Looking at the Weekend

Looking at the Weekend: Jan. 9-11, 2015

There isn’t much new coming out in these early months. Taken 3 will be the film to dislodge The Hobbit from the top of the box office, but whether it can match its predecessors remains to be seen.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Beloved Sisters might be good, but it won’t be in my neck of the woods anytime soon.
Peter J. Patrick: Nothing new worth bothering about this week.
Tripp Burton: There are so many Oscar contenders still to catch up with, I wouldn’t bother with any of the new releases.
Thomas LaTourrette: Having not seen either of the first Taken films, I am in no rush to see this one. Beloved Sisters might prove interesting, but it is probably a better time to catch up on other films.

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Looking at the Weekend: Jan. 2-4, 2015

With the very likely weak opening of Woman in Black 2, I’d say The Hobbit has a very good chance of a three-peat.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: I enjoyed the first Woman in Black, but no resemblance does this new film have to that one, so it’s out for me. A Most Violent Year has won a few awards, so it’s definitely on my list.
Peter J. Patrick: The year ends on a hopeful note with the release of two potential Oscar nominees.
Tripp Burton: The last of the Oscar hopefuls are sneaking out, as what looks to be the first bad film of 2015.
Thomas LaTourrette: Advance word on A Most Violent Year is good, but the previews just don’t excite me. However, both it and Leviathan may prove better than their previews.

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Looking at the Weekend: Dec. 25-28, 2014

While it’s possible The Hobbit could hang on for a second week atop the box office chart, Into the Woods may give it a good run for its money.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: As bad as the past Stephen Sondheim adaptations have been, I’m not exactly looking forward to Into the Woods, though Unbroken might be a better film. The limited side is also packed with big titles, Selma being the one I’m most looking forward to.
Peter J. Patrick: Oscar, here we come! The last of this year’s hopefuls make their bow.
Tripp Burton: Christmas brings a lot of eagerly awaited films, so have a great weekend at the movies!
Thomas LaTourrette: Finally, a bunch of pictures worth seeing. Being true to form, a lot of films, many of which are Oscar bait, are being released on Christmas Day. Selma sounds like the real hit movie, but I am also hoping that Into the Woods will be worth seeing. Neither Unbroken nor American Sniper seem to be living up to their hype, unfortunately.

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Looking at the Weekend: Dec. 19-21, 2014

Sensing weakness, studios have done two bits of counter-programming for the final chapter of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. That won’t likely matter as Jackson is bound to top the list once again.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: I’m excited to finally get to the end of The Hobbit trilogy. Little else outside of Mr. Turnerlooks interesting.
Peter J. Patrick: This week’s releases run the gamut from highly anticipated awards magnet Mr. Turner to an ill-conceived updated version of the depression era musical, Annie.
Tripp Burton: How many weeks can I say it? The wide releases all look bland, but there is gold to be found in limited release.
Thomas LaTourrette: It will be nice to see the final movie of the Hobbit trilogy, but the series has felt padded out. Hopefully, it will be a stronger film than the first two. Mr. Turner sounds worthwhile both for the cinematography and for the performance of Timothy Spall.

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Looking at the Weekend: Dec. 12-14, 2014

The Hunger Games‘ reign is about to come to an end as Ridley Scott’s Bible epic Exodus: Gods and Kings competes for box office dollars. The film’s success depends entirely on attendance from church groups as I don’t think it’s going to be too big of a cross-demographic hit.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Inherent Vice is the only new film this weekend that I’m very interested in seeing. Exodus might be ok, but it also has disaster written all over it.
Peter J. Patrick: Magician: The Astonishing Work of Orson Welles, opening in limited release, is the only film I’d venture out to see this week. Six Dace Lessons in Six Weeks might be amusing enough to catch on DVD, as might Top Five and Inherent Vice, but the week’s only wide release, in which Ridley Scott mimics Cecil B. DeMille, thrills me not.
Tripp Burton: A lot of big awards contenders are coming out this week, although some look better than others.
Thomas LaTourrette: Inherent Vice sounds like the most interesting of the releases, though it has gotten rather uneven reviews. Hopefully, Exodus will be better than Noah, but I am not sure about that.

