The weekend warriors of March 13, 2015 includes Cinderella and Run All Night, as well as the limited release of It Follows. 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, audiences begrudgingly went out to see Chappie despite its toxic reviews. It almost got one-upped by the previous champ, Focus. But a new dawn has come, with Walt Disney leading the charge into battle with one of its biggest heavy-hitters from its princess camp. But can Liam Neeson put a stop to the fairytale? Bibbidi bobbidi boo! This is the Box Office Battlefield:
Cinderella (Kenneth Branagh) Rated PG [112 min] – When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger in the woods. Starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, and Helena Bonham Carter (Watch the trailer)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 83% • Audience – 84%
What I’m saying:
This is a perfect display of how capable Disney is in retelling their animated films through live-action spectacles. After watching this film, I went back home and put in the original animated Cinderella from 1950. There are many improvements that better the story while still keeping the magic of the fairytale alive. All of the characters have been fleshed in more detail, the production design is exquisite, and the actors are well cast in their iconic roles. This adaptation is definitely more adult-minded, but there is still a lot of fun to be had. It’s the same story, but with a lot more substance in the themes and character motivations. SEE IT!
On a side note: Frozen Fever is a cute little appetizer in front of Cinderella. The new song, “Making Today a Perfect Day,” is no “Let it Go,” but it’s still a little catchy. The problem with this short is that they introduce new powers for Elsa, aside from her Iceman abilities, that make absolutely no sense and are unexplained. Other than that, it’s simply adequate. The Snowgies are really adorable at least.
Run All Night (Jaume Collet-Serra) Rated R [114 min] – Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son. Starring Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, and Vincent D’Onofrio
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 56% • Audience – 59%
What they’re saying:
“There’s not much new in this tale of grim men staring, and then shooting, each other down, but this cast and crew know how to spin this yarn with efficacy and economy.” – Alonso Duralde (The Wrap)
“Under all his action-star antics, Liam Neeson is a good actor. So his insistence on repeatedly playing a variation of the same role is mystifying.” – Claudia Puig (USA Today)
What I’m saying:
To be honest, I completely skipped this movie last night because I have zero interest in it, and I didn’t want what looks like to be a terrible movie to ruin the high Cinderella left me with after seeing that. Liam Neeson action movies have this gruff tone that makes them hard to see any differentiators compelling enough to make this one any more appealing than the last. From what I can tell based off of others’ reviews, it has a fast pace, but lacks depth. RENT IT!
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell) [Limited] Rated R [100 min] – After a young girl gets involved in a sexual confrontation, she is followed by an unknown force. Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 95% • Audience – 71%
What they’re saying:
“It Follows is classical horror, and deserves to be sculpted into the Mount Rushmore of horror alongside other greats.” – Brad Miska (Bloody Disgusting)
“It Follows is an incredibly evolved, joyously alive piece of “dead teenager” cinema that likely requires a few viewings to properly assimilate its rhythms.” – Chris Alexander (Fangoria)
What I’m saying:
Since this is a limited release, I wasn’t able to see this movie yet, and didn’t attend any festivals last year where it was playing. I’ve tried to avoid as much hype and all of the trailers I can because I’ve read headlines that have proclaimed this as a true delight. And in the recent years of poor horror movies, I am really excited to check this out. I hope it doesn’t let me down like The Babadook did. SEE IT!
I’m not too sure how or why Liam Neeson keeps taking these no-nothing roles that sort of just churn out of some factory like clockwork specifically targeted for the actor’s demographic, but they keep coming. Run All Night doesn’t have broad appeal and it’s rated R. Its run time is unfavorable too. Disney’s powerhouse release schedule continues on its path to glory with their next live-action adaptation of one of their classic princess stories. And it’s actually rather decent. I liked Chappie, but audiences weren’t too keen on the wacky hijinks of a robot in South Africa alongside his gangster, rapper friends. And I can’t really see moviegoers enthralled by any other options out in theaters at the moment. This is going to be a big weekend for the House of Mouse, especially with a new Frozen short film in front of Cinderella as well. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:
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