Movies Opening in Connecticut – Weekend of March 1, 2013

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March and April begins the pre-Summer box-office season: a collection of studio releases that aren’t capable of opening up over the Holidays or May-August timeframe out of fear of being lost in a crowded marketplace (due to lack of quality, marketability or audience appeal).

Bryan Singer’s fantasy epic Jack the Giant Slayer(RT: 49%, MC: 51) is the only major release this week and is pretty much the epitome of a Spring tentpole release. Originally scheduled to go toe-to-toe with things like Snow White and the Huntsman and Brave last June, Warner Brothers moved the film into an fairly-uncompetitive* March 1 berth.

I can’t imagine that the studio is expecting this to launch a franchise or anything at this point. This has had the stench of damaged goods around it for well over a year and Singer’s immediate retreat to the safe harbor of X-Men sequels is probably telling. Box office-wise this could be a surprise like Alice in Wonderland or another Eragon. Lord knows.

Nicholas Hoult, fresh off the success of Warm Bodies, leads his first big-budget blockbuster. I was very impressed with his work as a child actor, but I’m really not feeling the guy as an adult lead. He seems like a taller, blander, Twink-ier ersion of Elijah Wood, whose career now involves direct-to-video erotic thrillers with Sasha Gray. The presence of Ewan McGregor as the film’s alpha male would typically be worrisome, but advanced word is that he’s one of it’s more enjoyable elements. Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane and Eleanor Tomlinson co-star.

Also opening:

Masquerade (RT: 100%, MC: n/a): South Korean mega-hit costume drama from Chang-min Choo (Late Blossom, Lost in Love). I’ve never heard of it. Any good?

The Last Exorcism 2 (RT: n/a, MC: 63%): Eli Roth-produced horror sequel.

21 and Over (RT: 28%, MC: 37%): Project X-capitalizing comedy “From the writers of The Hangover”. No.

For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running the soapy Bette Davis/Claude Rains drama Now Voyager (1942) and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (1992) Fri-Sun. Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center has a screening of La Dolce Vita (1960) open to the public on Saturday.

*I’m a little confused as to why they didn’t go February 21, as it would have bought them a full two weeks before the similar (and similarly-questionable) OZ: The Great and Powerful opens and consumes much of it’s audience.

16 responses »

  1. In other news, the first has been retitled for video to “The Second-to-Last Exorcism.”

    Seriously, though, they’ve apparently pulled a Blair Witch with this one, nixing the found-footage gimmick for the sequel. With any luck, it’ll be about as successful as that decision was.

  2. I was interested in Masquerade, but it seems like more of a local affair. King and the Clown, a Korean costume drama that was also a huge hit, was good but I didn’t find it “stirring” in the way that many Koreans apparently did.

    But check out “Castaway on the Moon” if you have the chance. Weird but great.

  3. I really enjoyed MASQUERADE. It’s a solid ‘Prince & the Pauper’ drama with more than enough comedy to keep things entertaining. Lee Byung-hun does a fantastic job with both roles, and it’s great to see him in something less dark than his usual Korean fare (and less stupid than GI JOE).

  4. “I mean it: this is The Last Exorcism”. They’ll probably call the prequel “Before The Last Exorcism”.

    Kidding aside, they should have called this one “The-Second-to-Last Exorcism”. That would at least have been clever.

  5. I should have mentioned this above, but Jack The Giant Slayer’s budget was reportedly somewhere around 195M. As it’s on track for an opening in the low/mid 20’s, that is bad.

  6. Saw ’21 & Over’ and it’s yet another example of the dreadful standards Hollywood mainstream comedies have sunk to in recent years.

    Tries so hard to be outrageous and shocking but only succeeds in being relentlessly tedious and predictable (yes, there are gay panic jokes aplenty here) and a yawnworthy romantic subplot thrown in. Only bright spot was Miles Teller who (despite playing a very obnoxious character) showed some deft comic skills. But overall this was garbage.

    Rating: D+

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