This is the Box Office Doldrums people. There’s not a lot to see, and the one film I thought might be worth seeing is total garbage. Let’s see if we can figure out something for you to see this weekend.
New in Theaters
Beautiful Creatures - PG-13
I could see this one going either way. I don’t know when I will get a chance to watch it, but I will try to do so before next weekend so I can give a report.
A supernatural love story set in the South which tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan, a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena, a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. The film is based on the first novel in the best-selling series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum
Director: Richard LaGravenese
See or not: Maybe
A Good Day to Die Hard - R
Do not bother. If like me, you liked all the previous Die Hard films to some extent or other, you will be majorly disappointed with this installment. It’s pretty much a butcher job on the franchise. Catch my review to see just how poorly I thought of this film.
New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) arrives in Moscow to track down his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney). McClane thinks his son is a criminal, so it comes as a shock when he learns that Jack is actually working undercover to protect Komarov (Sebastian Koch), a Russian government whistleblower. With their own lives on the line, McClane and Jack must overcome their differences in order to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime in the Chernobyl region.
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yulia Snigir, Rasha Bukvic, Cole Hauser
Director: John Moore
See or not: NOT
Safe Haven - PG-13
Looks sappy and stupid to me. But you never know.
An affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman’s struggle to love again, Safe Haven is based on the novel from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author behind the hit films The Notebook and Dear John. When a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough
Director: Lasse Hallström
See or not: Probably Not
Florida resident Diana (Melissa McCarthy) has a luxurious lifestyle as the queen of retail, buying whatever strikes her fancy – and it’s all free, thanks to Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman), a guy from Denver whose identity she stole. With just one week to track down Diana before his world implodes, the real Sandy heads south to confront the unapologetic con artist and bring her back to Denver so that he can clear his name and restore his shattered credit rating.
Cast: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Génesis Rodríguez
Director: Seth Gordon
See or not: NOT
Warm Bodies - PG-13
An unfortunately flawed film that I really can’t recommend that you waste your money on. There was some good acting in this film, but unfortunately that acting was relegated to minor roles. The lead actors were terribly unconvincing. And the weak plot failed to engage me in any meaningful way. It might be worth watching, but wait for the Blu-ray. Catch my review here. We also talked about it briefly on The MovieByte Podcast.
A funny new twist on a classic love story, WARM BODIES is a poignant tale about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human – setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, John Malkovich, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton
Director: Jonathan Levine
See or not: Not
Side Effects - R
I don’t think I’m interested, it looks positively horrible. But I probably will see it to be able to offer my opinion. I expect this to be about a 2 star film.
SIDE EFFECTS is a provocative thriller about Emily and Martin (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum), a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law) – intended to treat anxiety – has unexpected side effects.
Cast: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Director: Steven Soderbergh
See or not: Probably Not
Silver Linings Playbook - R
I suppose I’m going to have to see this because everyone is saying it’s good — even people I would not have expected to give what I currently know about this film. It doesn’t look interesting to me, but I should give it a chance I reckon. Michael and Eric reviewed the film on Episode #3 of Movieology and they seemed to enjoy it.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan…Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything – his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet - and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker
Director: David O. Russell
See or not: tentative See
Mama - PG-13
This is a horror film, and given the trailers, I am surprised it’s only PG-13. I personally have no interest in this film, though I’ll probably wind up seeing it so that I can give my informed opinion on the film for you fine folks.
On the day that their parents die, sisters Lilly and Victoria vanish in the woods, prompting a frantic search by their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain). Five years later, miraculously, the girls are found alive in a decaying cabin, and Lucas and Annabel welcome them into their home. But as Annabel tries to reintroduce the children to a normal life, she finds that someone – or something – still wants to tuck them in at night.
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse, Daniel Kash, Javier Botet
Director: Andy Muschietti
See or not: Not
Zero Dark Thirty - R
I’m really not interested in this film but I can see how some would be.
Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden becomes one of the most-wanted men on the planet. The worldwide manhunt for the terrorist leader occupies the resources and attention of two U.S. presidential administrations. Ultimately, it is the work of a dedicated female operative (Jessica Chastain) that proves instrumental in finally locating bin Laden. In May 2011, elite Navy SEALs launch a nighttime strike against bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, killing him.
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Edgar Ramirez, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
See or not: Depends on your tastes
Hansel and Gretel - R
I enjoyed the film for what it was, but you should be warned it is rather bloody and violent at times (see the Red Band trailer). Joe didn’t enjoy it very much, but he’s a bit of a dead weight on these sorts of things sometimes (don’t worry, he can take the jab, he’s a big boy). I reviewed the film, and you might want to read that. We also talked about the film on Episode #29 of The MovieByte Podcast.
Fifteen years after Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) defeated the wicked witch who planned to have them for her dinner, the siblings have come of age as skilled bounty hunters. Hell-bent on retribution, they have dedicated their lives to hunting down and destroying every witch still lurking in the dark forests of their homeland. As the notorious blood moon approaches, the siblings face a great evil – one that could hold the secret to their terrifying past.
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal
Director: Tommy Wirkola
See or not: See
Django Unchained - R
Bloody though the film may be (this is Tarantino what would you expect?) I think you should see it. I rated it 3.5 stars. Joseph however, only rated it 2.5.
Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles - dead or alive. Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago. Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation where slaves are groomed to battle each other for sport.
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins
Director: Quentin Tarantino
See or not: See
Parker - R
I caught Parker with Joe while I was in town for meetings. It was certainly entertaining, and enjoyable in some ways. In other ways, well, it completely sank. Particularly confusing is how we the audience are supposed to connect to the male lead and the female lead, when another character/love interest has been thrown in the mix for the lead guy. The morality of this film is also quite questionable where evil and good are turned on their heads and you are lead to believe that at least in some way, what Parker is doing as a thief is okay for him. He has his own form of morality, his own code, and that’s okay. But it’s not okay. So many people get up in arms over language, or overt sexuality in films, but if you want to talk about something dangerous, I think the twisting of the definitions of good and evil are of the most very dangerous sort. It is certainly something to be aware of about this film.
Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief who lives by a personal code of ethics: Don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it. But on his latest heist, his crew double crosses him, steals his stash, and leaves him for dead. Determined to make sure they regret it, Parker tracks them to PalmBeach, playground of the rich and famous, where the crew is planning their biggest heist ever. Donning the disguise of a rich Texan, Parker takes on an unlikely partner, Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), a savvy insider, who’s short on cash, but big on looks, smarts and ambition. Together, they devise a plan to hijack the score, take everyone down and get away clean.
Cast: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Clifton Collins, Jr., Wendell Pierce, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte
Director: Taylor Hackford
See or not: Not