The weekend warriors of October 11, 2013 includes Captain Phillips and Machete Kills. 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, Gravity soaredabove the many combatants on the battlefield. We’ve just begun the Fall movie season and the heavy hitting Oscar contenders have only started warming up. This is the first of two big Tom Hanks pictures this year, which would be interesting to see if he gains two Best Actor Oscar nominations. Can Danny Trejo and crew grind their way to a victory or will the Somalian pirates find a win? It’s Taco Time. This is the Box Office Battlefield: Captain Phillips (Rated PG-13) 134 min – (Directed by Paul Greengrass) Starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, and Faysal Ahmed Synopsis: The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 94% • Audience – 89%
Tom Hanks. The man can do no wrong. Paul Greengrass on the other hand, the director of the Bourne trilogy, can dish out an decently told story from time to time, but puke it up visually on the screen. Captain Phillips continues Greengrass’ reign of terror among those who despise shaky cam. If it weren’t for the engaging and incredible actors seen in this film, Greengrass would be lost at sea. The film is hurts from all of the “stylistic” choices Greengrass chooses to employ. And for over two hours, it does not give the film’s story much justice when you’re looking for moments of tension. It’s an interesting story to keep your attention span, and if you can look past the cinematography, Captain works to a certain extent. MATINEE IT!
Machete Kills (Rated R) 107 min – (Directed by Robert Rodriguez) Starring Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson, Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, and Sofia Vergara Synopsis: The U.S. government recruits Machete to battle his way through Mexico in order to take down an arms dealer who looks to launch a weapon into space.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 30% • Audience – 67%
Director Robert Rodriguez returns to grindhouse filmmaking to deliver a polar opposite experience for movie goers this weekend. With Golden Globe winner Charlie Sheen and Academy Award winner Mel Gibson, how could Machete Kills go wrong? It really can’t – for fans of this niche type of movies. Grindhouse films are for those who go for the experience, the over the top story, and the absolutely zero tolerance for realism. Machete Kills is a fun concept, but dragging it out for almost two hours can be a bit taxing. The cast is star-studded, but no one is really fleshed out enough to really care what’s going on. It’s not a total waste of time, but you would get more enjoyment out of this film with a group of friends, a bowl of popcorn, and a ton of adult beverages. RENT IT!
If you’re daring and masochistic, you could venture out to see the new Romeo and Juliet remake with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth. Warm Bodies, which came out earlier this year, based on a book based on Romeo and Juliet, did a fine job retelling the classic Shakespearean tragedy. But this new remake is just completely unnecessary. If you’re up for the strange, there is Escape from Tomorrow, which is a sort of psychological thriller-horror set in Walt Disney World. The premise and the story behind the making of the film is quite unique, but the reviews have been pretty mixed.
I can’t see Machete Kills drawing a big crowd this weekend with how niche it is. Captain Phillips is PG-13, but so is Gravity. Tom Hanks has incredible star power, but he is also the only recognizable name to mainstream movie goers. Gravity is still fresh in the minds of audiences and has the added benefit of 3D and IMAX. Also, many people know how the story of Captain Phillips ends. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be: