Posted by Rande Iaboni on September 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm
As Fall season is officially in full swing, moviegoers everywhere will be treated to a TON of new films this weekend. Let’s take a look at the FIVE (that’s right, five!) new releases hitting the theaters this weekend:
First up is the futuristic remake of the Sylvester Stallone action film ‘Dredd 3D’ (also based on a comic book). The original was kind of a bust and I don’t know anyone who was really looking forward to a remake of ‘Judge Dredd,’ but alas this is Hollywood, the land of un-original ideas. The film tells the story of the future America, now an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast lies Mega City One- a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed. It sounds like a cool premise and after checking out the trailer I was definitely intrigued. But what really got my attention were the critics’ reactions. Boasting an impressive 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, critics are praising it for its spectacular special effects, dark humor, and the vast improvement upon the Stallone original. Looks like this is one remake to actually pay attention to!
House at the End of the Street
Next up is the teen horror thriller ‘House at the End of the Street.’ The premise is very by-the-numbers, a mother and daughter move in to a new neighborhood, the daughter starts a relationship with the creepy boy next door, bad things happen. The only reason this film is on anyone’s radar is because it stars ‘Hunger Games’ superstar Jennifer Lawrence. Most people I know who catch a preview for this film always ask the same question, “why would SHE do this movie?” What most people don’t realize is this film was actually filmed way before ‘The Hunger Games,’ with an original release date of much earlier this year, but the studio intelligently decided to push the release date back and bank on Lawrence becoming a famous star by then, and how right they were. This film will probably be a success with the teen audiences because let’s face it, not only does it star the ever popular Lawrence, it also has her running around in a tight white tank top showing just enough to keep the film at a PG-13 rating. But audiences be warned, the studio has decided NOT to screen the film for critics in advance, an extremely bad sign. Most likely the studio knows they have a bad movie on their hands and they are hoping no one will notice before entering the theater. I wonder if Jennifer Lawrence is embarrassed of this one? Eh, she’s probably too busy filming the sequel to ‘The Hunger Games’ to even care.
End of Watch
Next up is the found-footage action film ‘End of Watch.’ It’s basically like the television series “Cops” but a bit more dramatic with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena the target of the country’s most dangerous drug cartel. The found footage angle doesn’t totally work for me when you’ve got such recognizable faces like Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick (as his wife), but the moment I saw the trailer for this I knew it would be golden. It’s pretty genius to take the “Cops” show and script it into a action drama, and it seems like most critics agree. It currently has a positive 81% on Rotten Tomatoes with top critic Roger Ebert stating, “one of the best police movies in recent years, a virtuoso fusion of performances and often startling action.” No surprise considering it has the same writer as ‘Training Day,’ another fantastic cop film.
Trouble with the Curve
Next up is the ‘Moneyball’ lookalike starring A-listers Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and Justin Timberlake in ‘Trouble with the Curve.’ Adams plays a lawyer who’s father (Eastwood) is one of the best baseball scouts there is, but age is starting to catch up to him. It may be one of the last seasons of his career and Adams leaves behind her firm to travel with him, along the way she meets Timberlake, a potential love interest. At least that’s what I think it’s about based on the trailers. The marketing for the film has been focusing on the actors instead of the full story, and its understandable because this is an impressive cast, but I’m not buying what they’re selling just yet. Right now it has a mixed 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, not bad by any means, but I expect more from a cast like this. Many critics seem to have a problem with the pacing of the film, something that doesn’t surprise me based on the trailers. I’m not sure how this will do with audiences, not to mention Eastwood’s recent scene at the Republican National Convention may distract from the actual film itself.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Last but certainly not least is the teen angst film, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower.’ It is receiving most of its attention because it is Emma Watson’s first major role since the Harry Potter franchise, but that’s not what I’m looking forward to. Like many others, I am a huge fan of the original book and have been waiting for years to finally see it adapted on the big screen. As of now it has a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, I expected a little higher, but that is by no means a bad rating. What might be hurting the film with critics is that it really is for TEENAGERS. That doesn’t necessarily mean older generations won’t understand the movie, but there’s no denying who the target audience is here. Another questionable factor, the original author of the book is also the screenwriter and director of this film. Now on one hand that’s great news because the source material won’t be seriously altered, but this is an inexperienced director and according to some critics, it shows. Overall, I’m still very excited about this one and something tells me Ezra Miller (who plays Patrick) will become the surprise star of this one. It’s been a long time coming, especially after his mesmerizing performance in last year’s ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin.’
And there you have it Banters! There are A LOT of options at the theaters this weekend, so how will YOU choose which film to check out? It looks like there’s just about something for everyone this weekend, so try to do your best to check out at least one if you have the chance! Me? I’ll most likely be seeing ‘Perks,’ but I’ve got a thing for teen angst films so maybe I’m biased.
Let us know what movie you’re most looking forward to. Have a great weekend Banters!