Box Office Preview – August 27, 2010

Today we debut a new feature – HoboTrashcan’s official Box Office Preview, which breaks down the new releases hitting theaters this week. Joel Murphy and Lars share their thoughts on each movie, then pick one film to recommend (using the classic “If a gun was pointed to my head and I had to watch one of these” method).

View trailer

Director: Neil Marshall

Writers: Neil Marshall

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Noel Clarke

MPAA Rating: R

Synopsis: A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack.

Lars’ take: It’s interesting to see Romans as the underdogs. Also, Neil Marshall also has a track record of a) being good at writing in a specific genre and b) picking really, really hot foreign chicks to be in his movies. Plus, it has McNulty (Dominic West).

Joel’s take: I think this film could be good and it probably is watchable and enjoyable, but it just all seems done before. Even with the slant of having the Romans be the underdogs, it still feels like a knockoff of films like Gladiator and 300.

View trailer

Director: Rob Reiner

Writers: Rob Reiner & Andrew Scheinman (screenplay); Wendelin Van Draanen (novel)

Stars: Madeline Carroll, Aidan Quinn, Penelope Ann Miller, John Mahoney, Rebecca De Mornay, Anthony Edwards, Kevin Weisman, Callan McAuliffe

MPAA Rating: PG

Synopsis: Two eighth graders start to have feelings for each other despite being total opposites. Based on the novel Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen.

Lars’ take: It’s going to suck. The only positive is John Mahoney. I always enjoy when he’s on the screen. That’s just me trying to say something positive about Flipped.

Joel’s take: Speaking of unoriginal, is there any idea more played out than a coming of age story set in either the 1950s or 60s? It’s the same story with the same backdrop and same music you’ve seen a thousand times before.

View trailer
Going the Distance

Director: Nanette Burstein

Writers: Geoff LaTulippe

Stars: Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Ron Livingston, Jim Gaffigan, Kelli Gellar, Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day

MPAA Rating: R

Synopsis: A romantic comedy centered on a guy and a gal who try to keep their love alive as they shuttle back and forth between Chicago and Los Angeles to see one another.

Lars’ take: As far as romantic comedies go, I think this one’s a winner. I think it will be totally watchable. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to tell someone I was taking my girlfriend to see this movie.

Joel’s take: I think Drew Barrymore has been picking interesting roles lately. Plus, this film has Charlie Day and Jim Gaffigan in it, which gives me hope. I like them as the comic relief and, judging from the trailers, this film seems like it actually gives them funny material to work with.

View trailer
The Last Exorcism

Director: Daniel Stamm

Writers: Huck Botko & Andrew Gurland

Stars: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum, Iris Bahr, Caleb Jones, Tony Bentley

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: A troubled evangelical minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew.

Lars’ take: It’s another damn exorcist movie, what can you really say? Not only could I probably map out what’s going to happen, but I could probably map out the entire storyboard for the movie. If you like the stuff, then go see it. If you don’t, don’t. I do like that they added the hand-held camera to the mix though.

Joel’s take: Hollywood loves pointless remakes, but you are never going to improve on the original Exorcist. That film still holds up today and it’s still scary. This film won’t even come close to that one. I like that it’s shot in first person and the cinematography is intriguing, but it will still be a pale imitation of the original.

View trailer

Director: John Luessenhop

Writers: Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop & Avery Duff

Stars: Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Idris Elba, Chris Brown, T.I., Michael Ealy, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Zoe Saldana, Johnathon Schaech

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: A group of bank robbers find their $20 million plan interrupted by a hard-boiled detective.

Lars’ take: Don’t put rappers in movies. Don’t. The movies are always awful. It’s not going to be good. They threw it together, it might make a ton of money, but it’s not going to be good. And Hayden Christensen’s hat is way too small.

Joel’s take: The most talented actor in this movie is Idris Elba and in the trailer he actually says: “We’re takers, gents, that’s what we do for a living – we take.” This movie has four different writers credited (which is always a bad sign) and that was the best they could come up with? Combine that with Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown and T.I. and there’s no way this thing is watchable.

HoboTrashcan’s Confidence Rating System

Since we are forcing Joel and Lars to make a recommendation each week, we are also having them rate their confidence in their pick using HoboTrashcan’s patented Confidence Rating System. The system is on a scale of one to five, which breaks down as follows:

  1. Eddie Murphy – Like every film Eddie Murphy has done in the last decade, avoid this movie at all costs.
  2. Nicholas Cage – The movie is most likely awful, but like Cage, there is a chance it may still surprise you.
  3. Samuel L Jackson – With this rating, you don’t know what you are going to get. It could be another Pulp Fiction or it could be Jumper.
  4. Bruce Willis – Like Bruce Willis, chances are the film is good, but there’s always a possibility it’s another Surrogates.
  5. Morgan Freeman – The highest possible rating. The film, like Morgan Freeman himself, is a lock to be entertaining.

This week’s recommendations …


It’s got hot women and medieval violence, so it can’t be bad, but I’m not going so far as to say it’s going to be good.

Going the Distance

It’s got Jim Gaffigan and Charlie Day, so I’m banking on the fact that one of them will make me laugh, which is about the only sure bet this weekend.


  1. Joelle August 27, 2010
  2. Hope August 27, 2010
  3. Hope August 27, 2010
  4. Jillian August 27, 2010
  5. Joelle August 28, 2010

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