The weekend warriors of March 21, 2014 includes Divergent, Muppets Most Wanted, Bad Words, and Nymphomaniac: Volume 1.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, Mr. Peabody & Sherman conquered the Greeks and put a stop to Jesse Pinkman. Can Kermit and pals defeat a new YA novel fan base or does Veronica Roth have too big of a following to overcome the odds? It isnt’ easy being green. This is the Box Office Battlefield:
Muppets Most Wanted (Rated PG) 112 min – (Directed by James Bobin) Starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, and Steve Whitmire
Synopsis: While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 77% • Audience – 83%
The Muppets return two years after their big comeback written by Jason Segel. This time without everyone’s favorite that guy from that movie, Muppets Most Wanted picks up right after the events of its predecessor. Without Segel, Muppets Most Wanted is a more traditional Muppets movie. We don’t have to worry about that strange man vs. Muppet aspect and just have fun with the story and of course who we came to see, The Muppets. Infused with a ton of celebrity cameos and clever new songs, this is definitely on par to keep The Muppets franchise alive. MATINEE IT!
Divergent (Rated PG-13) 139 min – (Directed by Neil Burger) Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, and Jai Courtney
Synopsis: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 41% • Audience – 80%
For those who have read the book, you should do OK. But for the majority of the world you’re most likely going to have some problems believing this world Veronica Roth dreamed up. Nothing is ever explained in detail, and the plausibility and rationale behind anything that is done makes absolutely no sense. Plus it’s overly long and the main conflict doesn’t pop its ugly head in until almost 2/3 into the movie. Shailene Woodley is great of course, but even so, she cannot save this slog of a film. PLEASE DO NOT SEE THIS!
Bad Words (Rated R) 88 min – (Directed by Jason Bateman) Starring Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, and Allison Janney
Synopsis: A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 66% • Audience – 76%
I feel like there is an unofficial “Bad” trilogy going on here. Much like Bad Santa and Bad Teacher, Bad Words focuses on an adult that works out their daddy issues while befriending a kid that teaches something about their own self. It’s funny, mostly full of extreme, creative vulgarity from Bateman, but I can see how some may tire of the same shtick throughout the movie. Luckily it’s short. The moral lesson and themes are a bit muddled in the shadow of the comedy, but it’s definitely not a terrible time. MATINEE IT!
Nymphomaniac: Volume I [Limited] (Not Rated) 118 min – (Directed by Lars von Trier) Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, and Shia LaBeouf
Synopsis: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 76% • Audience – 79%
If you are familiar with Lars von Trier you know the deal. But if you are not, boy are you in for a treat. I have not partaken in the viewing of Nymphomaniac: Volume I, despite it being On Demand for a little while – I just don’t think my mental state is ready to handle it since Melancholia or even after Anti-Christ yet – but I’m sure von Trier has put together yet another physically and emotionally draining experience. I am neither a hater nor a fan, but I find his movies to be very unique and worth a try for those who seek a different vision of the world from one of the most daring auteurs in the business. RENT IT!
So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:
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