New Movie Releases: 'Grown Ups 2,' 'Pacific Rim,' and An Update From Johnny Depp

Friday, July 12, 2013

FilmReel (RHiNO NEAL/flickr)

The Takeaway's Movie Date team, Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman, review this week's major releases.

Opening this week: “Grown Ups 2,” a sequel to the 2010 buddy comedy starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade; and “Pacific Rim”—the science fiction film set in the 2020s when Earth is under attack by monsters called Kaiju. 

The Movie Date team also weigh in on Johnny Depp's interest in purchasing the Wounded Knee land and giving it back to the Lakota. 

In addition to hosting the podcast, Rafer is film critic for Newsday and Kristen is a culture producer for The Takeaway.


Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Carla Javier


T.J. Raphael

Comments [7]

Vincent from Minneapolis

Full disclosure, I kinda liked Pacific Rim. Godzilla and other giant monster movies aren't my thing, but I though Pacific Rim fell somewhere between Superman (meh) and World War Z (gripping) on my personal 2013 summer movie experience-o-meter.

I'm writing because I feel as though there was something overlooked by the Movie Date reviewers regarding Pacific Rim. Both reviewers seem to have found the lack of romantic chemistry between Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi to be part of their disappointment with the movie. Why is it that male and female leads automatically have to have the hots for each other? My reading of their relationship in this movie was much more of a brother-sister relationship, with Idris Elba serving as a farther figure to both of them. While the looks Kikuchi's character gave Hunnam's character earlier in the film might be construed by American audiences as "flirtatious", there was absolutely nothing else to indicate any sort of budding romance between the two of them. No sexual innuendo at any time, no kissing, and only tears when it seemed Hunnam's character might be dead, and a hug when this proved not the be the case.

For this and other reasons similar to those listed above, the review of Pacific Rim was an uninformative disappointment. What I heard was a long string of biased and dismissive opinion, with very little effort to produce a reasoned critique to support that opinion. I typically find "Movie Date" both interesting and entertaining, with humorous and insightful commentary. This episode was lacking in all of these traits.

Jul. 16 2013 11:34 AM
Zea from Brooklyn

My comment is in regards to the Movie Date Team and Todd Zwillich's speculation on why Johnny Depp as a "white guy" (according to Todd Zwillich) would buy the Wounded Knee land in South Dakota and give it to the Lakota tribe. Keep in mind that Johnny Depp has Cherokee ancestry on both sides of his family tree so I would be careful to question his motives.

Jul. 13 2013 01:19 PM
Chris from Manhattan

While I will take as truth that both reviewers watched the entirety of both movies, I heard no comments on the content of Pacific Rim. Rafer's take seemed to dismiss the premise of the movie out of hand. To paraphrase, "sentient (read: intelligent,smart,worthy) people aren't interested in movies of giant robots, so I don't even have to tell you if it's good or bad." To which I would reply to Mr. Guzman with various choice phrases that would involve sexing himself - I'm a highly-educated man, intellectual if I might brag a bit, and I can enjoy a summer blockbuster without comparing it to Kurosawa. If he wanted to approach the movie as a genre film, and judge it as good or bad of a type, criticize the acting, that's one thing, and listeners can use that. As presented today, it basically wasted 5 minutes of listeners' time. Also, I'm not sure someone writing for the newspaper of record for the body-shop capital of the USA should try to pull off intellectual snobbery (stings, doesn't it?).

Jul. 12 2013 09:58 PM
Zachary from Texas

So a question for Mr. Guzman. Why was Pacific Rim a disaster? Was it the premise? Because we have had a lot of good entertaining movies with outlandish premises (the Avengers had giant monsters after all). Was it the acting, script, what? Because right now all I can tell is that Mr. Guzman found the premise dumb, and frankly that is not a valid criticism given today Sci-Fi/Comic book driven movie market.

Also a small note: Jaeger is an antiquated German term for a hunter. Has nothing to do with the alcoholic spirit.

Jul. 12 2013 02:25 PM
Craig Fahle from Detroit

I don't often scream at my radio...but I was disappointed that the date crew didn't know the rib scene from "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka!"

A classic!

Jul. 12 2013 01:00 PM
T. J. Raphael

Hi Natasha, this is The Takeaway's digital content editor T. J. Raphael. Our film critics saw both of these films. I apologize for any confusion.

Jul. 12 2013 12:00 PM

Maybe this is how movie reviews are done these days--by reviewing a film based on the content of the trailers? I don't know if I heard that the two hosts had seen either movie in full. If so little content is going to be reviewed, as a listener, I'm really relying on the trust I have with these two reviewers -- but I don't know who they are.

It just seems like a really weird radio-spot for two people who could have really interesting things to say about movies.

Jul. 12 2013 10:17 AM

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