The weekend warriors of September 27, 2013 includes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Don Jon, Rush, and Baggage Claim. 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, Prisoners danced circles around the competition – mostly due to at another quiet weekend of releases. Hugh Jackman and friends are facing some pretty hefty competition this weekend though. Two R rated, highly satisfying pictures, a PG rated animated film, and a PG-13 rom-com. The gloves are off.
Can Hugh Jackman beat his way to the top this weekend or will JGL addicts push the Don to the front? Will Ron Howard find his photo finish or will he everyone go bananas with Flint Lockwood? Get ready for the money… shot. This is the Box Office Battlefield:
Don Jon (Rated R) 90 min – (Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Brie Larson, and Glenne Headly
Synopsis: A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 80% • Audience – 78%
This is one fantastic, ambitious, sexy, and confident film right here. Don Jon is highly enjoyable, working on many levels for JGL’s first written and directed movie. As a comedy, it exceeds expectations. As a drama, Don Jon has a few well put together moments, but doesn’t succeed in carrying the full dramatic weight the film aims for. However, the social commentary on porn, addiction, and how we consume media does a fine job at making its point. If they worked out the female characters a little better, and tightened up the conclusion, this directorial debut would be astounding. The Jersey Shore aspect may bode well for most, but some may find it a bit distracting. This is a solid first go around for JGL. SEE IT! (Watch the trailer here)
Baggage Claim (Rated PG-13) 96 min – (Directed by David E. Talbert) Starring Paula Patton, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, Djimon Hounsou, and Adam Brody
Synopsis: Pledging to keep herself from being the oldest and the only woman in her entire family never to wed, Montana embarks on a thirty-day, thirty-thousand-mile expedition to charm a potential suitor into becoming her fiancé.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 12% • Audience – 71%
The Tomato Score says it all. This is not a film meant for critics, nor is it a film meant for most. The premise alone is simply headache-inducing. There isn’t much to enjoy or gain from a silly comedy like this, and the jokes will cause eyes to roll. All of the actors do a fine job coasting through this project with the little they’re given, but nothing shines through to make this a memorable rom-com. Adapted from his own novel, David E. Talbert drives this into the crowd before it even has a chance to take off. SKIP IT!
Rush (Rated R) 123 min – (Directed by Ron Howard) Starring Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Pierfrancesco Favino
Synopsis: A re-creation of the merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 86% • Audience – 94%
Biopics are typically hit or miss. They can be rich with facts and harrowing drama or they can be light character pieces that don’t possess a big picture. Ron Howard does an incredible job balancing lighthearted fun with intense driving sequences and compelling drama. For those not even interested in Formula One racing, Rush is a thrilling ride from start to finish. The only fault at play here is that there isn’t one central character to hold on to and you’re forced to hear the perspective of both drivers Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), who both do a stellar job. SEE IT! (Watch the trailer here)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Rated PG) 95 min – (Directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn) Starring the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, James Caan, Benjamin Bratt, and Kristen Schaal
Synopsis: Flint Lockwood now works at The Live Corp Company for his idol Chester V. But he’s forced to leave his post when he learns that his most infamous machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 60% • Audience – 83%
A very colorful sequel, Cloudy 2 plays with its food well, but forgets to include a human element that is engaging enough to care. The jokes are there most of the time, but a lot of them are stale, using material from the first film. The world that is created on Swallow Falls with all of the new foodimals is a joy to behold and the 3D works pretty well too. But if you’re looking for a strong animated sequel that reflects the quality of a Pixar film, you’ll have to look elsewhere. MATINEE IT! (SEE A FULL REVIEW HERE) (Watch the trailer here)
if you’re lucky enough, word on the street is there is a little horror movie coming out called We Are What We Are that has been getting a lot of buzz in the festival circuit. The story seems enticing enough to take a look if you’re a horror junkie like myself.
With two new R rated films and Prisoners, also R rated, the adults have a lot of options this weekend. The niche that Baggage Claim is looking to draw in will find its audience, but it’s not large enough to make an impact. There hasn’t been a big, animated feature for kids since Planes over a month ago, so it is most likely that it will draw a family crowd. Include 3D into the mix and you’ve got yourself a sure fire thing. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be: