The weekend warriors starting January 10, 2014 includes The Legend of Hercules and the wide releases of Lone Survivor, Her, August: Osage County, and Inside Llewyn Davis.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, Frozen put an end to The Desolation of Smaug’s three weekend reign, not leaving a chance for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones to capitalize as the first new release of the year. January is proving to be yet again another dumping ground for unsuccessful movies.
Will Kellan Lutz be able to shed his Twilight sparkle or will the Oscar contenders drive a stake into his heart? What happened Kevin Sorbo? This is the Box Office Battlefield:
The Legend of Hercules (Rated PG-13) – (Directed by Renny Harlin) Starring Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, and Roxanne McKee
Synopsis: The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 0% • Audience – 57%
Critically and commercially looked down on, The Legend of Hercules is not giving January any hope for moviegoers. The first trailer pushed out late last year, practically coming out of nowhere. Did anyone even ask for this movie? Are Greek gods a thing again? The problem with The Legend of Hercules is the fact that it feels so far removed from what we know about the half mortal half god. Everything is so vapid and dry that it makes Meet the Spartans look like Gladiator. With 300: Rise of the Spartans and another Hercules film starring The Rock coming out, The Legend of Hercules isn’t a great start for the mythology train this year.
Lone Survivor [Limited New York City/Los Angeles] (Rated R) – (Directed Peter Berg) Starring Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, and Josh Berry
Synopsis: Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission “Operation Red Wings”. Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 74% • Audience – 82%
Making its much anticipated wide release debut, Lone Survivor will get your blood flowing again in this bleak January. All of the action, drama, and patriotism you could choke a horse with can be found in Peter Berg’s retelling of SEAL Team 10. Some of the messages and themes are thrown at you a bit too in your face – we get it, terrorists bad, America good – but overall it’s definitely a thrilling story that doesn’t back down. MATINEE IT!
Her [Limited Release 12/18] (Rated R) 126 min – (Directed by Spike Jonze) Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, and Rooney Mara
Synopsis: A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 93% • Audience –86%
Beautifully stylized, fun, romantic, heartfelt, sad, touching, hilarious, and cheeky, Spike Jonze delivers yet another wonderful piece of cinema. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson are perfect. There is a lot of meaningful, deep themes to digest that are easily capable to relate to and will melt your heart. SEE IT! (Read the full review)
August: Osage County [Limited New York City/Los Angeles] (Rated R) 121 min – (Directed by John Wells) Starring Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chris Cooper
Synopsis: A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 62% • Audience – 76%
If you can get past the dramatic misery porn of it all August: Osage County is a hard-hitting, fantastically acted ensemble piece. No one overshadows the other as each actor is an intricate piece to this disastrous puzzle. There is so much tension, humor, and jaw-dropping moments you can’t stop watching this family unleash on each other. The realism of how well portrayed this family epic is compared to a family outside of Hollywood is very believable, just at the most extreme scenarios. It’s not a completely enjoyable story to stomach as it is a mostly downward spiral of the worst family ever, but there is a heart in the middle of all of this. MATINEE IT!
Inside Llewyn Davis [Limited] (Rated R) 105 min – (Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen) Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake
Synopsis: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 94% • Audience – 75%
Oscar Isaac is not a force to be reckoned with. Showcasing his sheer talent for acting and song, Isaac nails this one out of the ball park. The Coens yet again fail to disappoint. Inside Llewyn Davis may seem like a bit meandering and almost storyless, but I assure you that it all has a purpose. There is much irony, sympathy, and dark humor to be found in Llewyn Davis, it’s just how you interpret the journey that sticks with you after the credits roll. SEE IT!
Lone Survivor has had such an incredible PR campaign that it would be hard to find someone who didn’t know about his film. Hercules is an oozing toxic wasteland, and many folks may not even be down for the big Oscar dramas yet. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:
Winner: Lone Survivor
Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus