What’s in a name? A quick look at the titles of movies opening this weekend suggests maybe audiences are craving something a little darker, a little vicier, and maybe even a little greedier: Moneyball, Killer Elite, Abduction, and Puncture…
(Okay there are other openings with titles and plots that are completely benign, but in terms of making a point, it’s worth noting. )
So what are you craving at the cineplex this weekend? You have several options.
Moneyball is opening today. Brad Pitt rarely has trouble getting bodies into seats (which I think he’ll do easily here) but a baseball movie is often a tougher sell. Nor, given their advertising, does it look like the filmmakers are sure how to market it. Moneyball is based on a bestselling book about the Oakland A’s baseball team. It’s a true story and it’s an underdog story, so I’m pretty sure they’ll do just fine attendancewise. Potential Oscar buzz doesn’t hurt either. Nor does the fact that the movie was written by some of the most well-respected pros in the biz, or that it also stars Robin Wright and Jonah Hill. This looks like the intelligent — and perhaps even heartwrenching – flick to beat.
Unless of course you’re looking for a tween-y adrenaline rush. Which can easily be had with Abduction, the latest movie from John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood) that stars “It” werewolf, Taylor Lautner. Seems Twilight’s also-ran is being groomed for the action genre, and there’s a great deal riding on those 18-year-old shoulders. Here Lautner discovers that his parents are not necessarily who he thinks they are, and thus he sets off dodging baddies and bullets at breakneck speed to find out. Lilly Collins (daughter of singer Phil) also stars.
For the younger set or those opting for movies without titles suggesting crime and/or cash, we have Dolphin Tale. It stars Morgan Freeman, so you know there will be moments of gravitas. Not to mention, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. also star The dolphin in question here loses her tail when it’s caught in a crab trap; they have to build her a prosthetic tail and of course, the suspense builds over whether or not it’ll work. Naturally it too is based on a true story. It looks really good, but I won’t get anyone over the age of twelve to see it with me so I’ll watch Moneyball instead and wait for a Dolphin Tale to rent.
If you want a more grown-up shoot ‘em up with trained assassins, government operatives and the secret agents they chase, Jason Statham’s back with a new one called Killer Elite — and this time he’s got some very talented friends aboard. Turns out we get The Transporter plus Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen in what can only be described as a cat and mouse race to the death across Europe.
So there’s a look at what’s out there. My money’s on Moneyball, to watch and to triumph at the box office. But I do believe that Dolphin Tale will have nice word of mouth and stick around. As always, let us know what you see and what you think – and have a great weekend.
2) Dolphin Tale
3) Killer Elite