Opening This Week (2 – 8 May, 2011)

2 May

Well, Fast Five proved again that brand names, even if the premise is a bit tired, are still the cash cows in Hollywood. The fifth installment of the adrenaline and slow-motion-booty-walk-fueled series raked in an impressive $83.6 million dollars over the weekend, an April record. It left its competition in the dust. The closest competitor, Rio, was oh….just $70 or so million behind that. A couple of factors might have contributed to its huge box office. 1) The word on the street was this was the best in the series so far (which is not saying that much). 2) The miserable offerings at the box office so far this year made this movie look good by comparison and all those people hiding from the movies this year finally showed up. But, with the summer movie season officially starting this weekend, its victory lap may be short lived.

Thor

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Synopsis from IMDB: The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: Thor is probably the comic-book-character-turned-movie that I know the least about, which probably sullied my excitement for this movie until I started reading the early reviews (55 reviews in now and it is at 95% on RT). Kenneth Branagh directs, which does and doesn’t make sense to me at the same time. Thor seems to have Shakespearean undertones, which is right up his alley, but at the same time Branagh didn’t seem like a logical choice for a blockbuster action flick. I’m excited to see what he does with it, especially since a lot of the reviews have garnered him some high praise.

 Something Borrowed

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Kate Hudson, John Krasinski, Ginnifer Goodwin, Caleb Egglesfield

Director: Luke Greenfield

Synopsis from IMDB: Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, her best friend Darcy’s fiancé.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: Looks like nothing new or innovative. I really feel bad for John Krasinski, who I want to see break away from romantic comedies and do something a little bit more risky and interesting. Until then, he will forever be known as “Jim”.

The Beaver

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence

Director: Jodie Foster

Synopsis from IMDB: A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: While Mel Gibson may be one of the most hated people on the planet, he still is a superb actor and I think this type of role would be exactly what he needs to get back into the good graces of the public. It is receiving mixed reviews right now (57% on RT), but hardly any of them are negative about Gibson’s performance. I notice that the studio moved its release date back, to allow it to get buried amongst the early summer releases, as opposed to getting more of a spotlight in the March timeframe. I don’t necessarily think that this will be a good movie, but I think it has a lot of potential as an interesting character study.

Limited Releases

Hobo With a Shotgun

Rated: Unrated

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith

Director: Jason Eisener

Synopsis from IMDB: A homeless vigilante blows away crooked cops, pedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun.

Trailer (caution: strong language, excessive violence) :

Chris’ Take: I took one look at the poster and said:

Hmmm...seems legit.

The film was released at the Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews (currently 88% on RT), banking on the success of the re-emergence of Grindhouse throwbacks. If you don’t take this film seriously, it  could be a bloody awesome and disturbing ride.

Last Night

Rated: R

Starring: Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington

Director: Massy Tadjedin

Synopsis from IMDB: The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he’s attracted. While he’s resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: Last Night has a very similar look and feel to Closer.

It may also be that I keep getting Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley confused.

With a 63% on RT, it is probably a safe bet for an intriguing drama. At the same time 63% also probably means that it only scratches the surface of the issues presented, rather than fully fleshing them out. I would wait for Netflix for this one.

Passion Play

Rated: R

Starring: Megan Fox, Bill Murray, Mickey Rourke

Director: Mitch Glazer

Synopsis from IMDB: An angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: Ummmmm…what? Megan Fox is the last person I would expect to play an angel, but I guess they got her while she was desperate to find another movie to do. It is kind of cool to see Bill Murray play a ruthless role, rather than the sardonic hero, but something about this film is a bit off. It looks original, I will give it that and it could be interesting, but there aren’t any early reviews hinting one way or the other. You are probably taking your chances with this one, but it  could pay off.

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5 Responses to “Opening This Week (2 – 8 May, 2011)”

  1. 2blu2btru May 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    I have to be honest–my girlie genes really want to see all the romantic comedy fluff & stuff this weekend–Jumping the Broom & Something Borrowed–my action side wants to see Thor, and my movie buff side wants to stay home and finally watch Fair Game to see if Naomi Watts & Sean Penn can pull off an intriguing movie. All of them will probably be #winning, as this is a pay week for me. 😀

    • Chris Petersen May 3, 2011 at 6:52 am #

      There is nothing held against you for wanting to see so many movies. I’m probably going to see Thor, but I think Last Night might be On Demand soon, so I am looking forward to that.

  2. Brian Pac Sostak May 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Here’s what Mickey Rourke thinks of Passion Play…

    http://www.movieline.com/2011/04/even-mickey-rourke-knows-passion-play-is-terrible.php

    I’d skip this one.

  3. Eat:Watch:Run May 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    I read awhile back that Passion Play was going direct to DVD. I guess not anymore? I wanna see Something Borrowed. John Krasinski is so cute in an unconventional way. And I love his wife too! (Emily Blunt)

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  1. Freestyle Friday: News & Reviews Edition « Indigo Moods - May 6, 2011

    […] today (you can find a list of the new releases on Chris and Pac Take On Hollywood’s “Opening This Week (2-8 May, 2011)“; Jumping the Broom also comes out this week)” and learn how to be featured on my […]

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