The weekend warriors for May 31 through June 2, 2013 includes Now You See Me and After Earth, including a few exciting limited releases. Box Office Battlefield is a recurring rundown of all the movie releases for the weekend. Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard earned dollars. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others.
Last weekend, Fast & Furious 6 left the competition eating its dust and sobered up The Hangover Part III. But this weekend Dom Toretto has a new threat on his hands, Will and Jaden Smith. The two have a power over audiences that may have the power to stop the Furious 6 in their tracks.
Will M. Night Shyamalan be able to redeem himself or will “Zuckerberg” pull one over with his slight of hand? Welcome to Earff! This is the Box Office Battlefield:
Now You See Me (Rated PG-13) 116 min – (Directed by Louis Leterrier) Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Mélanie Laurent
Synopsis: An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 43% • Audience – 86%
If you’re looking for a Ocean’s Eleven meets The Prestige like I was, than you might want to walk in the other direction; maybe even run. For as much as the trailer promises some big heisty adventure with four unique Las Vegas magicians, Now You See Me is just an underdeveloped mess. Magic in real life is suppose to suspend belief, but due to the CGI splattered all over the screen nothing appears realistic enough to believe in what they’re doing could be possible. The casting is fine, the actors work very well off each other and the dialogue works most of the time, especially with the Horsemen, but the story is too weak for its cast to hold together. RENT IT!
After Earth (Rated PG-13) 100 min – (Directed by M. Night Shyamalan) Starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith
Synopsis: A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 14% • Audience – 82%
How much of a disaster is this movie, let me count the ways. First M. Night Shamalamadingdong continues his downward spiral into terribleness with one of the most poorly directed, weak stories of his career. Second, the acting is so embarrassing on all accounts, you’d think that this was a direct to DVD mvoie. And finally, the relationship between the Smiths is so laughable, you actually root against them and are given nothing to take away from this movie at all. Even the post-apocalyptic Earth is uninteresting and could have been any planet. Nothing is expanded upon or given much depth and the lack of emotion or tension is lazy. SKIP IT!
The East [Limited to LA & NY] (Rated PG-13) 116 min – (Directed by Zal Batmanglij) Starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, and Toby Kebbell
Synopsis: An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 71% • Audience – 88%
The indie darling known as Brit Marling cannot be stopped. Her third written work, The East, is the strongest yet and her talent only seems to be going up from here. The East is an interesting look at corporate terrorism and seeking reputable justice against those who shed no amount of remorse to those who suffer. Brit Marling’s character, Sarah, has so much range of emotion and conflict within her that works so well for this story. It’s not something entirely original, but Batmanglij’s direction and structure makes The East a solid entry into the infiltration genre. SEE IT!
The Kings of Summer [Limited to LA & NY] (Rated R) 93 min – (Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts) Starring Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Erin Moriarty, and Alison Brie
Synopsis: Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 77% • Audience – 83%
Can I just tell you to see this movie without giving you an explanation why? The Kings of Summer is an heart-warming dramedy about two high school boys who want to get away from society and their parents, and one squirrelly kid who just happens to tag along for the ride. This movie is fantastically genuine, sweet, and absolutely hilarious. All of the young actors work terrifically well together and the adult cast is the perfect balance to this coming-of-age story. This film isn’t completely full of depth from all angles, but it is worth the price of admission to see one of the better feel-good movies of the year. SEE IT!
Now You See Me and After Earth are too wildly original and do not boast an inherently good reason to seek out immediately. With how well Fast 6 did last weekend and the buzz still warm, Vin Diesel and crew may get away with yet another victory.