The weekend warriors Valentine’s Day weekend, February 14, 2014, includes RoboCop, Endless Love, About Last Night, and Winter’s Tale. 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, The LEGO Movie absolutely dominated the box office, hitting all four quadrants. But with Valentine’s Day getting itself a whole weekend to celebrate, there may be less traffic into theaters. And with three new romance movies debuting this weekend, along with an action packed remake, there in lies some stiff competition to draw away box office cash.
Will Phil Lord and Chris Miller make another awesome weekend or will the plight of two heavy romantic dramas topple over their second weekend score? Perhaps maybe Detective Alex Murphy can unlock the mystery of successful remakes or maybe Kevin Hart can conquer February? Thank you for your cooperation. This is the Box Office Battlefield:
RoboCop (2014) [Released 2/12] (Rated PG-13) 108 min – (Directed by José Padilha) Starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Abbie Cornish
Synopsis: In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 51% • Audience – 67lh
Like Carrie, I can appreciate the modernization of this story, and what it satirizes, but this reboot of RoboCop is practically unnecessary. However, the film raises a lot of interesting questions that go a little deeper than the original and perhaps even a little darker. On a visual level the film is pretty decent, but there are less than a handful of action scenes that are actually fun. The PG-13 rating definitely hurts RoboCop in that respect. José Padilha does a decent job at fusing 80’s cheese and flashy cinematography, but the dialogue is really weak and ultimately the villain’s intentions are very unclear. The ending also wraps up way too quickly. RENT IT!
About Last Night (Rated R) 100 min – (Directed by Steve Pink) Starring Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, and Joy Bryant
Synopsis: Follow two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 75% • Audience – 82%
Kevin Hart is yet again the saving grace for a B-romantic comedy that could have gone south fast if it weren’t for his timing and presence. This man has done a lot in the past few years to build his career and it really shows here. There is a decent amount of heart and emotional resonance, but it’s not like something we haven’t seen before. It’s the best you can do this Valentine’s Day weekend if you have nothing else better to do and have already seen The LEGO Movie. MATINEE IT!
Winter’s Tale (Rated PG-13) 118 min – (Directed by Akiva Goldsman) Starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, and Jennifer Connelly
Synopsis: A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 12% • Audience – 50%
If you haven’t seen the abomination that is the trailer, please go watch that first before you even think about seeing this ridiculous film. Winter’s Tale is a complete joke of a story, and how this was green lit is beyond me. It’s sad that such fine actors have to get dragged down in a stinker like this. For a first time feature film director, Goldsman is better off sticking with being a producer. But then again, not even his filmography as a producer is helping his case (Jonah Hex; Deep Blue Sea; Poseidon). SKIP IT!
Endless Love (Rated PG-13) 103 min – (Directed by Shana Feste) Starring Gabriella Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Bruce Greenwood, and Robert Patrick
Synopsis: The story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 13% • Audience – 66%
Take ever cliché dad moment you have ever seen in a film and inject that into Bruce Greenwood and you’ve got the most overbearing, irrational, emotionless, and clueless father you could ever see in film. This guy just wouldn’t understand true love if it hit him in the face, and neither would the director, Shana Feste (Country Strong). This adaptation of a young romance is all physical, nothing about Jade (Gabriella Wilde) and David’s (Alex Pettyfer) love feels authentic, natural, or even warranted. Endless Love never takes its time to let us get to know these characters as they romp for days throughout the summer after barely saying words to each other throughout high school. It’s truly unbelievable how silly this movie is too. If you want a good laugh be my guest. SKIP IT!
There is way too much bad press among the shoddy Winter’s Tale and Endless Love. Couples and moviegoers alike can smell the stank from miles away. About Last Night has gotten some good word of mouth traffic, and it also stars Kevin Hart, which was a big draw for Ride Along. And RoboCop is OK, but there isn’t a big fan base for that franchise, and there will be too much romance in the air to think about an action movie. The LEGO Movie has so much momentum going into this weekend with kids and families that there is no doubt it won’t make gangbusters again. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:
Winner: The LEGO Movie
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