Box Office Battlefield: ‘Furious 7’ vs. ‘Woman in Gold’

Box Office Battlefield 'Furious 7' vs. 'Woman in Gold'

Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of April 3, 2015 includes Furious 7 and Woman in Gold, as well as a good handful of limited releases. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious. Should you see ’em, skip ’em, or rent ’em? Find out after the break.

Last weekend, DreamWorks Animation‘s Home destroyed expectations and revived a little bit of life back into the studio, leaving Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s Get Hard in the cold. But the “summer” movie season is about to kick off with a mega blockbuster looking to leave the competition in its dust. Can anyone make it out alive? Ride or die. This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Furious 7 Movie Title Logo

Furious 7 (James Wan) Rated PG-13 [137 min] – Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother. Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, and Kurt Russell (Watch the trailer)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 82% • Audience – 91%

What I’m saying:

This movie is absolutely ridiculous. It’s chopped up pieces of an incredible action movie, shot semi-poorly, and mixed with some of the silliest dialogue that makes you do a double take to ensure you heard correctly. The entire second act hangs on threads that barely connect to the main through line. But do you know why Furious 7 works on such an unobtainable level that most B-level movies like this only hope to achieve? Because The Fast and Furious franchise has paid its dues as a silly shlock fest and has built a foundation around a believable world where the filmmakers can get away with a lot. And not because we’re use to it now after seven films, but because of the rules they have built within the franchise to make it believable. (Sort of like Glee where a gym teacher can become a principal of a high school through sexual harassment.) Removing itself from the low-level crime action beats to bigger stakes and crazier stunts while also incorporating a sense of family has only increased the value of the characters. Furious 7 is an entertaining piece of cinema based purely off the merits of its predecessors, which works well, but also hurts it as a standalone film. MATINEE IT!

Woman in Gold 2015 Movie Title Logo

Woman in Gold (Simon Curtis) Rated PG-13 [109 min] – Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family. Starring Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, and Katie Holmes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 47% • Audience – 84%

What they’re saying:

“The relationship between Altmann and Schoenberg, sometimes testy but always loving, plays out like two actors acting, rather than two actors inhabiting a real situation.” – Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)

“The film does have an asset that can’t be ignored, and that’s Helen Mirren’s tip-top performance as the film’s costar. It’s not enough to save the picture, but it certainly makes a difference.” – Kenneth Turan (LA Times)

What I’m saying:

I like that Ryan Reynolds is branching out to work that’s outside genre films or comedy, but Woman in Gold looks really boring. I’m on board for Helen, however the plot just holds no interest over me. And based on the reviews, I can’t really suggest this film on good merits. NETFLIX IT!

5 to 7 2015 Movie Title Logo

5 to 7 (Victor Levin) [Limited] Rated R [95 min] – An aspiring novelist enters into a relationship with a woman, though there’s just one catch: She’s married, and the couple can only meet between the hours of 5 and 7 each evening. Starring Anton Yelchin, Bérénice Marlohe, Olivia Thirlby, and Lambert Wilson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 68% • Audience – 88%

What they’re saying:

“Though it’s understandable that the melancholy Arielle is moved by Brian’s passion for her, the contrasts between them always makes her seem like more of a babysitter than a paramour.” – David Ehrlich (Time Out New York)

“Although Mr. Levin tends to embrace clichés and overstatement … he can also surprise you with delicate touches, a pained look, a wince of recognition.” – Manohla Dargis (New York Times)

What I’m saying:

I really dug the idea of this film until 2/3 of the way through the trailer when it unveils a mystery that hangs over the main characters’ unique situation. So I suggest you not watch the trailer and go in knowing only the synopsis. All the actors involved are great and I do want to check this film out when it becomes available. It’s a story that I can’t say I’ve really seen done before. RENT IT!

Effie Gray 2015 Movie Title Logo

Effie Gray (Richard Laxton) [Limited] Rated PG-13 [108 min] – A look at the scandalous love triangle between Victorian art critic John Ruskin, his teenage bride Effie Gray, and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. Starring Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge, and Emma Thompson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 43% • Audience – 46%

What they’re saying:

” Thompson makes Ruskin such a cardboard villain, playing on stereotypes of the cold, stuffy intellectual, that she turns Gray’s story into a tastefully dreary domestic-prison saga.” – Mike D’Angelo (The Dissolve)

“It’s a sumptuously elegant picture, but a disappointingly timid and decorous work that takes more care in outlining oppression than in creating a compelling protagonist. Her suffering is interesting, but she is not.” – Inkoo Kang (The Wrap)

What I’m saying:

This is a strange little movie from the looks of it. Emma Thompson is always an intriguing watch, especially after her stint as P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks. I’m more of an Elle Fanning advocate though, and I’m not sure if Dakota can carry a whole movie by herself. There’s a unique tone that Effie Gray emits that borders on suspense and whimsy. But it does have that dull sheen of a period piece, which creates a serious vibe that doesn’t bode well if the plot can’t grab the attention of moviegoers in the first 20 minutes. NETFLIX IT!

I think we all know who is the clear winner this weekend, opening in 4,004 screens, and has a cult following of some of the most devoted fans of any blockbuster in film history. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:

Winner: Furious 7


You can follow me on the Twitters @TyRawrrnosaurus

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

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