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Looking at the Weekend: Dec. 5-7, 2014

There are no new major wide releases this weekend, so Katniss Everdeen will continue to have the odds in her favor.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: The post-Thanksgiving Weekend weekend tends to be a dumping ground for non-serious awards contenders, so it’s a bit surprising that Reese Witherspoon’s potential Best Actress nomination for Wild is releasing this weekend along with all the other detritus.
Peter J. Patrick: If it weren’t for its Oscar buzz, Wild is probably a film I wouldn’t be in any rush to see, but given that buzz, it’s on my must-see list.
Tripp Burton: There are no wide releases this weekend, but the limited releases run the gamut of cinema. I’ll go with the Oscar contender and the foreign film myself.
Thomas LaTourrette: Wild sounds like the most interesting film of the week. Reese Witherspoon has gotten great word of mouth about it.

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Looking at the Weekend: Nov. 28-30, 2014

Although the first film was a surprise hit, Horrible Bosses 2 is sure to share the same fate as a lot of comedy sequels. Penguins of Madgascar has plenty of funny for families over the Thanksgiving weekend, so it should come out on top.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: There’s a lot of good things to see this weekend and I’d honestly recommend all of them.
Peter J. Patrick: Oscar season takes a major leap forward with the release of The Imitation Game.
Tripp Burton: Thanksgiving isn’t the high point of the studio season it used to be, but there’s at least one Oscar front-runner sneaking out to limited cities this weekend.
Thomas LaTourrette: I am really looking forward to The Imitation Game. It could be not only a good movie, but a strong Oscar competitor.

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Looking at the Weekend: Nov. 21-23, 2014

Box office records won’t be annihilated, but they won’t be held too far at bay. The third of four Hunger Games films opens this weekend and it’s sure to be huge.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: The book series is fantastic and the movies have been terrific so far. Can they make it three-for-three? In limited release, the prospects are much more grim.
Peter J. Patrick: Unless you’re a big Hunger Games fan or haven’t gotten enough of the Penn State scandal, it’s a good week for catching up on whatever you may have missed
Tripp Burton: Not much to pick from, but Mockingjay looks like a worthy follow-up to the first two Hunger Games films.
Thomas LaTourrette: The Hunger Games movies have been consistently enjoyable, so Mockingjay will be worth seeing. The previous films have not proved major Oscar bait, so I doubt this one will either, but it should still be fun.

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Looking at the Weekend: Nov. 14-16, 2014

While it isn’t much Dumb and Dumber To may be the weekend’s top new release, but if it’s as bad as it looks and performs as poorly as its predecessor, it could fall to Beyond the Lights.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: All the best options are in limited release with Foxcatcher easily topping the list.
Peter J. Patrick: The limited releases are the class acts this week.
Tripp Burton: Some festival favorites, and heavy Oscar contenders, are sneaking out into theaters this weekend, and I am really looking forward to catching up on them.
Thomas LaTourrette: Am waiting for Foxcatcher, which has sounded like a good movie with excellent performances, for over a year. Hopefully, it will live up to its hype. Both Rosewater and Beyond the Lights could prove worthwhile, but someone else will have to go see Dumb and Dumber To, it won’t be me.

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Looking at the Weekend: Nov. 7-9, 2014

It will be a glorious battle this weekend as Disney’s big gun, the animated adventure Big Hero 6 takes on regular box office behemoth Christopher Nolan. Ultimately, I think both will do incredibly well. I give the edge to Interstellar since its previews have been compelling and nicely targeted to Nolan fans.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: I’m for sure seeing Big Hero 6 and may also see Interstellar. On the indie front, there are also two very strong possibilities in Brazilian blind gay coming of age story The Way He Looks and what’s sure to be one of the top contenders for Best Actor, The Theory of Everything.
Peter J. Patrick: And the Oscar nominations go to…quite possibly all four of this week’s major openings.
Tripp Burton: There are a lot of films this week vying for year-end awards, although none of them are calling me too hard.
Thomas LaTourrette: At last the Oscar films are starting to appear! Interstellar sounds interesting, if a bit flawed. Big Hero 6 sounds like a good animated film from Disney. However, The Theory of Everything with Eddie Redmayne’s starring performance sounds like the film to see.

