We got a real short preview of the new releases this weekend. Only one film is making its wide premiere today, making it the guaranteed box office victor in the wake of John Carter’s failure (God! Who would’ve thought that film would be a flop?). But the arthouse circuit has its own share of interesting arrivals. Let’s check them out:
21 Jump Street is the only wide opening of the weekend. Starring Academy Award-nominee Jonah Hill (still not used to that…) and Channing Tatum, this frat-boy comedy is a loose reimagining of the corny 80’s TV drama that made Johnny Depp a star. Such a mish-mash of insufferable qualities has resulted in critics…loving it!? Yes, it seems as though most reviews are celebrating a hilariously witty and surprisingly heartfelt send-up of 80’s and teen movie tropes. Such praise from an unlikely source can only help the box office of a film with literally no competition and two fairly bankable stars, giving it an easy $28-33 million this weekend.
In limited release is Will Ferrell’s Spanish-language debut Casa de mi padre. About a man who must save his father’s ranch from the clutches of a drug lord, most critics call this one a tiresome parody of Spanish soap operas that would have barely sustained itself as an SNL sketch.
Jay and Mark Duplass also return to screens with the existential dramedy Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Starring “nice guy” actor Jason Segel as a 30 year-old who still lives with his mother, the titular Jeff joins his bitter and possibly cuckolded brother Pat (played by Ed Helms) in a series of strange events that make them question their place in the world. Many critics are pleased with the film’s sweetness and quirky execution, though some have expressed disappointment in the Duplass Brothers toning down their idiosyncrasies for more sentimental notes. Hey, that at least sounds better than friggin’ Cyrus…
Tony Kaye of American History X returns to screens with the classroom drama Detachment, starring Adrien Brody as a substitute teacher whose perpetual avoidance of establishing emotional connections with his students is challenged when he becomes the unlikely hero of a burned-out high school almost despite himself (Hello, run-on sentence!). Our own Joey Magidson was rather cold on this film, calling it well-intentioned with a great lead performance but a too uneven and at times preachy indictment of the American education system. Ah Kaye, it seems as though you are once again your own worst enemy…
Obviously this weekend does not provide a huge pool of new movies to choose from, but that’s only because of what’s coming next week. In the meantime, tell us if you thought 21 Jump Street deserved its good reviews here!
Tags: Channing Tatum, Detachment, Jay and Mark Duplass, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Jonah Hill, remake, Tony Kaye, Weekend Openings, Will Ferrell