Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of May 29, 2015 includes Aloha and San Andreas, as well as two 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, Tomorrowland barely edged out Pitch Perfect 2 as the breadwinner at the box office with Mad Max: Fury Road and Poltergeist hot on their tail. With two new releases hitting theaters this weekend, even more diversity hits moviegoers as a big budget disaster movie and a star-studded ensemble piece vie for your cabbage. This is the Box Office Battlefield:
Aloha (Cameron Crowe) Rated PG-13 [104 min] – A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him. Starring Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, and Alec Baldwin [Watch the Trailer]
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 19% • Audience – 48%
As promising as the cast may be, the many parts are so disconnected from the story’s whole that nothing inevitably works in Aloha’s favor. There’s a lot of set up for a truly engaging and emotionally resonating film, but it’s just not there. Aloha is empty and sad. Nothing really happens and the touching moments it tries to force upon you at the end aren’t as rewarding because the build up flat lines before it can even take off. It kind of feels like Tomorrowland with its optimism and positivity in a downer world of technology and the future, but Aloha isn’t as engaging. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!
San Andreas (Brad Peyton) Rated PG-13 [114 min] – In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, and Colton Haynes [Watch the Trailer]
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 48% • Audience – 62%
I couldn’t put myself to see this film last night. The spirit was willing, but my body said no. I’ll see this eventually just to see how ridiculous it all is, but for now, I’m calling this one a big stinker. Maybe something you’d enjoy when you see it on FX, because they have the movies, or so they say. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX/BASIC CABLE!
Results (Andrew Bujalski) Rated R [105 min] – Two mismatched personal trainers’ lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client. Starring Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, and Giovanni Ribisi
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 80% • Audience – 59%
“Only toward the end do you realize that the characters have been arranged into a pleasing and familiar romantic-comedy triangle and that you’ve been watching a beautifully played game of underhand slow-pitch screwball.” – A.O. Scott (New York Times)
“Despite a too-neat resolution, the characters haven’t figured themselves out, much less their relationships, and Bujalski is perfectly comfortable sorting through their confusion.” – Scott Tobias (The Dissolve)
There’s a lot of positive reviews for Results coming out of Sundance, and I really find the cast to be a unique crop of actors. Results is definitely a different kind of movie that puts a spin on the rom-com genre. It looks competent enough not to get bogged down by traditional tropes and has a quirky sensibility to it. MATINEE IT!
Barely Lethal (Kyle Newman) Rated PG-13 [96 min] – A teenage special ops agent coveting a “normal” adolescence fakes her own death and enrolls in a suburban high school. She quickly learns that surviving the treacherous waters of high school is more challenging than international espionage. Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Sophie Turner, Jessica Alba
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 15% • Audience – 38%
“Barely Lethal is clearly confused about its intended audience, starting with the icky title, a pun on the porn label that selects and photographs models to emphasize their youth.” – Rebecca Keegan (Los Angeles Times)
“The movie has a few cute moments, but for the most part it’s as predictable as being bored in trigonometry.” – Kyle Smith (New York Post)
Barely Lethal looks like Kick-Ass for tweens who want the edge but not the gore or its darker themes. It’s aiming very low, and based on the reviews it definitely accomplishes that and more. I wanted to say this looked fun, but I guess it didn’t have the execution or originality to really come across as something fresh or exciting. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!
As much as I like seeing Mad Max maintaining a high retention rate of its audience, it’s still not doing well enough to overtake some newcomers. Tomorrowland has too many rotten reviews that it will fizzle out this weekend; only those interested in seeing it went to see it opening weekend. The Rock has such a strong draw as a leading man that it would be hard to see San Andreas take in anything less than $25 million. Aloha has a great cast, but is only in 2,900 theaters compared to San Andreas 3,700. However, Aloha’s reviews are terrible. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:
Winner: San Andreas
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