Box Office Preview – October 8, 2010

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Life As We Know It

Director: Greg Berlanti

Writers: Ian Deitchman, Kristin Rusk Robinson

Stars: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language and some drug content.

Synopsis: An orphaned child is used as a plot device to force Heigl’s character and Duhamel’s character to spend time together.

Lars’ take: Aww, Jesus Christ. I bet they get together at the end. What a piece of crap. Don’t go see this thing.

Joel’s take: The continued success of Katerine Heigl baffles me. By all accounts, Heigl is horrible to work with and she throws everyone around her under the bus to boost her own reputation. On top of that, she plays the same character in these cookie-cutter romantic comedies that just feel like they were made on autopilot. And yet, people will go see this and it will make money. Baffling.

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My Soul to Take

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Stars: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence, and pervasive language including sexual references.

Synopsis: Sixteen years after he was sentenced to death, a serial killer returns to murder a group of teenagers who were born on the day he was put to rest.

Lars’ take: This is the season. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, scary movies will continue to come out so teens can go to see them and sit in the back row and giggle and make out with each other. None of them are really worth a damn, but Wes Craven can still put out a decent horror flick. It will be good for what it is.

Joel’s take: He kills people who were born on the same day he was killed? That’s kind of a dick move. That’s not even taking revenge on those who wronged you, it’s just exploiting a strange coincidence. But it’s Wes Craven, it’s in 3D (which, as much as I loathe 3D, this is exactly the kind of movie that should be using the technology) and it looks like a decent popcorn movie. There are worse movies to feel your date up to this weekend than this one.

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Director: Randall Wallace

Writers: Mike Rich, William Nack (book)

Stars: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Scott Glenn, James Cromwell, Dylan Walsh, Fred Dalton Thompson

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language.

Synopsis: It’s the story of Secretariat, the 1973 horse racing Triple Crown winner.

Lars’ take: They made Seabiscuit, so of course this was going to happen. I’m sure it will be quite uplifting and the characters will be rich and have their troubles, but in the end, we all know what happens.

Joel’s take: If you liked Seabiscuit, you will like Secretariat … because it’s the exact same movie.

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Director: John Curran

Writer: Angus MacLachlan

Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich, Frances Conroy

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexuality and violence, and pervasive language.

Synopsis: A convicted arsonist convinces his wife to seduce his parole officer in order to secure his release from prison.

Lars’ take: The story seems really convoluted. It seems to be going in a bunch of different directions. They do it to throw you for a loop and surprise you in the end, but it rarely works and I don’t see it working this time. And Ed Norton and De Niro don’t bring people to movies anymore.

Joel’s take: For the record, if Milla Jovovich ever tried to seduce me in order to secure her husband’s release from prison, it would totally work. I have trouble taking De Niro’s work very seriously these days, I can’t take Ed Norton seriously with cornrows and this movie seems like it’s trying to be sophisticated when it’s probably clunky and forgettable.

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I Spit On Your Grave

Director: Steven R. Monroe

Writers: Meir Zarchi (1978 screenplay), Stuart Morse

Stars: Sarah Butler, Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Tracey Walter

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Synopsis: A woman abused and left for dead seeks revenge on those who assaulted her.

Lars’ take: Take everything I said about My Soul to Keep, take out Wes Craven’s name and ask yourself, “Do I really want to see this?”

Joel’s take: This is the type of horror movie that really irks me. The story is set up to be as shocking and unsettling as possible and the violence is mindless and as graphic as possible. These types of modern horror films aren’t well-made or inventive, but they make them so violent and shocking so that when people don’t like them, the filmmakers can claim that’s the reason why.

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Writers: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Ned Vizzini (novel)

Stars: Keir Gilchrist, Dana DeVestern, Zach Galifianakis, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan, Aasif Mandvi

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language.

Synopsis: A troubled teen ends up in an adult psych ward, where he learns about life and love.

Lars’ take: This looks like a cute, fun little movie. A romantic comedy set inside a crazy house has been done before, but every time it’s done, you end up seeing it and liking it. This one shouldn’t be any different. Throw in a Galifianakis and I think it’s really going to just be a nice little cute romantic movie.

Joel’s take: The premise is one that Hollywood loves to run into the ground, but it definitely plays to the strengths of the actors involved. Zach Galifianakis as a mental patient is perfect casting and Jim Gaffigan seems well-cast in this setting as well. Plus, Keir Gilchrist has excelled at playing a quirky and charming teenager in The United States of Tara and I think this will be a good vehicle for him to showcase his talents.

This week’s recommendations …

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

I’m interested in seeing what Galifianakis can do with being a weird guy with a bushy beard.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

The setup is definitely one we’ve seen many, many times before, but if they can find a way to make this movie original enough to stand on it’s own, I think it will work.


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. laura k October 8, 2010

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