Thursday, April 19, 2012

In Theaters This Weekend: April 20, 2012


As I stated on our most recent CinemaCast, I don't think there's been a weekend in notable memory with three wide releases coming out that I've had as little interest as I do with what is being offered this weekend.

The three films we can look forward to are "The Lucky One", "Think Like a Man", and "Chimpanzee". And I don't know about you, but there's little there that makes me want to dish out my hard-earned money for a viewing. Yep, I think it's safe to assume that at least for this writer, it'll be a good weekend to get a re-watch in one of the other quality films that are still hanging around the theaters.

But that doesn't mean these films aren't for anyone. I'm sure "The Lucky One" and "Think Like a Man" will still put up respectable box office numbers over the weekend, so just in case, we'll go over each film after the break.



The first film of note - and the film that might very well win the overall box office - is the Nicholas Sparks' adaptation, "The Lucky One". The film stars Zac Efron as a solider who got through the war thanks to a rogue picture of a girl that gave him strength. Afterwards, he seeks out this mystery girl, and engages in a series of events that causes them to fall in love with each other. I feel it necessary for the credibility of the post to start by saying that I really don't have any problems with Zac Efron. I think he's an acceptable actor, and, while I'm not a big fan of the types of films he does right now, I realize what his audience is, and I'm sure when he gets a little older, his film choices will mature as well. So my disinterest for the film isn't about that. It's more about the fact that it looks like a cheesy, sappy love story, trying to force emotion out of you, and creating situations just so women can cry - and that's not even taking into account the poor reviews it's received so far. I don't expect I'll ever watch this film, and definitely won't be paying for it. I've already told my girlfriend that this is one she'll have to check out with her girlfriends if she wants to see it. I watch a lot of movies, but I don't plan on this being one of them.

Another film releasing is "Think Like a Man" (which I imagine will also be in strong competition for the number one box office spot). This is a comedy that revolves around four couples with both the men and women using relationship tactics to turn the tables on the other side. This looks like a pretty (sub)standard comedy, and frankly I have little interest in checking it out. The cast seems decent enough, as most films of this nature are (multiple intertwining character plots). Taraji P. Henson is the highlight for me, as I've enjoyed everything I've seen her in. Gabrielle Union also stars, and I can't say I have any problems with her either (though I'm not sure I've seen her in anything worth note since "Bring It On"...). Kevin Hart is the most notable male actor from what I'm looking at, and he does very little for my interest levels in this film. I've never really liked his style of comedy, and I'm sure it won't be much different in this flick. Otherwise, I imagine it will be all of the usual battle of the sexes jokes, peppered in among the various different character storylines. I've been pretty open about my lack of interest in comedies in general, let alone seeing them in theaters, so the fact that this will surely be a pass for me shouldn't be too surprising.

The final film on our slate this weekend is Disney's documentary "Chimpanzee". The story follows a very young chimpanzee who's unfortunately separated from his troop and his left to fend for himself. Luckily, he's adopted by a full-grown male Chimp who learns to care for the small ape and help him grow up. Does this seem scripted to anyone? How were filmmakers lucky enough to just stumble upon this kind of story? I don't really get it. I'm sure it will be a nice emotional little journey though, with plenty of cute little images of the baby chimpanzee. I don't expect that this would be anything I'd go to a theater for, but if it was on the Discovery Channel some afternoon and there was nothing else on, I might check it out for a bit and see if it grabbed my attention. But if you're into these kinds of animal stories, the quality should be high, and I'm sure you'll be able to get some value out of this one.

So that's what we're looking at. As I stated above, I don't think any of these quite have my interest piqued enough to warrant a theater visit. But that doesn't mean I won't still be at the theater at some point this weekend. There are still plenty of good films hanging around that I'll be happy to use this open weekend on for a second viewing of something better. "American Reunion"? "21 Jump Street"? Maybe the newer "Cabin in the Woods"? I'm leaning towards one of the latter two, but who knows. We'll see how I feel this weekend.

What do you guys think about the newest crop of films? Do you have any interest in any of the titles? If not, which film might you be checking out this weekend instead?