Thursday, March 29, 2012

In Theaters This Weekend: March 30, 2012




Continuing right along with this summer's crop of blockbuster movies - oh wait, it's still only March? I guess some of the films this month never got that memo... Last week, it was the record-breaking premier for "The Hunger Games"; this week, "Wrath of the Titans" will try to muster up some warm-weather numbers of its own.

Unlike last week though, this weekend offers an alternative to the special-effects spectacle - "Mirror Mirror" is also set to release. And while this may be the lesser Snow White film releasing this year, it still looks to be good fun for the whole family.

So as I said, "Wrath of the Titans" is the big draw this weekend. More than with any of the other releases, I'm curious to see what kinds of numbers "The Hunger Games" puts up, and how much it will affect this film's gross. Two years ago the first installment in this series pulled in just over $60MM in its opening weekend, but its competition was much less impressive. The film went on to gross about $165MM nationally, and that was with overall negative reviews. While the film was visually impressive, I think many left the theater feeling very unfulfilled. It was one of those movies that went hard on the action but by the end you weren't sure if any real story ever happened. For as epic in scale as it was, it fell very flat. I personally felt like I was duped!

As we discussed on the latest edition of the CinemaCast, the debate now is whether or not to go with the beautiful imagery and epic trailers that we've seen for this film (much as we did for the last), or remember our past and not let this film pull a fast one on us again? Personally, I tried to fight it, but I caved. It just looks so epic and cool! I know I'm not going to get groundbreaking story out of it, but all I need is for it to be serviceable. And I can't help but want to go to the theater and watch it. It's like candy for my eyes! Of course I hope this installment isn't as uninspired as the last, but I'm going with my gut and hoping that the filmmakers realized their shortcomings and pull it together for this one. Do I really believe that or am I just trying to convince myself? I'm not sure... What I am sure of though is that I'll be there, front and center, this weekend to check this thing out!

But that's probably the only new film I'll see this weekend. I love Julia Roberts (and a supporting cast that includes Nathan Lane), but this film really does not look like it's for me. Fellow writer Derek Clem made a great comment during our last CinemaCast that detailed the perfect time to check out this film (but you'll just have to listen to find out when that is). It looks well made though, and I'm sure kids will get a kick out of this. Personally, I want my fairy tales more epic. Like this. But it's getting overall positive early reviews so far, so that has to be a good thing, right? If you have kids or are just really into fairy tales, I'm sure this will be a charming film worthy of a big screen visit.

Otherwise, really the only other film hitting screens of note this weekend will be the much debated Weinstein release, "Bully". For those of you unfamiliar with this film, it's a documentary by Lee Hirsch that dives into the bullying epidemic taking place in America amongst our youth. From all accounts, the film is very solid and very powerful. It's already garnered strong backing from teachers unions and parents alike. The problem that the film is having though, is that the Nation Film Rating Committee deemed it worthy of an R-rating due to a few colorful words from children. The creator is adamant that the words are real and help to convey the message in the film, but the review committee just wasn't having it. TWC appealed the rating but ultimately lost. And it's because of that that they've decided to enter theaters without the rating; that's right, the kiss of death itself. I imagine this film will ultimately be trimmed up to satisfy the ratings board and nab that PG-13 rating, but for now, it's hitting theaters unrated. And while it's only opening in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, this film will surely make its rounds and be available to the masses sooner rather than later.

Which of the above films look the most interesting to you? Which will you be checking out this weekend?