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Just a little somethin’ to break the monotony”

By Kevin J Johnson

Laughter is the balm that heals all souls; that’s why we have fart jokes. Now that Hollywood’s grown a pair and started releasing R-rated comedies again (you were lucky to get one or two releases in previous years), audiences can look forward to some ribald humor and inappropriate antics.

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Seth Rogen and Zac Efron team up in Nicholas Stoller’s NEIGHBORS (5/9, Universal), a frat house vs. new parents comedy. This has extremely good buzz, and Stoller’s comedy cred is super-legit. I haven’t looked this forward to having my face hurt since asking out my senior prom date. People are going to be talking about NEIGHBORS for a while this summer.

 

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) returns to the big screen with A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (5/30, Universal) after his big hit TED. An all-star cast, including Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson and Neil Patrick Harris, sends up the Western genre and I’m giving MacFarlane and co. the benefit of a doubt.

 

Melissa McCarthy returns to theaters with TAMMY (7/2, WB), co-written by herself and her spouse Ben Falcone who also directed, and produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. The pedigree behind this one is top-notch, but I need more from the marketing. Right now, I’m expecting CBS’s Molly to spend 90 minutes robbing a KFC.

 

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel co-star in SEX TAPE (7/25, Sony), reuniting with their BAD TEACHER director Jake Kasdan. I wasn’t a fan of their last film together, but I’ve been a fan of Ms. Diaz since THE MASK and Segel was incredible in FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, so I’m not missing this one.

 

LET’S BE COPS (8/15, Fox) has a great premise, two appealing leads in Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Damon Wayans, Jr., (Happy Endings), and is directed by Luke Greenfield. He’s the guy that made THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, a film I haven’t seen (except for a few clips online ~ ahem!). When two buddies pretending to be cops run afoul of real criminals, it’s hard to imagine an unfunny film as a result. Funnier premises have been ruined, though.

 

THINK LIKE A MAN TOO (6/20, Sony) reunites the cast of the first film with director Tim Story. 2012’s entry was a hit, so in classic comedy fashion, I expect this to be an even bigger hit and a worse film. Kinda like AMERICAN PIE 2, but with way more Black people in it. I like the cast, and I really hope I’m wrong about this because we need more good films, period.

 

BLENDED (5/23, WB) is Adam Sandler’s… you know, let’s not talk about Blended. Let’s talk about 22 Jump Street.

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22 JUMP STREET (6/13, Sony) is the sequel to 2012’s successful reboot of the Stephen J. Cannell teen cop drama. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back, along with co-star Ice Cube and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (THE LEGO MOVIE, Clone High). This time, the cop duo is sent to a university to infiltrate a drug ring and collegiate hi-jinks ensue.

 

I thought the previous film was perfect in execution: take a well-loved but half-baked property, endearingly make fun of its flaws, and celebrate/amplify its strengths. Other films like THE A-TEAM, THE SMURFS and DARK SHADOWS failed where 21 JUMP STREET excelled, so I’m very excited to see what that team has cooked up next.

 

Summertime has been good to the comedy genre, and we at Nuke The Fridge wanna know more about your favorite laughers. What film made you laugh the hardest? Which comedies do you still quote? What’s your most anticipated comedy? Let us know in the comments below!

 

But what about the groove that soothes that moves romance?”

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I was tempted to use a lyric from “Summer Nights” but I got a theme going here. Love is in the air and on the screen, as romantic films have been a time-tested genre with couples of all ages gathering in theaters. And this summer will be no different, with Shailene Woodley in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (6/6, Fox).

 

Woodley stars as Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who falls in love with Augustus “Gus” Waters, a teenaged amputee played by Ansel Elgort (DIVERGENT). Woodley’s star has been on the rise for some time, and the actress has shown remarkable taste in her chosen projects. This one should be a winner.

 

Chloë Grace Moretz stars in IF I STAY (8/22, WB) as Mia Hall, a young musician watching her loved ones through an out-of-body experience after a terrible car accident leaves her in a coma. Moretz was a highlight of the Kick-Ass franchise, and this should show her softer side. R.J. Cutler (Nashville) makes his feature directorial debut.

 

Both of these romances are adapted from popular young adult novels and both star popular charming leads. These continue a trend that gave us such works as THE SPECTACULAR NOW, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and, of course, The Vampire-Werewolf-Romance-Saga-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.

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In addition to the romcoms SEX TAPE (7/25, Sony), THINK LIKE A MAN TOO (6/20, Sony), and the Adam Sandler one, the title escapes me…, there’s also Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (5/2, Sony).

 

As far as blockbuster movies go, let alone superhero flicks, Garfield and Stone have the best onscreen chemistry I’ve seen in ages. Sony may have tried to steal a page from the Twilight playbook, but these two are the best part of the rebooted franchise. Oddly, the marketing has overlooked this aspect of the sequel, possibly to their own box-office detriment.

 

Trivia Question: what was the movie that Barack and Michelle Obama went on for their first date?

 

 

Tonight, we’ll talk about reboots and re-don’t movies of the summer. ..