

As a hardcore movie fan I could never really figure this out. You would rather spend an average of 90 minutes to two hours sitting in silence with your significant other watching two or more people on the silver screen fall hopelessly in love while going through a few obstacle courses?

Well, not necessarily. Over the past few years, less and less romantic movies have dominated the Valentine’s Day (President’s Day) weekend box office. Like the current world we live in, the movie industry is trying to swing the most romantic day of the year – normally tailored for women – into a male dominated “holiday.”

How patriarchal.

Since 2010, the top three movies at the box office over Valentine’s Day have been one romantic movie, one violent action movie and one movie for kids. So is it being tailored for single people so they have something to do? Or is it being tailored for men so they can choose what they do during the day? Or is it just a regular ol’ weekend in the movie industry?

Truth is, there’s no way of knowing. I’m just here to ask is a movie really the best idea for Valentine’s Day? There are so many romantic things you can do with your time it just sounds like lazy planning. Historically, January and February are the worst months for the box office. I’m all for people seeing movies, but why just this weekend?

This year, the predicted top movies for the weekend are Deadpool, Zoolander 2, and potentially. How to Be Single or Kung Fu Panda 3.

If you do decide to go against my advice, as many do, let my brief reviews tailor whether or not a movie is right for you this Valentine’s Day.

 

DEADPOOL

This will honestly be one of the year’s best movies and a “superhero” movie that will completely change the genre. However, do not call this a superhero movie. It is at least five things before it is that. It’s a comedy. In some ways it’s a love story. It’s a revenge story. It’s a blood and gore fest, and lastly, it is a comic book movie. But Deadpool is no superhero, which is why this movie works.

You will see many reviews that will try to categorize it as such and compare it to The Avengers and other works of Marvel, but this movie is incomparable. Not to say it’s the greatest comic book movie ever (Dark Knight) but it will definitely change the genre completely as long as the studios are willing to listen to fans more. This is– when it all comes down to it– a fan-made movie. It’s a passion project that millions of people have wanted for a while and Fox Pictures finally gave it to us exactly how we wanted it.

It has the hard-R rating and it’s the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play. Granted he did a stellar job in Just Friends, Definitely, Maybe, and even The Proposal. But Deadpool is his movie. Everyone else is just there to fill out the characters.

Now, to relate back to what weekend this comes out on, which is Valentine’s Day weekend. I would recommend this movie to anyone willing to see blood and gore every three minutes, some vulgarity thrown out by Reynold’s title character, nudity, and did I mention the blood and gore? HOWEVER, I would not recommend taking your significant other to see this, at least on Valentines Day. Unless he or she happens to be the biggest Ryan Reynolds or Deadpool fan. But regardless, I couldn’t imagine taking a date to this movie with how bloody and raunchy it is and how many times the jokes take a dark turn or cross lines. But that’s Deadpool.

If there is one takeaway from this movie, which I have to add is actually very well done cinematically, it is that the editing is superb and the cinematography is better than I’ve seen any movie from the MCU do, thanks to Julian Clarke and Ken Seng, respectively. There needs to be more R-rated comic book/superhero movies. In the small sample size we have gotten so far – Blade Trilogy, Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones – this has proven it’s the next step.

Stop caring about the money and start doing things because it’s what the fans demand. We know what’s good. Don’t forget, we are the ones seeing your movie.

 

ZOOLANDER 2

I just saw this at a screening in Phoenix and it was in the biggest theater there. The crowd was packed, bigger than I would have expected, and it was all to see a sequel to a movie mostly everyone loved back in 2001. So, what’s the problem? The problem is it is beyond rare for a sequel this long after the first movie to actually work out. Good news, it’s not awful and definitely not even in the same league as Dumb and Dumber To.

If you view it as simply as nostalgia film, it works really well. They make many callbacks to the first movie. Practically every character returns one way or another and they spend about five minutes telling you what happened to the main characters over the past 15 years. And the cameos! Oh my, the cameos. The cameos are what really make this movie worth seeing.

What didn’t work with this movie is, simply, it’s a comedy sequel. It’s the nature of the beast. I honestly couldn’t name more than three times a straight up comedy sequel has worked. 22 Jump Street, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. And you can probably add MacGruber 2 to this list whenever that gets made.

But almost every comedy sequel falls victim to redoing the exact same storyline from the first one, because it worked then, so why not now? In this case, the entire movie is practically the same if you took all the characters from Zoolander and put them into a time machine and it’s now 2016.

The good news is, I’m fairly certain Justin Theroux (who wrote both screenplays) as well as Ben Stiller both did this intentionally because it’s a movie about male models who happen to be possibly the stupidest people on Earth. If you expect more out of it, you’re no smarter than Zoolander himself.

I’m not sure why this is being released over the “romantic” weekend, but nevertheless, it is and I am sure a lot of people will see it.

STILL, even though these reviews suggest these are good films, don’t take your date to a movie over Valentine’s Day! See them some other time. Trust me. Have a real conversation over dinner. Better yet, why don’t you make dinner for your date? Show them a great time and enjoy life as it is meant to be. See a movie any and every other weekend of the year.

Photo Credit – Deadpool
Photo Credit – Zoolander 2
Dillon Rosenblatt

Dillon Rosenblatt

Graduated from ASU with Bachelors in Journalism. Movie and TV super fan, I watch 70 shows and collect movie tickets. Predictor of Oscars and Emmys, Syncher of Lips, super sarcastic and funny.#Feminist
Dillon Rosenblatt

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