Box Office Battlefield: Blackhat, Paddington, and The Wedding Ringer

Weekend Movies Paddington Blackhat American Sniper Wedding Ringer

The weekend warriors of January 16, 2015 includes Blackhat, Paddington, and The Wedding Ringer. 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 and determine who will be victorious.

Last weekend, Taken 3 took away your monies with an astonishing $39 million in the bank. Despite not having many options at the cinemas, this weekend boasts of three new wide releases and one expansion of a big Oscar contender. 00100100110000! This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Blackhat Movie Title Logo

Blackhat (Michael Mann) Rated R [135 min] – A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang, and Leehom Wang

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 31% • Audience – 40%

What they’re saying:

“The premise is interesting, and certainly timely, though the film feels assembled from used components.” – Joe Morgenstern (Wall Street Journal)

“Blackhat does have a good amount going for it, [but] it also can’t outrun its major issues.” – Eric Eisenberg (CinameBlend)

What I’m saying:

From the director of Heat, The Insider, and The Last of the Mohicans comes a timely film about hacking that looks absolutely unsatisfying to the nth degree. It’s hard enough to make computer hacking look engaging – The Social Network may be the only one that comes to mind that I think works – but Blackhat looks like it’s trying way too hard to grab your attention with action and fails to put emphasis on anything else. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

Paddington Movie Title Logo

Paddington (Paul King) Rated PG [95 min] – A family befriends a talking bear at a London train station. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, and Nicole Kidman

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 97% • Audience – 87%

What they’re saying:

“Because of its adorable protagonist, laugh-out-loud gags and touching premise, ‘Paddington’ succeeds in a way most CGI/live-action hybrids do not.” – Sandie Angulo Chen (Washington Post)

“Such is the chipper goodwill of both Paddington and ‘Paddington’ that you forgive the flaws.” – Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)

What I’m saying:

It would seem that people really love animated bears in a real world setting. I really get nothing out of this movie from watching the trailer, but apparently it has stolen the hearts of critics and audiences alike. Looks like we have our first good movie of 2015, and in January nonetheless. SEE IT! [UPDATE: I have seen this movie now and I highly recommend it. It’s a very lovely, heartwarming movie that feels like a kid-friendly Wes Anderson movie. It’s fun, charming, and very sweet in its themes.]

The Wedding Ringer Movie Title Logo

The Wedding Ringer (Jeremy Garelick) Rated R [101 min] – A shy young groom needs to impress his in-laws, so he turns to a best-man-for-hire to help him out. Starring Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Alan Ritchson, Josh Gad, and Kevin Hart

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 17% • Audience – 75%

What they’re saying:

“Hart is such a skilled comic – his lightning-fast riffs are almost always funny, even when they’re in the midst of hateful dreck like this – that I can’t believe he can’t talk his way into better material.” – Sara Stewart (New York Post)

“The idea is to keep the action at a fast pace, overwhelming audiences with zaniness so they can’t notice that the film is built upon a rotten, crumbling, vaguely hateful core.” – Nathan Rabin (The Dissolve)

What I’m saying:

The Wedding Ringer looks like it took all its best moments and through it in the trailer. Kevin Hart and Josh Gad look like they work fairly well together, but the material and the concept is just so early 2000s. Haven’t we gotten past these cooky, slapstick comedies yet? WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

Spare Parts 2015 Movie Title Logo

Spare Parts (Sean McNamara) [LIMITED] Rated PG-13 – Four Hispanic high school students form a robotics club. With no experience, 800 bucks, used car parts and a dream, this rag tag team goes up against the country’s reigning robotics champion, MIT. Starring Alexa PenaVega, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Carlos PenaVega

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 50% • Audience – 93%

What they’re saying:

“Though based on a true story, “Spare Parts,” like every other studio product, rehashes clichés from other movies so as not to unduly challenge the audience.” – Peter Keough (Boston Globe)

“The characters in “Spare Parts” all go through changes that are true to many immigrants’ decidedly mixed experiences in the American melting pot.” – Michael O’Sullivan (Washington Post)

What I’m saying:

If you’re seeking to find a movie with good intentions then I would direct you to Spare Parts. I think it comes off as one of those straightforward heart-felt underdog movies that is as predictable as they come. Kind of like one of those cheesy direct-to-DVD movies that a teacher would share in a class. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

Still Alice Movie Title Logo

Still Alice (Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland) [LIMITED] Rated PG-13 [101 min] – Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested. Starring Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth, Shane McRae, and Hunter Parrish

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 82% • Audience – 82%

What I’m saying:

I’ve actually seen this one! And I like it. Julianne Moore has been getting a lot of attention for her role as Alice and I have to agree with them. She has a very strong performance as a woman suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s and it is as tragic as they come. From her work to her family, Still Alice touches on a lot of issues that can be very depressing to endure. One of the best moments though is a scene between Alice and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) that will really crank up the feels. My biggest problem with the movie is that it has very little energy and feels a lot longer than its run time. SEE IT!

Match 2015 Movie Title Logo

Match (Stephen Belber) [LIMITED] Rated R [90 min] – As a Juilliard professor is interviewed by a woman and her husband for her dissertation on the history of dance in 1960’s New York, it becomes increasingly clear that there are ulterior motives to the couple’s visit. Starring Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, Matthew Lillard, and Maduka Steady

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 72% • Audience – 78%

What they’re saying:

” Match functions best as a version of a decent play that you can watch in a cinema or, eventually, in the comfort of your own home. That might be damning with faint praise, but this is probably the most common pitfall for a theatrical adaptation.” – Daniel Walber (Film School Rejects)

“Drama is driven by conflict, but in this particular case it’s the calm between the storms that captivates.” – Mike D’Angelo (AV Club)

What I’m saying:

Aside from doing a lot of voice acting, recently, and appearing in the X-Men movies, Patrick Stewart has been pretty scarce on screen. I think seeing him in this role is refreshing to find this actor in something other than science fiction that really lets the man show off his acting chops. From what the trailer provides, I think those who can really engage with character dramas will really find this enjoyable. MATINEE IT!

American Sniper is expanding to over 3,000 theaters and has the power house combination of Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, and America. But don’t count out Paddington to take flight with families. It will be a close one, but as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:

Winner: American Sniper


Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes

Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus

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