Friday, June 28, 2013

Before the fireworks: The Heat, Copperhead and White House Down.

It's Friday and that means it's time to decide if you're going to try to catch a first run release before hitting the barbecues next week.

It also means that it's the weekend for making all of the Fourth of July references in movie reviews, so you may as well brace yourself now. You'll be reading about the barrage of White House Down "fireworks" and how the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat is hotter than a "sizzling summer grill", throughout the next week.

I'll spare you all of that and just give you the bottom-line. It's one you already know. If you're drawn to seeing White House Down, very little, I should think, is going to get you to buy a ticket for a girl buddy-cop movie. If on the other hand you're heading to the movies to see Bullock and McCarthy cut up with near perfect balance as a comedy team, one that will surely, actresses schedules permitting, spawn a sequel, I'd be betting big time that White House Down may not even qualify for a future Netflix queue.

And of course, if you're worn out with summer star vehicles on just the second weekend of the summer, but you're a died in the wool movie fan, you'll be off chasing down the elusive limited release.

In that order, here are the weekend's choices. I'll go with The Heat. Advance reviews are great and the thought of watching Washington DC decimated by terrorists is just too depressing.

The Heat looks like a win/win with two actresses who have impeccable timing, established comedic credentials and big fan bases. I think it could top the weekend numbers.

White House Down has been a topic on the pages of Moviedozer in the past, both for its poster campaign and its unapologetic, seemingly gleeful take on destroying Washington DC in a terrorist attack. (See here and here.)

Director Roland Emmerich is a true master in his chosen genre and advance word is that Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum have a surprising amount of chemistry on the screen. It all makes for a movie better than not and a weekend that might prove very good to Sony/Columbia and to both actor's movie careers.

The trailer that follows is the extended version that should either have you salivating for more or convinced you've seen more than you needed to. Enjoy.

If you're dismissing The Heat as a chick-flick and White House Down as more of the same, the independent release that caught my eye this weekend is a modest historical piece with both an appealing cast and a solid dramatic underpinning to a historical pivot point in this nation's civil war. Copperhead offers drama that carries to today in theme and, when put in context against developing democracies and destructive dictatorships, feels perfectly timed.

Copperhead leads its cast with Billy Campbell and then surrounds him with credible actors that include Peter Fonda and Angus Macfadyen. The film is directed by Ronald F. Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals), from the novel by Harold Frederic.

Have a safe and Happy July 4th no matter where in the world you live.

Thanks to 20th Century Fox Film Corp., Sony Pictures and Brainstorm Media for trailers and poster art.

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