Opening in New Haven – Weekend of March 29, 2014

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Noah: Darren Aronofsky’s long-awaited Noah’s Ark picture finally sees release after endless months of controversy. I’m curious whether the right wing media’s attacks would have been quite as venomous if Noah were being released by FOX rather than Paramount.

Anyway, can’t imagine I’d ever watch this.  Beyond being wary of anything featuring modern-day Russell Crowe as the lead: I’m not religious.  I have an aversion to big, CGI-stuffed historical epics and I’ve just never warmed up to Aronofsky’s work in general.

While the film should open in the mid 30’s –  a “C” CinemaScore indicates a horrific drop awaits in week two.  Then it’s off to the land of forgotten blockbusters, forever.

Personal interest factor: 2

Sabotage: David Ayer (End of Watch, Training Day) directs Arnold Schwarzenegger as a hard-boiled DEA agent in this revenge thriller. Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard and Mireille Enos co-star.

I must commend Ayer for finding the perfect vehicle to set his career back following Watch‘s unexpected success. With an estimated 5M opening weekend, Sabotage will be the lowest opener for Arnold since 1986’s Raw Deal.  And that’s unadjusted for inflation!

While the former Governor has a lifeline with a fifth Terminator film (in which he reportedly moves to more of a supporting role) it’s 100% over for him as a theatrical lead. Direct-to-video Avi Lerner cheapies and the occasional cameo in an Expendables sequel are about the best he can hope for now. I hope he enjoyed working with 50 Cent in Escape Plan, because there’s a lot more of that in his future.

Personal interest factor: 2

Enemy: Jake Gyllenhaal stars as history professor who meets his own double.  From director Denis Villeneuve, who worked with Gyllenhaal in the decent, but flawed Prisoners in 2013.  71% on RT, looks solid.  Should make an interesting double feature with Richard Ayoade’s The Double later in the year.

Personal interest factor:  5

Bad Words: Jason Bateman stars and makes his feature directorial debut with this dark comedy about a 40-year-old man who crashes the children’s spelling bee circuit. The red band trailer was pretty great. although I sense we’ve seen this all before.

Personal interest factor:  6

The Face of Love: Annette Benning, Robin Williams, Ed Harris and Amy Brenneman co-star in this drama about a woman (Benning) who falls in love with a guy (Harris) that reminds her of her late husband (also Harris, I guess?).

Despite the cast, this appears to be a recently-shot film and not something produced in 1995.  From the director of The Thumbsucker or The Chumscrubber…one of those.

Personal interest factor:  0

Cesar Chavez: Biography of labor organizer Cesar Chavez. Seems like it has good intentions and I always like Michael Pena, but this just looks awful.

Also: features “Bad Movie Sign” Hall of Famer Rosario Dawson.

Personal interest factor: 0

The Lunchbox (Dabba): Crazy well-reviewed (95% on RT) romantic comedy from India.

Personal interest factor:  1

In terms of classic fare: The Criterion is showing The Room (2003) Friday and Saturday evening and Grease (1978) Saturday and Sunday morning.

Yale’s Environmental Film Festival (EFFY 2014) kicks off Tuesday and runs through April 6th.  The schedule can be found here.

4 responses »

  1. If it comes in under 5 million: there’s a strong possibility it could be lower than Red Sonja’s first weekend adjusted, which would mean it’s the worst opening of his entire career (not counting his initial cheapie films that Box Office Mojo doesn’t even have records for). He’s toast. He’s burnt toast.

    Even if Terminator 5 somehow becomes a miraculous, franchise-revitalizing success – it’s not going to mean anything for his career as a theatrical leading man. It’s over, nothing is changing that.

  2. His only options right now are: Terminator 5, DTV action films, kissing James Cameron’s ass for a role…any role…in the Avatar sequels.

  3. Notwithstanding that his pre-politics that his career had declined from the mid-90s, I am surprised how totally flat Schwarzenegger’s trio of comeback films has been. His film with Stallone didn’t even make it to release here in Australia. I guess he’s too much tied to the 1980s type of film to seem relevant in any form now.

    Also, like James I have zero interest in the Noah film.

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