Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for the weekend of July 8
Email share
"The Secret Lives of Pets" opens this weekend.
Courtesy Universal Pictures

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Weekend movie options include a raunchy "Wedding," an animated "Pet" story, a major Bollywood release and more.

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

Image - MikeDave.jpg

Brothers Mike and Dave (Adam Devine and Zac Efron) are the life of the party, at least in their own minds. But their family members are the ones cleaning up their messes, and so they insist that the bros straighten up and find respectable dates for sister's wedding. They place a Craigslist ad for "nice girls" to take to Hawaii, which goes viral (in real life, too, in 2013) and attracts fellow messes Tatiana and Alice (Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick), who figure they can fake their way as nice girls long enough to get to the islands. The resulting film owes a lot to Wedding Crashers and the Judd Apatow comedies, from the sound of it, but reviews are fairly solid. "(T)here’s something liberating about a comedy where all four central characters f--- up with such youthful bravado," writes Jesse Hassenger for The AV Club. But Moira Macdonald, writing for the Seattle Times, wasn't as kind: (T)the resultant movie is like a lot of weddings: sporadically fun, draggy in spots, ultimately forgettable." (R for crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use and some graphic nudity; United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)



Image - Sultan.jpg

At the start of the Eid holiday in India (which marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan), the Bollywood machine traditionally releases a blockbuster film. This year, major Bollywood star Salman Khan (who recently stirred up controversy by saying his hard training regimen for this film made him feel like "a raped woman") stars as wrestler Sultan Ali Khan, who trains to represent India in the Olympic Games. From the sound of it, there's a definite Rocky vibe in the film alongside the usual Bollywood touches of singing and dancing. "(D)irector Ali Abbas Zafar surprises us by keeping the slack moments mostly at bay in this 170-minutes enterprise," writes Shubhra Gupta for The Indian Express. (NR; Hollywood 16)


The Secret Lives of Pets

Image - SecretPetsB.jpg

The latest animated film from the studio behind Despicable Me and Minions is this anarchic comedy that imagines what pets get up to when their owners aren't watching. Toy Story-esque, by the sound of it, but without the emotional heft that made that series a classic. In this film, a happy terrier (voiced by Louis CK) finds his territory compromised when his owner (Elle Kemper) brings home a new dog (Eric Stonestreet). The dogs' rivalry eventually causes them to get lost on the mean streets of New York, where they encounter a crew called the "Flushed Pets" — animals (including a rabbit, an alligator and a pig) that were abandoned by their owners. The tension between the main dogs and that between the domesticated animals and their unleashed cousins could be fruitful, but the film apparently doesn't ever get too serious. "Why couldn’t the film have found a way to be both relevant and funny, a la Zootopia?" bemoans Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post. But critics say the film still has its charms. "The Secret Life of Pets is an ADD-addled mess of a movie — and that, amazingly, is its charm," writes Bilge Ebiri for the Village Voice. "It may not be a work of art, but its crazed, zigzagging energy is something to behold." (PG for action and some rude humor; AS-14, H-16, Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive)


Special engagements

Cinemark's Summer Classics Series kicks off with Singing in the Rain, screening at 2 p.m. Sunday and 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hollywood 16. For other films in the series, click here. ... The recent Mystery Science Theater 3000 anniversary celebration gets an encore screening at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Amarillo Star 14. For details, check here. ... Fathom Events will screen an encore of Met Live in HD's La Boheme elsewhere, but not here. Observant fans might have noticed, in fact, that Fathom hasn't screened any opera, theater or dance productions in a while. A Fathom spokesperson said that Cinemark's ongoing renovations have put their arts screenings on hold at the Amarillo theater, but they should return when renovations are complete.


Still playing

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40); The BFG (AS-14, H-16, TDI); The Boss (WM-6); Central Intelligence (AS-14, H-16); The Conjuring 2 (H-16); Finding Dory (AS-14, H-16, TDI); Free State of Jones (H-16); The Huntsman: Winter's War (WM-6); Independence Day: Resurgence (AS-14, H-16); The Legend of Tarzan (AS-14, H-16); Money Monster (WM-6); Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (WM-6); The Nice Guys (WM-6); Now You See Me 2 (H-16); The Purge: Election Year (AS-14, H-16); The Shallows (AS-14, H-16); and Zootopia (WM-6).



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.