Box Office Preview – November 5, 2010

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Director: Tom McGrath

Writers: Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons

Stars: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, David Cross

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action and some language.

Synopsis: The brilliant but evil Megamind decides to stop terrorizing Metro City when a new threat emerges, for once using his powers for good.

Lars’ take: It doesn’t matter what I say because this will make a gajillion dollars.

Joel’s take: Dreamworks will never be Pixar. They tend to rely too heavily on pop culture references, pop music and fart jokes to sell their movies. But this movie still has the potential to be good. Besides, anything that seems to be mocking Superman is alright in my book.

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Due Date

Director: Todd Phillips

Writers: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykiel, Todd Phillips

Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan

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

Synopsis: In order to make it home in time for the birth of his child, a man must hitch a ride with a bizarre aspiring actor.

Lars’ take: This is another formula for a movie that always works – a buddy comedy on the road. It’s been done countless times and it’s always entertaining. It should be an entertaining dynamic between Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. It will be good for some laughs. I just think when it comes down to the emotional aspects of the film, it would be easy for them to get really mushy and really preachy and I hope they stay away from that and focus instead on a good story and a good comedy.

Joel’s take: This has a great cast, a promising set up and Todd Phillips is a fairly consistent comedic director. I think as long as this movie can find a similar vibe to something like Plains, Trains and Automobiles, it will be a truly memorable comedy.

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127 Hours

Director: Danny Boyle

Writers: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (screenplay), Aron Ralston (book Between a Rock and a Hard Place)

Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara

MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some disturbing violent content/bloody images.

Synopsis: Based on a true story, a mountain climber gets trapped while climbing alone and must go to great lengths in order to survive.

Lars’ take: I’m really excited about this movie despite the fact that a majority of it is going to have to be a guy alone and silent. I like basically anything that Danny Boyle puts out because he focuses a lot on story and entertainment. I know that may seem simple enough, but moviemakers often lose those two things in the shuffle. Also, with the actual guy that this happened to on set the whole time and Danny Boyle listening to him to make this movie, I think it’s going to be accurate and really well-told.

Joel’s take: Earlier this year, Buried tried to tell the story of one man trapped all alone, using his wits to survive. While that movie seemed overly gimmicky, 127 Hours actually seems really compelling and good. Plus, it’s based on a true story. Danny Boyle is always great and James Franco is a fantastic actor who I actually think is perfect for this role. It’s going to be good.

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For Colored Girls

Director: Tyler Perry

Writers: Tyler Perry (screenplay), Ntozake Shange (play)

Stars: Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton

MPAA Rating: Rated R for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content and language.

Synopsis: A group of black women meet at a 12-step program to share their stories.

Lars’ take: I don’t like Tyler Perry. While I think there are some talented actresses in this cast, I think those talented actresses can be over the top and preachy when they’re not held back. And lord knows Tyler Perry never holds anyone back. On top of that, there are some very untalented actresses in this movie. I think this movie is aimed toward a very specific audience that most of us are not a part of – and I don’t mean black people, I mean people who like bad movies.

Joel’s take: Movie companies put a director’s name in trailers because they are hoping his track record will sell you on the new film. However, I think this is a rare case where, for me at least, seeing the director’s name in the trailer actually detracts from the film. The cast looks great and it’s based on a critically-acclaimed play, but I just don’t think Tyler Perry has the gravitas to pull something like this off. Maybe he does and this will be the start of people viewing his as a more serious director, but I’m just not convinced.

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Fair Game

Director: Doug Liman

Writers: Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (screenplay), Joseph Wilson (book The Politics of Truth), Valerie Plame (book Fair Game)

Stars: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language.

Synopsis: Based on real events, a CIA operative’s name is leaked to the press after her husband writes an op-ed piece criticizing the Bush administration.

Lars’ take: I don’t like political movies when they’re fictional and made to be realistic because politics on the whole are boring and spies in real life are not that exciting. So when it’s based on an actual story and it clearly has a political agenda, it makes me want to turn my back on it immediately.

Joel’s take: Two things concern me about this film. Number one, Sean Penn’s involvement has me skeptical. We all know where Penn stands politically, so seeing him involved in this film makes me think it’s just going to be an over-the-top, preachy attack on the Bush administration. And two, it’s based on a true story, but it’s a spy movie – it’s hard to make real life spy stories seem interesting without Hollywood-ing them up, so I’m wondering how faithful it is to the original story and, if it is faithful, if it’s still interesting.

This week’s recommendations …

127 Hours

I wouldn’t normally go to a theater to see a movie like this because I don’t think you need the sound system or the big screen to enjoy this story or the performances. However, I would like to experience the anguish with a room full of people because that is going to be something.

Due Date

This is definitely an eclectic group of films. If you can’t find a movie that appeals to you this week, you don’t like movies. I was tempted to pick 127 Hours, but I think comedies are always really fun to see in the theater with a group of people laughing together, so I think Due Date is the way to go this weekend.


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. Brandi November 5, 2010

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