Box Office Preview – September 17, 2010

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The Town

Director: Ben Affleck

Writers: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard

Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use

Synopsis: Bank robber Doug MacRay begins dating Claire, a woman he meets while pulling off a heist. Claire has no idea that Doug was one of the men who held her hostage and if she figures it out, she might turn Doug in to the handsome investigator who is closing in on him.

Lars’ take: Jeremy Renner is solid, John Hamm is always great to see on the big screen and Ben Affleck has really proven himself as a serious movie guy now. This movie has all of the elements of entertainment, but I don’t know that it won’t get all tangled up when combining them together. That’s my biggest fear with the movie.

Joel’s take: Gone Baby Gone was phenomenal and this looks to follow in its footsteps. So far, the trailers all look great and the cast (particularly John Hamm and Jeremy Renner) is top notch. The only thing that has me feeling hesitant about this film is it seems to be marketed as a heist movie/action film, when what I’m hoping it turns out to be is more of a dramatic character study. Having this devolve into a straight action movie in the end (like Training Day) would be very disappointing.

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Easy A

Director: Will Gluck

Writer: Bert V. Royal

Stars: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Dan Byrd

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material

Synopsis: While studying The Scarlet Letter in high school, Olive Penderghast decides to cash in on her sexuality by letting dateless teenage boys pays her money to claim that she had sex with them.

Lars’ take: This looks a bit like bizarro The Virginity Hit because it’s a girl pretending to have sex with guys to make them popular and she’s good looking but no one notices her until she starts doing this. It looks kind of funny and watchable – sure, why not?

Joel’s take: Just about every young actress out there today is either forgettable or interchangeable. Emma Stone is the only one who stands out as original and captivating on the screen. She’s gorgeous, but she’s also actually talented and charismatic. This movie seems fairly clever and well-written and I think having Stone in the lead role will put it over the edge and make it worth watching.

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Director: John Erick Dowdle

Writers: Brian Nelson (screenplay), M. Night Shyamalan (story)

Stars: Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images, thematic material and some language including sexual references

Synopsis: A group of strangers are trapped together in an elevator. One of them is the devil.

Lars’ take: I’m not in. He’s not getting me again. Shyamalan had three movies that I absolutely adore. Since then, it’s movies that I really don’t like. I think this is just going to be another one of them. It looks interesting and original and it looks like it could be good, but all of them did. I’m not doing it again. I’m not having my heart broken.

Joel’s take: Nothing in the world could convince me to take a chance on this film. Shyamalan is like a family member with a drug problem at this point – I can remember the good times we had together, but they are overshadowed by all the times he stole money from me and let me down. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of healing before I’m ready to let him in again.

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Alpha and Omega

Directors: Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck

Writers: Chris Denk and Steve Moore

Stars: Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover, Larry Miller

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and some mild action

Synopsis: Taken from their home in Canada and stuck together in an Idaho park, a male and female wolf from different social classes must work together to make it back home.

Lars’ take: I don’t care. Dude, I don’t care.

Joel’s take: Me neither.

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Never Let Me Go (limited)

Director: Mark Romanek

Writers: Kazuo Ishiguro (novel), Alex Garland (screenplay)

Stars: Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield

MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality and nudity

Synopsis: Three boarding school friends discover a horrible fate awaits them when they reach maturity.

Lars’ take: There are obviously elements that they didn’t include in the trailer that I guess they want you to experience when you see the whole movie. I have a great deal of respect for that, but at the same time it became very confusing. What movie am I going to see here? That being said, I like what I saw and I really like the performers. This will be a good one even though I don’t know exactly what type of movie it is going to be.

Joel’s take: Director Mark Romanek’s last film was One Hour Photo, which was one of those incredibly dark and disturbing movies that you just couldn’t stop watching. His name being attached to this project makes me excited for it. I just hope he doesn’t do anything too awful to Carey Mulligan – she seems so sweet and delightful.

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Jack Goes Boating (limited)

Director: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Writer: Robert Glaudini (screenplay and play)

Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega

MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and some sexual content

Synopsis: A limo driver goes on a blind date that forever changes his life. And presumably, at some point in the film, he goes boating.

Lars’ take: I’m completely in. It looks so simple and yet so compelling. It’s full of performers that I really like seeing on the screen. When you think of Philip Seymour Hoffman, you think of “less is more.” That’s the kind of actor he is and I think that’s the kind of movie he’s going to make and that’s the kind of movie I love. And also, as a side note, I have mad respect for Hoffman for bringing Daphne Rubin-Vega back into a mainstream movie because she is awesome and not in enough stuff.

Joel’s take: At this point, Philip Seymour Hoffman has earned enough trust that if he’s in a movie, I will go see it (obviously, this is a phenomenon that began post-Along Came Polly). He is probably the greatest actor still in his prime working today. Also, Amy Ryan is great and I love that she is in this movie – but when is she going to find a nice, normal guy? First she gets degenerate drunk Jimmy McNulty on The Wire, then Michael Scott on The Office and now a phobic, unable-to-swim Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Catfish (limited)

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Stars: Megan Faccio, Nev Schulman, Rel Schulman

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Synopsis: The film, which is being billed as a “reality thriller” (it has no credited writers and all of the people appearing in the film are billed as themselves, but they aren’t calling it a documentary), follows Nev as he heads across the country to meet his online girlfriend, but things take a surprising twist once he gets there.

Lars’ take: What is this movie? Is it a documentary? Is it a romance? Is it a drama? Is it a horror movie in the guise of a documentary? In the last 10 second of the trailer everything changed and I don’t know how or why or to what end, but they got me. This could be the worst movie ever made, but I am so curious. I have to go see it at some point.

Joel’s take: I have to be honest – with all of the hand-held camera style movies coming out in the past few weeks, I was rolling my eyes at the beginning of this trailer. When they pulled up to the girl’s house, I expected sappy music to start playing as he ran up and pulled her into his arms. But it turns into a completely different movie … and I want to see that movie.

This week’s recommendations …

Jack Goes Boating

PSH always leaves every bit of himself on the screen. And this time he’s on the screen and behind the camera. I think this is going to be feature every one of these performers has to give. And I want them to give it to me.

The Town

I never thought this day would come, but I’m choosing Ben Affleck over Philip Seymour Hoffman. I think Jack Goes Boating is probably a better film, but if I’m being honest with all of you, I’m more excited about The Town. Jack Goes Boating will have to wait to be appreciated by me until it comes out on DVD.


HoboTrashcan’s Confidence Rating System

Since we force Joel and Lars to make a recommendation each week (using the classic “If a gun was pointed to your head and you had to pick one” scenario), 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.

Comments (1)
  1. Rachelle September 17, 2010

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