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2014

I have a hard time seeing any of the new wide releases really scoring big this coming weekend. Nostalgia could put Saw at number one, but Nightcarwler has the widest release and could appeal to the broadest demographic.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Nightcrawler looks the most interesting of the wide releases while Horns will probably be the most fun of the specialty cases.
Peter J. Patrick: Oh, what a week! If you must see a horror film on Halloween there are enough such films available via DVD and streaming that you don’t have to subject yourself to this week’s bottom of the barrel new releases.
Tripp Burton: For Halloween weekend, all we are getting are thrillers and horror films; if you’re a fan of the genres, pick the most interesting premise and go for it!
Thomas LaTourrette: All four of these films have interesting concepts, but the one that really appeals is Nightcrawler, due to Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance. Once again, there does not seem to be an Oscar nominee out this week.

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 24-26, 2014

Halloween weekend demands a horror film at the top of the box office and that’s precisely what we’re probably going to get.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Surprisingly, 23 Blast doesn’t look half bad, especially compared to the other two releases. On the specialty side, Laggies would probably be my choice.
Peter J. Patrick: Where are all the Oscar films? This week’s wide releases include three directorial debuts, one from a respected character actor, one from a couple of stuntmen and one from a Special Effects coordinator, none of which seem like anything worth going out of your way for.
Tripp Burton: The wide releases are fairly typical genre fare this weekend, but there are some neat things in limited release this weekend!
Thomas LaTourrette: None of the releases sound exciting to me. A good weekend to catch up on films one has missed from last week or earlier in the year.

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 17-19, 2014

It’s going to be stiff competition when your three wide releases are all targeting different demographics. Romantics will be heading out to The Best of Me, men will be heading to Fury and families will be off to see The Book of Life. In the end, the film most on Oscar’s radar will probably be the one to triumph.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: It’s hard to pick just one or two titles this week as there are a number of prominent possibilities.
Peter J. Patrick: Birdman and Fury arrive, no doubt adding to their Oscar buzz. The Book of Life could be an animation sleeper.
Tripp Burton: Birdman is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and comes out in a weekend where nothing else looks too decent, so it should be an easy choice if it’s playing anywhere near you.
Thomas LaTourrette: I am intrigued to see the much talked about Birdman, though somehow I can’t imagine it living up to its hype. Other than that, there is surprisingly something for everyone.

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 10-12, 2014

I’ll admit I’m completely stymied about which of the four new releases will top the box office. Each have their positive qualities and each have drawbacks. In the end, family film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day may have a slight edge over Dracula Untold, which could also easily be a bomb.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: The wide release offerings don’t look so hot, but St. Vincent might be the most enjoyable of the limited releases.
Peter J. Patrick: Several lesser players in this year’s Oscar race open, most notably J.K. Simmons in Whiplash.
Tripp Burton: The wide releases this week are dismal looking, but there is some really exciting stuff hitting the art houses.
Thomas LaTourrette: This week has a few films with strong performances that may be remembered at Oscar time. The Judge (Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr.), Kill the Messenger (Jeremy Renner), and St. Vincent (Bill Murray) all sound decent, but J.K. Simmons’ performance in Whiplash makes it sound like the film to see.

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 3-5, 2014

Of the Oscar-friendly directors working today, David Fincher is one of the few who command attention at the box office. Gone Girl should be the latest in a recent string of strong openers at the box office, though horror flick Annabelle may build on pre-Halloween anticipation and come close. Christian adaptation Left Behind will open strong with religious groups, but will not be able to top David Fincher.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Fincher’s latest looks excellent and, though others aren’t as optimistic, Men, Women & Children looks engaging.
Peter J. Patrick: The Fall Film-going Season AKA Oscar Season begins with the opening of the first major Oscar contender, Gone Girl, along with a couple of minor contenders.
Tripp Burton: We could have our first major Oscar contender of the year out this week, so the season is upon us!
Thomas LaTourrette: Finally some movies worth seeing. Both The Good Lie and Men, Women & Children sound interesting, if flawed. The best should be David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which should boast good performances and taut direction, and may well prove to be a major Oscar contender.

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