In Theaters This Weekend: April 13, 2012

In theaters this weekend, we have a full slate to chose from, and theoretically something that should appeal to almost any demographic. Unlike most weeks when we have one or maybe two wide-releases and a handful of limited-release films, this week there are three films that will be opening just about everywhere.

The film(s) you opt to see though, that's up to you. The big three this weekend are "Lockout", "The Cabin in the Woods", and "The Three Stooges". And regardless of your tastes, all seem to, at the very least, offer up well-made material.

Let's start with "Lockout". The film stars Guy Pearce as a man returning to one of the most inescapable prisons in the universe (it's in space) to save the President's daughter and win back his freedom. If you think that sounds a lot like "Escape from L.A.", then you're not alone. Both feature "loose cannons" given one last chance by the government to enter into a prison - one an entire complex in outer-space, and the other the abandoned city of Los Angeles - retrieve the President's daughter, and save the day before the criminals destroy the rest of the country/world. Some might say this is a rip-off and fault it for being unoriginal. I say bring it on! As all of you are well aware by now, I was a big fan of "Escape from L.A.", so if I get to see what I'll deem as a third chapter of the franchise, then I'm all for it. Expect a slight campiness from the film, but the effects look pretty decent, and this looks to be one of the best roles I've seen Guy Pearce in for a long time. If you're looking for a fun action/sci-fi film this weekend, this should satisfy. It'll be my first stop this weekend.

"The Cabin in the Woods" is another intriguing film that unfortunately/fortunately we know very little about at this point. Obviously it follows a group of 20-somethings who venture out to a remote cabin for a much-needed break from the real world. Upon arrival though, they're faced with much more than they bargained for. This doesn't look like your standard cabin in the woods story though. From the trailers, we know there's some sort of sci-fi element to it. There are forces outside of the characters themselves creating the situations around them ("The Hunger Games" for adults?). I'd be interested in this film regardless, just because it looks like a fresh take on the genre. But add in the fact that Joss Whedon, director of the upcoming "The Avengers" and writer for such previous television projects as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Firefly" and "Serenity", is producing this picture, I'm confident that again the bar will be raised another notch. Expect a lot of really interesting and unique visuals and twists throughout the film. If you're a fan of the genre at all, this is probably a must-see. And if you're not, it still might be worth a watch if for nothing more than curiosity.

Then there's "The Three Stooges". This film adaptation is being directed by recent Top 5'ers, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, and stars Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, and Chris Diamantopoulos and Larry, Curly and Moe, respectively. I feel the need to start this section out by saying I'm completely unattached to any of the original short films or television episodes. I've seen a few of them - or maybe even just small bits of episodes - and it's never really been anything that's interested me. So that being said, I'm not looking forward to this film too much. If anything interests me about the project it's that the Farrelly Brothers are doing it. I've generally liked their work, though their more recent ventures have left a bit more to be desired. I'd say if you're a young kid or an adult who has a lot of nostalgic ties to this trio, then I'd expect this to be worthy of your time (it is rated PG, so it's clear that they'll be staying true to many of the tones present in the original material). I mean, I'm sure regardless of who you are it can warrant a few silly laughs, but it's just nothing I'm too interested in. As our own Ben Foutch put it: "I'm not against watching it, I'm just not trying to watch it".

But that's pretty much it. Nothing else really even opening in a limited variety. It's nice to see three films releasing wide this week though - something that we'll start seeing a little bit more of as summer nears. With three different films all offering different genre material, hopefully there will be something intriguing for everyone. And hey, even if you aren't into one of these films, there are still a handful of quality films hanging around the theaters (I hear "The Hunger Games" is hurting for attention and money).