You have no excuse to not go to the movies this weekend. Did you know that on average, Americans are only seeing five movies a year?!?! How do you even pick five movies a year—I want to see at least five movies a month and am heartbroken when I have to save one to watch on DVD. This week, there are five excellent movies out and if you don’t go and see one, I’m just going to give up on you. Not really though. “Hot Tub Time Machine” looks much less awful now that I’ve seen the second trailer, “Chloe” is blushingly sexy, “How to Train Your Dragon” is a sweet tale of vikings and their dragons, “The Exploding Girl” is a boy meets girl but girl wants to be friends kind of flick, and “City Island” makes me never want to have a family because the concentrated pool of lies is too viscous to permeate.
The Movie: “Hot Tub Time Machine”
The Trailer: A group of guys get together to party in a ski town that they’d visited a couple decades prior. John Cusack just got dumped by his girlfriend, his buddy Lou (Rob Corddrey from “The Daily Show”) is a lushy mess, his friend Nick (Craig Robinson from “The Office”) has a cheating wife, and they also bring along his computer nerd nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke from “Greek”). They’re partying in the ski chalet hot tub when they’re magically propelled back in time to 1986. They have the chance to tweak the past so that their futures aren’t so grim.
The Hitch: The premise is ridiculous. The cast is kind of fantastic. And once I found the rated R trailer (as presented above), I finally got it! It’s hilarious! It’s self-mocking and filthy. I totally planned on mocking the hell out of this movie, but since my favorite movie reviewer at EW gave it a B, which she rarely does, I’m going to cosign. And if it sucks, I will totally not refund your ticket. I’m also super excited for my friend Clark Duke, who is hilarious and talented and deserves lots of roles, even though people say he looks like a lesbian sometimes and his skin is completely pore-less.
The Movie: “Chloe”
The Trailer: Toronto physician Catherine (Julianne Moore) suspects her husband David (Liam Neeson) is cheating on her, so she hires an escort named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to test him. Only Chloe goes crazy/rogue and ignores his insistence that he needs to remain faithful to his wife. And then she seduces Catherine as well and becomes obsessive and scary.
The Hitch: The trailer makes the movie look a tad soft-core porn-esque, but the combined acting talents of Moore, Neeson, and Seyfried should make for an interesting, twisted menage-a-trois! But for the record, has anything good ever come from hiring someone to test your spouse? I don’t think so.
The Movie: “How to Train Your Dragon”
The Trailer: DreamWork’s newest 3-D digital animation follows Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), the son of a massive viking named Stoick (Gerard Butler, who wants Hiccup to become a dragon slayer. Hiccup makes friends with a dragon named Toothless of the Night Fury variety (one of the dozen breeds of dragon) after accidentally cutting off part of his tail, which prevents it from flying away, so Hiccup nurses the beast and inadvertently becomes somewhat of a dragon slayer.
The Hitch: This may sound super lame, but I’m kind of into dragon movies since renting “Eragon” a few years back, based on the fact that the male lead is super hot. But dragon bonding is kind of less annoying than bromance—it’s like watching a man bond with his dog. Who happens to fly and breath fire.
The Movie: “The Exploding Girl”
The Trailer: Ivy (Zoe Kazan) returns home from college for the summer, to her mom’s NYC apartment. She hangs out with her friend Al (Mark Rendall) who’s got a crush on her, she goes to doctors to manage her epilepsy, and she just goes about her life.
The Hitch: It’s not much for plot points and relies heavily on Kazan’s quiet expressions, but it’s kind of a voyeuristic glimpse at an imagined life.
The Movie: “City Island”
The Trailer: The Rizzo family is highly dysfunctional. Vince (Andy Garcia) is a corrections officer who secretly takes acting lessons and lives in fear of his domineering wife (Julianna Margulies). His teenage son is a chubby chaser, his daughter is secretly a stripper, and Vince decides to bring home his ex-con illegitimate son because there wasn’t enough drama already.
The Hitch: It looks like a funny portrait of an intense family that encapsulates plenty of Bronx and Italian stereotypes and throws in a lot of surprises. It’s also depressing how enmeshed this family is in their own separate lies.