Weekend Preview for July 8

Drew Dietsch
TV Movies
TV Movies Games Pokémon

Your time is valuable and at the end of a long week, the discretionary time must be spent to its maximum value. In order to help narrow choices down on the film, television, and gaming fronts, every Friday the Weekend Preview will give you the rundown of your options and an educated guess as to which ones make the most sense.

Nick Nunziata and I predicted the box office returns for these films last Sunday.

At the Movies

The Secret Life of Pets

Director: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Stars: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
Current RT Meter: 75% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday:
Nick’s box office prediction: $110,000,000

Illumination Entertainment ditches their cute yellow blobs for cute furry blobs. The Secret Life of Pets looks like a nice lowbrow alternative to the usual Disney/Pixar fare, and it’s great to see the film getting a surprising amount of good reviews. However, it can’t help but look incredibly disposable. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, but it doesn’t imbue me with a strong desire to see it right away. It’ll probably be a good source of laughs (and we need that after this horrendous week), so I can’t begrudge anyone wanting to see this one.

The Verdict: Got kids? Already seen Finding Dory? Your weekend is set.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Director: Jake Szymanski
Stars: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza
Current RT Meter: 47% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday: $16,000,000

Nick’s box office prediction: $20,000,000

Ah, good old counter-programming. A raunchy comedy starring some pretty people is always a treat. Looks like it’s a lowbrow kind of weekend at the movies. Surprisingly, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates looks a lot funnier than some of the other comedies we’ve gotten this year. Reviews haven’t been kind but comedy is a tough genre to pin down. It might be too ribald or juvenile for some, but the talent involved gives me hope that this will be a little better than expected.

The Verdict: Again, we could all use some laughs after all the horrific violence this week, and this looks like as good a distraction as any.

On the Tube

The Night Of

HBO is definitely bummed that they don’t have a third season of True Detective this year, so it looks like they are filling the gap with this limited series. Reviews have been glowing and the promotional material has been appropriately moody without giving anything away. With knockout actors like John Turturro and Michael K. Williams in the cast, it’s a surefire bet that this will be enthralling to watch just for the characters.

The Verdict: Easily the pick of the weekend.

Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio

I’ve been a fan of Brad Neely since his early web shorts, so I’m a sucker for more of his material. His commentary track for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — dubbed Wizard People, Dear Reader and performed like an audiobook — is one of the funniest things ever created, and his previous Adult Swim show, China, IL, was a flawed but delightful series. The sketch format of Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio will better suit Neely’s surreal humor.

The Verdict: If you’re a weirdo like me, this deserves your eyeballs.

For the Gamers

Pokémon GO

The Pokémon experience is now an augmented reality game. I don’t really know how to feel about Pokémon GO. On the one hand, it’s a great concept to get people to go outside and it’s a cool integration of the property. However, it sounds like it will get tiring very quickly and anything that keeps people buried in their smartphones is inherently annoying. If someone gets in an accident due to playing this game, the news will have a field day. It’ll be interesting to see how big this will get.

The Verdict: I’m not the audience for this, but if you like Pokémon it’s probably already on your phone. Here are a few tips to get you started.

See you next weekend!