April 24, 2009

New Movies & Box Office Predictions: earth, Fighting, Obsessed, The Soloist, The Informers, Is Anybody There?

This is the last weekend of April, the last chance for smaller films before the cineplexes get swallowed by the blockbusters, beginning with next week's long since leaked X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I suspect this will not be a terribly busy weekend, but that does not mean there are not films to see, and that are worth seeing. So, will you be heading out for one last shot before summer begins early?

earth. (2009, 990 minutes, G, documentary) This actually opened on Wednesday, Earth Day, and is the first film released under the Disneynature banner. Narrated by James Earl Jones this nature documentary follows the lives of a trio of animal families, lions, elephants, and whales. I am not sure I will get the chance to see this one on the big screen, but I would like to. The trailer promises some great looking footage as the film makers follow these animal families. If anyone gets to see this, please give me a heads up.

Fighting. (2009, 105 minutes, R, action) Channing Tatum in what looks like an action movie warm up for his turn as the lead Joe in GI Joe, which is due out this August. The film centers on A young man named Shawn who has come to New York in an attempt to deal with a dark past. He is approached by Harvey (Terrance Howard) about getting involved in streetfighting for money. The two partner up an what follows is a struggle both in business and in their personal lives, the likes of which they have never encountered before. I am not so sure about this one, although I am interested in seeing how it plays out and hope for some good fight sequences.

Obsessed. (2009, 105 minutes, PG-13, thriller) I am not sure I could be less interested in this movie. I watch the trailer and it all seems so familiar, it does not look to bring anything new to the table. On top of that, I feel as if I have already seen the entire film based on the trailer. Idris Elba (who I think would have made a good Tony Stark in the Iron Man franchise) works in an office where an attractive young temp (Heroes' Ali Larter) targets him for, you guessed it, obsession. When she attempts suicide in his bed, Elba's wife, played by Beyonce Knowles, gets involved and all hell breaks loose. Yawn.

The Soloist. (2009, 109 minutes, PG-13, drama) Here is another film that has a "been there, seen that" feel to it. It centers on a couple of very different people who form a friendship and profoundly affect each others lives, not unlike Resurrecting the Champ with Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett. This film is based on the true story of a Julliard musician who drops out after developing schizophrenia. He is found playing on the side of the road by a reporter who decides to write a story on the man. The two become unlikely friends. Despite the familiarity of the tale, the movie looks quite good, but that may be due to the cast and the potential for good music.

The Informers. (2009, 98 minutes, R, drama) Based on a collected series of shorts by Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho), The Informers is set in Los Angeles of the 1980s. It is the story of those both on top of and at the bottom of the heap. Follow the young adults as they sleep all day and party all night as their lives spin out of control in this multi threaded tale.

Is Anybody There? (2009, 92 minutes, PG-13, drama) This is a film that I have been looking forward to. It centers on a young boy (Rambow's Bill Milner) whose mother has turned their home into a retirement home. He is having a tough time growing up, becoming fascinated by those retirees who have come and died. He then meets Clarence (Michael Caine) a retired magician and a grieving widower who befriends the young boy. It looks like a quiet, character driven piece, and with Michael Caine on board, it is sure to be at least watchable.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • The Garden
  • Il Divo
  • The Mutant Chronicles
  • Treeless Mountain
  • Tyson

Box Office Predictions
The Zac Efron vehicle, 17 Again, propelled the box office last weekend. Does it have the juice to lead a second frame? Somehow I doubt it; which begs the question, what will? What movie this week will have what it takes to set the pace in the final weekend before blockbuster season begins?

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1Obsessed$17 million
217 Again$13 million
3The Soloist$11 million
4earth$9.5 million
5Fighting$8 million
6State of Play$7.25 million
7Monsters vs Aliens$6.75 million
8Hannah Montana: The Movie$4.25 million
9Fast & Furious$3.5 million
10Crank: High Voltage$2.5 million


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