What It Is: It's Tom Cruise vs. the aliens once more in this graphic novel-based sci-fi thriller. Some sixty years after aliens all but destroyed Earth, Cruise is one of the last people left, a guy who repairs the robots that are extracting the last of Earth's sweet, sweet resources. But then he meets a lady down there who's not supposed to be down there and he learns things he never thought possible. Oblivion was directed by the guy who did Tron: Legacy, so expect lets of smooth slickness and slick smoothness. And, of course, lots of yelling from Mr. Cruise.
Why You Should See It: The implication in the trailer is maybe that Earth wasn't destroyed by aliens sixty years ago, which is kind of intriguing. Stories about people being sold some grand lie that begins to unravel are usually fun to watch. The movie has a nice aesthetic — all gleaming whites and muddy earth tones. And Morgan Freeman wears some funny glasses and smokes a cigar! Actually, the bulk of the supporting cast is good, from Freeman to the great relative newcomer Andrea Riseborough. This could all end up being some silly mess, as so many sci-fi movies are these days, but it's still intriguing to some degree. Tom Cruise would never do something that was complete junk, would he? Actually, don't answer that. (4/12)
What Is Is: This is the much-discussed Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher. Yes, the Ashton Kutcher. Playing celebrated genius billionaire Steve Jobs. That's quite a tall order! So, no matter what it will be interesting to watch Kutcher try something serious and real-life like this, even if it ultimately doesn't wash off the Pop Chips stink. The supporting cast includes Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, the ever-busy Dermot Mulroney as Mike Markkula, and Lesley Ann Warren as Steve Jobs's mom.
Why You Should See It: It's called jOBS, guys. Aren't you curious to see how bad a movie called jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher, really is? It's probably pretty bad! Though, hm, some people who saw it at Sundance actually liked it. So that's kind of a bummer. If you're a tech devotee you have to see this. Likewise if you're a follower of the Kutcher oeuvre, regardless of how bad or good it might be. We can't imagine that it's good, though. How could this possibly be good? It's called jOBS fOR gOD'S sAKE! (4/19)
Pain & Gain
What It Is: Michael Bay directs Mark Wahlberg in a kidnap heist comedy about bodybuilders. Yes, you read that correctly. For some reason this was considered a good idea by all who greenlit it, so here it is. Mark Wahlberg, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony Mackie, and The Rock, in a bodybuilder caper action-comedy. Directed by Michael Bay. You can't make this stuff up!
Why You Should See It: I mean, just watch the trailer. Is there any reason not to see this ridiculous thing? It's been a while since Michael Bay directed a non-Transformers movie, so it's high time we reconnected with just what a ridiculous director he can be. And no, we don't mean "ridiculous" in the good way. (4/26)