The weekend warriors starting January 17, 2014 includes Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Ride Along, Devil’s Due, and The Nut Job.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, Lone Survivor lived up to its name, leaving the competition in its dust. 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:
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Rated PG-13) 105 min – (Directed Kenneth Branagh) StarringChris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Kenneth Branagh
Synopsis: Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack. (Watch the trailer here)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 62% • Audience – 64%
I’m sorry to say that Chris Pine has yet to show us he can be a leading man outside of the Star Trek universe, and even then his energy is being helped by a wonderful cast. But here he has no one to lean on. Jack Ryan is also another failed attempt to get a Tom Clancy adaptation off the ground and into a profitable franchise. This is the fourth attempt to bring Jack Ryan to the forefront of the spy genre (the others include The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears) and Kenneth Branagh doesn’t really do much to make him stand out here either. Sure those other movies aren’t too bad, and neither is this, Shadow Recruit is just not something to really get worked up about. RENT IT!
Ride Along (Rated PG-13) 100 min – (Directed by Tim Story) Starring Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter, and John Leguizamo
Synopsis: Fast-talking security guard Ben joins his cop brother-in-law James on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela, James’ sister. (Watch the trailer here)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 17% • Audience – 79%
Is anyone else getting sick of the recent slew of unfunny buddy cop movies? 2 Guns, The Heat, The Other Guys, Cop Out, andR.I.P.D. all completely terrible. Out of some sheer brilliance, thanks to the writers and directors, 21 Jump Street is the only one that can walk away unscathed. Ride Along brings nothing new to the table and it’s rated PG-13 so Ice Cube can’t really be Ice Cube. Kevin Hart is barely a saving grace for the film, but even then there is little he can do to save this film from the bore that it is. RENT IT!
Devil’s Due (Rated R) 89 min – (Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett) Starring Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, and Roger Payano
Synopsis: After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy. While recording everything for posterity, the husband begins to notice odd behavior in his wife that they initially write off to nerves, but, as the months pass, it becomes evident that the dark changes to her body and mind have a much more sinister origin. (Watch the trailer here)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 21% • Audience –45%
Two found footage horror movies in one month. Well golly, aren’t we so lucky? There is a silver lining in all of this, it looks like studios are looking to push out more genre films. The bad part is they need to work on their creativity and stop milking concepts that have been done before. Devil’s Due is an ultra boring, unscary waste of time. If you’ve seen Paranormal Activity and Rosemary’s Baby you might as well keep the memory of those films fresh in your mind and stay as far away from Devil’s Due as possible. SKIP IT!
The Nut Job (Rated PG) 86 min – (Directed by Peter Lepeniotis) Starring Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, and Katherine Heigl
Synopsis: Surly, a curmudgeon, independent squirrel is banished from his park and forced to survive in the city. Lucky for him, he stumbles on the one thing that may be able to save his life, and the rest of park community, as they gear up for winter – Maury’s Nut Store. (Watch the trailer here)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 13% • Audience – 69%
Could there be a more obvious sexual innuendo title for a children’s movie? All ejaculation jokes aside, The Nut Job looks like Free Birds all over again. Another terrible anthropomorphic kid’s tale, this film looks like it could receive more eye rolls than a father talking to her daughter about the benefits of safe sex as they prepare to walk on stage of The Maury Show. I don’t even think kids will know what they are laughing at. It’s times like these that make me fearful for the future of our youth. SKIP IT!
And if none of these movies interests you, there is a new limited release called Big Bad Wolves about a series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course that has been getting a lot of attention on the indie front. It sounds more interested than the rest of these shmucks.
Lone Survivor is a niche war film, the moviegoers who were interested in seeing most likely already have. With four big wide releases this weekend, the playing field is pretty spread out. You’ve got some action, action/comedy, horror, and children’s animation. While most are toxic, Devil’s Due is rated are and won’t get the teens in. With that said, the PG-13 Shadow Recruit and Ride Along will get butts in seats. And my bet is there is more of an audience for Kevin Hart than there is for Chris Pine and some overly convoluted spy thriller. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:
Winner: Ride Along
Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus