As he gears up for taking on another powerhouse space franchise, J.J. Abram presents the long-awaited sequel to his successful Trekkiereboot with the year’s latest summer blockbuster contender, Star Trek Into Darkness. All the same cast and crew are back with the addition of the trending Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. Speaking of being back at it, Noah Baumbach has teamed with Greta Gerwig (Greenberg, 2010) again, this time sharing writing credits with his starring actress in the Manhattan-esque comedy, Frances Ha. Julianne Moore shows her flair for the funnies, as well, participating in all kinds of after school extracirriculars in The English Teacher. Read more on Weekend Openings: 5/17/2013…
Leave it to Baz Luhrmann to take a classic American novel like The Great Gatsby, ripe with questions about the moral depravity of American society and its fixation on the American dream, and turn it into a superficial spectacle worthy of gracing the glitzy stages of Las Vegas. Stephen Colbert summed it up best: “It’s in 3D! That’s right, it feels like the themes of longing and alienation are in your face! Plus, it’s got a soundtrack that’s by Jay Z, just like F. Scott Fit Z would’ve wanted.” Still without a satisfying screen companion, an adaptation of this literary cornerstone would’ve probably been better suited for the likes of a director like Sam Mendes, who has tackled similar themes as they affect American life. In fact, uh, why DIDN’T Sam Mendes direct this? At least “you can smugly turn to your friend and say: Eh, the book was better.”
The unofficial start to Summer Blockbuster season is finally upon is with the humor-clad heroics of Iron Man3. Director change be damned, Robert Downey Jr. once again resumes his titular role with perpetually-inflated ego and relentless charisma fully engaged even in the face of heightened stakes. The beloved Marvel hero will probably conquer the box office this weekend as other contenders are mostly of the independent variety. Read more on Weekend Openings: 5/3/2013…
Whether it’s of the bombastic, Hollywood lifestyle sort or the daring, seafaring variety, adventure is out there! This weekend brings us the raucous thrills of a group of meatheads whose “American Dream is bigger than yours” in Pain & Gains,a throwback Michael Bay production reminiscent of The Rock (1996) and Bad Boys (1995).Personally, I’m particularly excited about Norway’s official Oscar submission for last year (and my preferred winner),Kon-Tiki, making it stateside thanks to the Weinstein Company. I cannot speak highly enough of this magnificent display of human determination and curiosity laced with good old-fashioned exploration and adventure. If the adrenaline is too much for you, perhaps Robert De Niro in another family comedy, The Big Wedding, might settle things down. Jeff Nichols’ Mudand Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalistoffer extra helpings of drama and thriller.
Shrouding Earth’s future in mystery, supplying Tom Cruise as the hero, and branding the adventure with a great title are all sure-fire ways to generate box-office buzz for Oblivion. Tom Cruise’s latest thriller, this of the stylistic sci-fi variety, from TRON: Legacy (2010)director, Joseph Kosinski, pretty much has this weekend at the movies in the bag. No other serious contenders–not even an ill-timed Rob Zombie horror picture–threaten to obstruct the gravitational force of Cruise this week.
Touching on American sport’s and race history, writer/director Brian Helgeland delivers a biopic about Jackie Robinson’s legendary and groundbreaking impact on the world of major-league sports in 42. For those keeping track of the usually reclusive director, the first of Terrence Malick’s many upcoming projects this year takes us To theWonderwith Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and Olga Kurylenko. A fifth installment of the Scary Moviefranchise parodies recent pop-culture staples and David Cronenberg’s son, Brandon, writes and directs his first feature film with sci-fi horror flick Antiviral.
Nearly three years since his last picture director Danny Boyle intends to induce a Trancewith his new psychological heist thriller. This one’s got some early buzz lauding solid performances from leads Rosario Dawson and James McAvoy, a compelling multi-layered narrative, and mind-bendingly stylized visuals. Robert Redford’s got a thriller of his own in the mix this week with The Company You Keep, along with a a 3D rerelease of JurassicPark, and a horror picture promising evil and death in Evil Dead. With the exciting overload of thrills in this batch, make sure to hold on to your butts…
Nearly four months into the year and we finally have an (prematurely timed) awards contender, in the mix with Derek Cianfrance’s dramatic masterpiece in The Place Beyond the Pines. After deeply moving with Blue Valentine (2010), Ryan Gosling teams up with Cianfrance again to follow-up with another heavy performance, proving what we already whole-heartedly knew: that we don’t want him taking a break from acting. Also in the fray is Stephenie Meyer’s first post-Twilight novel, The Host, getting picked up in an adaptation, G.I. Joe getting some Retaliation, and the secrets behind Kubrick’s enigmatic horror classic, The Shining (1980), being discussed in Room 237.
Spring has finally arrived, and as temperatures begin to rise, the thaw of winter at the cinemas appears to be complete with this week’s healthy bloom of new releases. Whether it’s King Leonidas in a POTUS rescue effort, A-listers voicing cave people, a musical biopic, foreign pictures, or an assortment of interesting documentaries, the spread at this weekend’s theatrical table is a feast suitable for diverse tastes.
