(Comedy, PG-13, 110 minutes)
Pregnancy — excitement for some, fear for others, all mixed with some nausea here and there. In the film adaptation of Heidi Murkoff’s book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” all of these emotions and more are poured into nearly two hours of comedy, snark and reality.
Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock are just some of the ensemble cast members in this movie, which was filmed in Atlanta. Piedmont Park, Smith’s Olde Bar, Little Five Points and the Georgia Aquarium are among the notable landmarks that serve as the backdrop for this film.
Murkoff and Sharon Mazel collaborated on this guidebook, which was originally published in 1984 and serves as a manual. In the film, situations vary among the parents-to-be. There are married couples, one-night stands and casual daters. There are issues of finances, infertility and adoption.
However, in a movie about pregnancy, it’s the men who shine. Rock’s character, Vic, leads a group of fathers who carry on like a fight club. Instead of fists, they have Pampers and juice boxes.
Like girlfriends who get together for lunch, these men get together weekly, children in tow. The advice to any new guy: “Don’t talk about what we walk about.” Thomas Lennon, Amir Talei and Rob Huebel round out the main men in the group. The majority of their dialogue seems like it was borrowed from one of Rock’s stand-up routines, but these scenes are the highlight of the movie.
Another one of my favorite characters is Wendy, played by Elizabeth Banks. As the owner of a breastfeeding boutique and children’s book author, she and her husband, Gary (Ben Falcone), finally get the good news — she’s pregnant. They rush to share the news with Gary’s dad, Ramsey (Dennis Quaid), a former racecar driver, and his much younger wife, Skyler (Brooklyn Decker), only to find out they are also expecting. As Skyler goes through what seems like a magical, nausea-free pregnancy, Wendy slowly loses control of her bodily functions and her temper. A scene at a maternity conference will cause you to erupt in laughter.
You’ll have to see the movie to learn about the other characters, but two adorable children from Cobb County will make their debut alongside Lopez. Lifestyle first profiled Asher and Samuel Howard on May 8. Kindred and Meredith Howard of Powder Springs adopted these twins from Ethiopia.
They were born in an orphanage and were expected to die, but the boys thrived after coming to America and continue to do so. After getting word that the filmmakers were seeking Ethiopian babies, Meredith took a chance, resulting in their boys’ big-screen debut.
As with many films with a large cast, some stories get lost in the shuffle. Cute, funny and a little predictable — exactly what I expected from “What To Expect.” It’s worth watching — crumb snatchers not required.
Additional cast members include Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chace Crawford, Rodrigo Santoro and Joe Manganiello.
(Sci-fi action, PG-13, 131 minutes)
The last time I saw Taylor Kitsch in a movie about aliens, I fell asleep. Thank goodness “Battleship,” which opened Friday in theaters nationwide, was more bearable than “John Carter.”
An ’80s board game has now been revamped into a summer blockbuster starring Kitsch, Liam Neeson and pop star Rihanna. Directed by Peter Berg, “Battleship” combines patriotism and aliens with dizzying special effects and excitement.
Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard) is a Navy commander who is tired of his younger brother, Alex (Kitsch), taking up space, crashing on his sofa and wasting his life.
The solution? Big brother forces baby brother to join the Navy.
The problem? Baby brother is a still a slacker. He’s just in uniform.
As Alex’s immaturity and temper get the best of him, he puts his Navy career is at stake. But RIMPAC, a series of maritime exercises involving Navy from around the world, takes precedence. As the different crews hit the Hawaii waters, something is brewing above.
In movies, when you disturb the aliens, they will come after you with a vengeance. A group of scientists have developed “The Beacon Project.” They have discovered another planet, and they blast a power source in an attempt to detect life. The extraterrestrials in turn blast toward Earth and wreak havoc worldwide, leaving Alex to save it.
Memorial Day is approaching and there has to be some movie in the same vein as “Independence Day” and “Armageddon” to kick off the summer blockbusters. “The Avengers” will continue to dominate the box office, but “Battleship” is good enough to follow.
The aliens look like Transformers in the water, but the battle sequences are thrilling. A special part of the film is the use of real veterans of different ages and abilities. “Act of Valor” used real servicemen and women as the main stars, which garnered mixed reactions from audiences. However, “Battleship” uses them in a way that is respectful while balanced with the professional actors.
The momentum stalls some throughout the film, but the supporting cast is strong. Rihanna, who plays Petty Officer Cora “Weps” Raikes,” does a decent job … but I still prefer her behind a microphone. I can never get enough of Neeson, whether he’s fighting wolves (“The Grey”), sex traffickers (“Taken”) or Hades (“Wrath of the Titans”). He wasn’t as prominent in the movie as expected, but he still brings his trademark glare and gruff nature to his character, Admiral Shane. Brooklyn Decker continues her summer film streak as Samantha Shane, the admiral’s daughter and Alex’s girlfriend.
Don’t expect too many waves of game nostalgia if you go see “Battleship.” However, you will be entertained — and that is what summer blockbusters are all about.