Weekend Preview (3.12.10)


The buzz will still be swarming around Alice in Wonderland this weekend, but will it manage to do anything like Avatar did in its second week? Avatar did better the second week, but to be fair, this is not Christmas weekend. If “Alice” can manage to make two thirds of what it did last week, that speaks a lot to 3D curiosity.

In the meantime, four new contenders land in theaters today, which have shoved all the Oscar movies out. Most prominent are Matt Damon thriller Green Zone and R-rated comedy She’s Out of My League. With so much new to choose from, you know you need me more than ever.

Now Playing

Green Zone

Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Written by: Brian Helgeland, Rajiv Chandrasekaran (book)
Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson


The Word: Matt Damon re-teams with Bourne series director Paul Greengrass for a similar thriller about an army officer on a mission to find weapons of mass destruction. Naturally coming up empty, he searches for answers as to why and learns of some foul play. He then goes rogue and the US tries to track him down. The script is from Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland.

Rotten Tomatoes: 51% (mixed)

My Thoughts: You could criticize Green Zone for looking like “they’re just trying to make another Bourne movie,” but considering this film is also directed by Paul Greengrass, no one’s trying anything. They made this movie instead of another “Bourne.” And if they made another “Bourne” together, everyone would be pumped up for it. Consequently, Green Zone should be loaded with great action and pacing. The reviews are split because the story and events are a bit outlandish but the thrills are top-notch.

Recommendation: Worth admission unless you’re hoping for The Hurt Locker 2. I haven’t seen a Greengrass film I didn’t enjoy.

She’s Out of My League

Directed by: Jim Field Smith
Written by: Sean Anders, John Morris
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve


The Word: Following a long tradition of loser-gets-hot-chick comedies comes She’s Out of My League, also known as “She Happens To Be Just Than Into You Kind Of.” Jay Baruchel, product of the Apatow factory of guys that play good lovable losers kicks off a huge 2010 with his first of two star vehicles. The rest of the cast is unknown including co-star Alice Eve and Jay’s pals. The script was written by the guys behind Sex Drive and the upcoming Hot Tub Time Machine.

Rotten Tomatoes: 44% (not good)

My Thoughts: The hot chick and the loser …  here we go again. The trailer’s opening scene is of a lame guy and his group of guy friends explaining that he’s a “moodle.” How many times have films tried to introduce some slang vocabulary combining a word with “bro” or “man?” The little every-guy humor there was in this trailer is all kind of moot in my opinion with a typical bro comedy premise. No, moot is not a word I made up.

Recommendation: Worth renting later — a 44 percent on RT is not horrible

Remember Me

Directed by: Allan Coulter
Written by: Will Fetters
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper


The Word: As part of his deal with Summit for the Twilight films, Robert Pattinson stars as a rebellious young man at odds with his father (Brosnan, in one of his four movies in the first quarter of 2010, randomly) who gets abused by a cop (Cooper) for helping defend a guy getting beat up. He then learns the cop has a daughter (Emilie de Ravin of “Lost”) and the two form a relationship with anything but a solid foundation. It’s the screenwriting debut of Will Fetters who has some good projects in development.

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%

My Thoughts: The thing that gets me is in a story of four New Yorkers, two are Brits and one’s an Aussie. Can’t discredit the talent, however. I think Pattinson can handle rebel and Cooper is one of my favorite actors. Reviews, however, while crediting the leads, have trashed the script and cursed the ending of the film specifically.

Recommendation: Worth dismissing. If you have to watch everything Rob is in, rent later.

Our Family Wedding

Directed by: Rick Famuyiwa
Written by: Wayne Conley, Malcolm Spellman, Rick Famuyiwa
Starring: America Ferrera, Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, Lance Gross


The Word: Another film following a tradition, but this is the tradition of ethnic family comedies where interracial marriage incites problems and a wedding is involved/in the title. Our Family Wedding stars Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera playing a Latina woman who is engaged to a black man. But it’s really about their fathers, played by Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia, getting along despite their racial prejudice. The humor includes a sport for the rival fathers to take their anger out on each other with and a goat eating Viagra.

Rotten Tomatoes: 12%

My Thoughts: Could a concept be any more exhausted than the family wedding comedy? I get that it’s being aimed at a black and Latino audience who tend to like movies with family themes and family humor because it’s most reflective of their culture, but the cast is weak and there doesn’t appear to be an ounce of originality, minus maybe the goat.

Recommendation: Worth dismissin’

Box Office Predictions

I didn’t do too bad last weekend except for underestimating Brooklyn’s Finest and overestimating the staying power of Avatar in the midst of another 3D film. Well, in 3D I trust, because  Alice in Wonderland will top the box office again and I will give my prediction of last week for this week of $65 million, which would be around a 45 percent drop-off.

Since there was a huge gap between No. 1 and No. 2 last week, look for nearly all the Top 5 to be flushed out. Next is Green Zone. Without the “Bourne” title and a big supporting cast, this film will say a lot about his power to make money as a star. I think he can pull around $30 million and I’m playing it safe there. At No. 3, She’s Out of My League should be good for $12-15 million. Last year’s March bro comedy I Love You, Man made $17 M and that was with big names.

At No. 4, I think the pull of Rob Pattinson alone will still be more than the $7 M I’m estimating Shutter Island will make, which is the bar I’m setting for landing in the Top 5. So write in Remember Me at No. 4 with about $10-12 M. With only 1600 theaters, I don’t think Our Family Wedding will get to No. 5 — but I’m going to stick with Shutter Island. So believe it or not, no Avatar in the Top 5.

  1. Alice in Wonderland
  2. Green Zone
  3. She’s Out of My League
  4. Remember Me
  5. Shutter Island

1 Comment

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