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Last weekend, The Bourne Legacy easily won the box office, but with The Expendables 2 hitting theaters this weekend, can the now Jeremy Renner-led franchise hold the top spot again?
PICK OF THE WEEK
Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell
Written by Chris Butler
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Theater Count: 3,100
What’s It About?
Early Reaction: ParaNorman gladly wins over the critics more than this week’s other wide releases
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Why It’s Our Pick: Focus Features – It’s usually not a great idea to predetermine a film’s value by looking at its studio, but animation more often than not turns out to be an exception to that rule. That said, this is the same studio that brought us the masterful and underrated stop-motion Coraline back in 2009. Like that film, this one meshes the whimsical with the macabre, and we’re really thinking it’ll work.
The Expendables 2
Directed by Simon West
Written by Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone (screenplay); Ken Kaufman, David Agosto, Richard Wenk (story); Dave Callaham (characters)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham
Theater Count: 3,200
What’s It About? Sly Stallone and his action buddies return to make bank once again in this sequel to the massive hit from 2010. This time around, the Expendables join Bruce Willis’ Mr. Church for what should be an easy mission, but the job doesn’t go through as planned
Early Reaction: Though The Expendables 2 was never going to win over the critics, it’s currently pulling in better reviews than its predecessors.
Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
What to Watch For: New faces – How many action icons can you fit into one film? If you thought the first “Expendables” film answered that question, think again. This sequel throws action mainstays Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris into the fray, while curiously adding The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth to the mix.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Directed by Peter Hedges
Written by Peter Hedges, Ahmet Zappa
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams
Theater Count: 2,551
What’s It About? Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ Ruby
Early Reaction: Critics haven’t been too kind to this kid, saying that “Timothy Green” is far too sappy for its own good.
Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
What to Watch For: Jennifer Garner – Although an Emmy Award nominee for her work on Alias, Garner has always been an underrated presence on the silver screen. However, in the 2007 indie Juno, she impressed many – including some of her detractors – by stepping into maternal mode, showing off a range that even her fans probably didn’t know she had. One hopes Garner can pull off a similar feat in “Timothy Green.”
Directed by Salim Akil
Written by Mara Brock Akil; Howard Rosenman (story)
Starring: Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Carmen Ejogo
Theater Count: 2,200
What’s It About? Three sisters in the 1960s form their own Motown singing group, but their relationships begin to fall apart as fame crashes in on them. While it does sound quite a bit like the 2006’s adaptation of Broadway’s Dreamgirls, it’s actually a remake of the 1976 cult classics starring Irene Cara.
Early Reaction: Reviews are just beginning to pour in, which probably isn’t a good sign
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
What to Watch For: Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston – American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson won the Supporting Actress Oscar for her film debut in the aforementioned Dreamgirls. Fellow “Idol” star
Cosmopolis – David Cronenberg’s latest thriller focuses on a day in the life of a 28-year-old billionaire played by Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson. The film premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. (Metacritic: 59/100; Rotten Tomatoes: 64%) – Entertainment One
Robot and Frank – Frank Langella plays a former jewel thief who returns to his trade after receiving a robot butler as a gift. A buddy comedy tinged with sci-fi elements, “Frank” also stars Susan Sarandon and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, winning the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. (Metacritic: 62/100; 85%) – Samuel Goldwyn Films
Ek Tha Tiger – Award-winning actor Salman Kahn pursues a suspicious scientist as the secret agent Tiger in this thriller from Kabir Khan – Yash Raj Films
Compliance – Based on the disturbing employee abuse at a McDonald’s in
The Awakening – Rebecca Hall leads this World War I-set horror film, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. (Metacritic: 55/100; Rotten Tomatoes: 66%) – Cohen Media Group
Chicken with Plums –
Beloved – Catherine Deneuve and daughter Chiara Mastroianni star in this musical drama as a woman and her daughter, both of whom experience their own romantic highs and lows. The film played at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival last year. (Metacritic: 50/100; Rotten Tomatoes: 62%) – IFC Films
Why Stop Now – Jesse Eisenberg leads this comedy as a piano prodigy taken hostage by his mother’s drug dealer. Melissa Leo plays the mother, while Tracy Morgan stars as the drug dealer. (Metacritic: 38/100; 38%) – IFC Films