A lively bit variety enters theaters this weekend ranging from comedy to thriller and drama to Japanese animation. After both being touched by the hand of God and delving into the supernatural, almighty funnymen Jim Carrey and Steve Carell team up again for a new kind of magic in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. In kidnapping thriller, The Call, Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry comes to fellow nominee, Abigail Breslin’s, aid. Rising young star, Elle Fanning, delivers another solid performance in the Cold War era drama, Ginger & Rosa.Always a treat, renowned Japanese animation house, Studio Ghibli, makes another of its charming features, From Up on Poppy Hill, accessible to wider audiences.
With the Oscars steadily receding in the rear-view, it’s time to set up the landscape for the next year’s show. Perhaps too early for any real contenders, though, this week shows with a mixed bag of a CGI-laden fairy tale in Jack the Giant Slayer, an eery thriller from Oldboy director, Chan-wook Park’s Stoker , and 21 and Over, a raucous college comedy.
As Awards Season draws to a close this weekend, new releases feebly hoping for some viewership are kept to a conservative minimum. With no shortage of derivative action and horror pictures monopolizing theaters in the year’s early months, Dwayne Johnson (in his first of many) joins they fray with Snitchalong with paranormal thriller Dark Skies. Mystery, drama Inescapablerounds out the meager showing. Read more on Weekend Openings: 2/22/2013…
You know he’s having a good day when John McClane joins the recent throng of aging actions stars in the cinemas by reclaiming the right to utter his famous R-rated catchphrase in A Good Day to Die Hard.A different kind of action graces the big screen to cater to the romantic date crowd with the additions of Beautiful Creatures and the latest obligatory Nicholas Sparks adaptation, SafeHaven. If a bit of oddity is in order to set the mood, count on Roman Coppola’s second directorial feature in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles SwanIII.
So that’s two weeks in a row now that I doubted the likelihood of a “filler” new release taking the top spot at the box office. This week, I’m calling it: WarmBodieswill attract hoards. (Watch it be Stallone’s Bullet to the Head that somehow proves me wrong again…). I’d even wager on Stand Up Guyshaving a good shot, but I’m not a betting man.
The winter freeze of new releases continues with this week’s cool additions of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Parker, andMovie 43. Having been proven wrong last week about Mamaovertaking Zero Dark Thirty, perhaps the reinvented fairy tale or Jason Statham’s latest one-word-titled thriller stand a good chance at reaping in some viewership.
Fresh off her Golden Globe win, Jessica Chastain is compounding her box-office presence with a resume diversifier in the Guillermo Del Torro presented horror flick, Mama.She’s duking it out against herself in Zero Dark Thirtyand againstBroken City, in which Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg duke it out. Oh, and Arnold wants to do some duking of his own against some bad guys in his comeback to acting withThe Last Stand. Read more on Weekend Openings: 1/18/2013…
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With the New Year’s hangover slowly wearing off and few new stimulants entering circulation, there’s now ample time to catch up on the overload of awards-contending films, with the nationwide release of Zero DarkThirty finally completing the best picture category. Expect the box-office to reflect some of the film’s early critical acclaim, especially since its competing new comers, like Gangster Squadand Quartetgarner only mild curiosity in comparison.
Quentin Tarantino’s career-long itch to put his stamp on the beloved Spaghetti Western finally takes form with the release of Django Unchained to begin the Christmas weekend. It’s going head-to-head with Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the epic musical drama, Les Miserables. Rounding out the long weekend is Gus Van Sant’s latest, Promised Land.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx
Having emerged as somewhat of the frontrunner in the awards race in recent weeks, Zero DarkThirty opens to special limited engagements this week before nationwide release in January. It’s a pretty strong week in terms of variety, with Judd Apatow’s latest, This Is 40, foreign drama powerhouse, Amour,and Walter Salles’ adaptation of On the Road. Add a natural disaster survival drama, a case of double-dipping with a popular animated feature, and Tom Cruise reaching for justice for a well-stocked long weekend of cinematic entertainment.
Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke
The long-awaited (expected) journey back to Middle Earth finally sets off with the first installment of Peter Jackson’s imminent The Hobbit trilogy (still baffled as to how this turned into a hat-trick). As Bilbo, Thorin, Gandalf and the rest of the Dwarves make their way to the Lonely Mountain, so too will the film soar to the top of the box office this weekend. Not in the mood for second breakfast? Skip right to lunch with a handful of other menu options…
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage
In his younger years, sensible Bilbo Baggins finds himself somehow convinced to venture out of the Shire to accompany a band of Dwarves on a dangerous quest to reclaim a treasure stolen by the evil dragon, Smaug. See what Terrence had to say about this first act. Read more on Weekend Openings: (12/14/2012)…
Being that this weekend kicks off with “a date which will live in infamy,” it’s fitting that FDR makes a big-screen appearance in Hyde Park on the Hudson. Toss in some romantic comedies, some foreign features, and some drama and you’ve got some options to hold you till “the big one” next week (The Hobbit, of course).
Hyde Park on the Hudson
Director: Roger Michell
Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams
We have a bit of a slow weekend for new releases this week, with a few stragglers trying to occupy theaters in the calm before the end-of-year, heavy-hitter storm. Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik’s mob thriller, is the most notable newbie.
What better way to start off the extended holiday weekend than stranded on with boat with a tiger in the visual and spiritual journey that is Life of Pi?We can also be thankful for the Rise of the Guardians as they band together against a world-wide threat. Then, be sure to avoid the Black Friday rush by ducking into a theater for a slice of Hitchcock. Read more on Weekend Openings: (11/21-11/23)…