Box Office Preview – September 24, 2010

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Director: Oliver Stone

Writers: Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff (written by); Stanley Weiser and Oliver Stone (characters)

Stars: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and thematic elements.

Synopsis: Gordon Gekko and Co. return to confront our nation’s current economic crisis and to find out who was responsible for the death of a young trader’s mentor.

Lars’ take: Why make a sequel to a movie that didn’t need to be made in the first place? For some reason, Oliver Stone just feels like he needs to make a movie. How can you expand any more on this boring story? None of it matters. It seems like a waste of time.

Joel’s take: Absolutely nothing about this movie appeals to me. It’s as if they are trying to make a movie I would hate. Oliver Stone is awful these days, Shia LaBeouf is annoying and it’s a pointless sequel to a film I’m not really fond of in the first place.

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You Again

Director: Andy Fickman

Writer: Moe Jelline

Stars: Kristen Bell, Odette Yustman, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior.

Synopsis: Three generations of ladies with high school baggage must confront their rivals as a wedding brings them all face to face once again.

Lars’ take: If you take two good actresses who are also good looking for their age and you put them in a movie and it still looks like a piece of crap, then it’s going to be a piece of crap.

Joel’s take: Betty White can’t save everything. I know there is a Betty White resurgence going on right now, but you can’t just put her in your movie and expect it to be good. The previews for this don’t even look funny and they are supposed to have the best parts in them. And, as a side note: what the hell happened to Kristen Bell’s career?

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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Director: Zack Snyder

Writers: John Orloff and Emil Stern (screenplay), Kathryn Lasky (Guardians of Ga’Hoole novels)

Stars: Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, Emily Barclay

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some sequences of scary action.

Synopsis: When a young barn owl is recruited by a military training program that turns young owls into soldiers, he and his new pals escape to join a revolution against the military.

Lars’ take: I’ve got nothing.

Joel’s take: The owls look cool. That’s all I’ve got.

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Buried (limited)

Director: Rodrigo Cortés

Writer: Chris Sparling

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, José Luis García Pérez, Robert Paterson, Stephen Tobolowsky

MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some violent content.

Synopsis: A U.S. contractor working in Iraq wakes up to find himself, as the title suggests, buried alive with only a lighter and a cell phone. He must find a way to escape and figure out why he’s been buried before his oxygen runs out.

Lars’ take: This looks like an expansion on the season finale of CSI that Quentin Tarantino directed and now they’ve put Ryan Reynolds, who I’m sick of, inside a casket and I couldn’t care less. I think it’s going to fail.

Joel’s take: It’s a gimmick movie, like Cellular or Devil, that is built around a single idea and it will either work or it won’t. There’s no in between – it will either be great or awful. But I’m heavily leaning toward awful.

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Waiting for “Superman” (limited)

Director: Davis Guggenheim

Writers: Davis Guggenheim and Billy Kimball

Stars: The Black Family, Geoffrey Canada, The Esparza Family, The Hill Family, Michelle Rhee

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Synopsis: The documentarian behind An Inconvenient Truth focuses in on our nation’s broken public school system.

Lars’ take: It’s hard to make a documentary that people are excited to see. And it’s equally hard to make a trailer for a documentary that makes people want to see it. But Guggenheim has proven himself capable of making a good documentary not once but twice. It’s a subject matter I’m interested in and it looks like he’s tackled it with accuracy.

Joel’s take: We all know the school system is awful, but nobody talks about it. This documentary reminds me of The Wire in that it’s tackling an important problem in our society in a responsible way, which means that like The Wire, probably no one will watch this. But I hope people do because this movie looks fascinating and it’s incredibly relevant.

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Like Dandelion Dust (limited)

Director: Jon Gunn

Writers: Stephen J. Rivele and Michael Lachance (screenplay), Karen Kingsbury (novel)

Stars: Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, Kate Levering

MPAA Rating:

Synopsis: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including domestic violence and alcohol abuse.

Lars’ take: It’s one of those rare circumstances where you sympathize with both the protagonist and the antagonist. They are both right and they are both wrong. It’s going to be one of those dramas where whatever happens, you are going to end up feeling really bad or really good. Either way, I think it’s going to be a very good film. It’s going to be good, but it’s not going to be lighthearted.

Joel’s take: It looks really good, but there’s something about the trailer that gives off a distinct “Lifetime Original Movie” feel to it. Because of the people involved, I do think it will be more than that, but the trailer seems to be marketing it that way.

This week’s recommendations …

Waiting for “Superman”

This one definitely stands out among the others. It’s made by a documentarian who has proven himself and it’s a subject matter I’m interested in.

Waiting for “Superman”

This movie has higher aspirations than the other films this week. It’s a subject that effects everyone and it looks like it’s done in a really compelling way. Not only does it look like the best movie this week, but it’s a movie people should watch.


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.

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