Weekend Openings (1-3 June)

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If this summer is considered a “competition” among the major studio releases of a year, then June, August and possibly July are going to be rather boring to box office hounds because literally nothing can touch what will most likely be the biggest film of the entire year.  But hey, that gives us at least one whole month to relax and enjoy the movies for what they are.  Kicking off June is the “other” Snow White revisionist epic, the only new wide release of the weekend…

You see that up there?  That drop-dead gorgeous woman finally embracing her fun side after years of post-Monster fussy dramatics smoldering at you in an elaborate costume?  You’re looking at the major, no, make that sole reason that I absolutely have to see Rupert Sanders’ directorial debut Snow White & the Huntsman.  In this darker version of the classic fairy tale, Theron’s Queen Ravenna rules over a miserable kingdom, sucking the life out of others to maintain her beauty.  But when threatened by her stepdaughter Bella Swan, whose spirit can turn back the Queen’s evil influence, Thor is sent to track her down and bring back her heart.  Critics have been impressed by Sanders’ impressive visual flair but have criticized the film’s pacing and sullen performance from Kristen Stewart.  I couldn’t care less as long as Theron is as awesome as she looks in the trailer.

Oscar probably won’t cotton up to her, but they might nominate the film’s visual effects, makeup, production design and especially Colleen Atwood’s costumes if it’s a big enough hit.  Now, Universal is probably desperate for it to be in the wake of Battleship’s (deserved) underperformance at the box office.  With stars like Stewart, Hemsworth and Theron, and the mixture of romance, drama and epic-scale action, the appeal for this film may be wider than pundits are giving it credit for.  The only possible weakness is its lack of family appeal, but that shouldn’t prevent a strong $40-45 million opening.

In limited release, A Cat in Paris, one of two foreign-language films nominated for Best Animated Feature this past Oscars (the other being Chico and Rita), makes its stateside theatrical debut this weekend.  The eponymous cat Dino is a sly feline that moonlights as a burglar’s accomplice by night when he’s not the beloved companion of a mute girl during the day.  Critics have praised its stylish animation but have been split on how the film balances the tragic and comic elements of its story.  I’ve always been intrigued by these out-of-nowhere animated Oscar nominees (see also: The Secret of Kells) and might check this out myself if I can.

The You Got Served crew serves up yet another hip-hop dance competition movie Battlefield America, this time with prepubescent kids as tough-talking-yet-nobly-motivated-streetwise-krumpers.  This movie looks so bad that I sort of wonder if it’s actually a self-parody of the genre, but critics assure us that it is in fact a straight-faced and abysmal drama rehashing the exact same clichés we’ve seen in countless other flicks just like it.

Let me put it this way, so far on Rotten Tomatoes it scores even lower than Piranha 3DD, which would be a frontrunner for Worst Title at the Academy Awards if the category existed.

So how many of you will be watching Snow White & the Huntsman, wondering what in the hell is wrong with that magic mirror, this weekend?  Let us know!

  • Joey Magidson

    I won’t lie, I chuckle at the Piranha 3DD title in my weaker moments.

  • yshark87

    Can’t wait for your review of Snow White, Robert. I must say that Theron is really nice to look at, but from what I saw in the trailers, I think her performance will be very one note. Hope I’m wrong!

  • John Rivera

    I have an embargoed screening tomorrow, but maybe afterwards.