In what is sure to be the hit of the weekend money-wise, Hotel Transylvania is the latest animated film from Sony Pictures Animation, and it features a ridiculously well known voice cast (including Adam Sandler and his band of cronies including Kevin James, Jon Lovitz, Allen Covert, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade as well as such oddities as CeeLo Green, Selena Gomez, comedian Luenell, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Chris Parnell, and Andy Samberg) in a film that is obviously made for kids, but just seems a little weird to be pitched to families. It’s not the type of movie I imagine parents are thrilled to take their kids to, but at the same time, the trailers make it look very cutesy, so it will probably do well. Plus, it’s animated, so that’s a no-brainer.
Rian Johnson has proven himself as a filmmaker to watch with both his feature films Brick and The Brothers Bloom. Both films are the ultimate take on their respective genres, with Brick subverting the detective genre with Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring as a high school wannabe detective that investigates the death of a fellow student. The stark, catchy dialogue is as far from Diablo Cody as you can get, while still remaining ridiculously unique. His next film, The Brothers Bloom was the ultimate grifter movie, starring Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as brothers that grift their way through life. The film becomes a grift within a grift within a grift, and has remained horribly underseen since its release four years ago. Now, Johnson is back with the ultimate time travel movie, with teaming again with Joseph Gordon-Levitt who becomes Bruce Willis in this savage time travel thriller. I have been heavily anticipating it for quite a while now, and the film took nearly a year in post-production to get finished, but according to Jeremy’s review, it seems it was worth the wait.
Won’t Back Down
Won’t Back Down is the counter-programming for the weekend, an “inspired by a true story” film about mothers who fight the broken school system in their community. For the Blind Side crowd, Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal star as the mothers, and you’ll know if you want to watch this one based on the trailer alone, as it seems designed to play directly to the people who would be involved in a story like this. Everyone else will probably be watching something else.
IN LIMITED RELEASE
Glee has had a lasting impact on pop culture, and musically based films aimed at young women and teens have been coming out of the woodwork ever since. This one is slightly different, as it seems to have more biting humor, and it features the brilliant Adam Devine (from Comedy Central‘s great show Workaholics) as well as the up-and-coming Anna Kendrick, who has proven herself to be a star in multiple films now, and the always hilarious Rebel Wilson, who first showed up in Bridesmaids, and was also quite funny in Bachelorette. This one opens on just over 350 screens this weekend, and it will expand wide next weekend.
The lesser-known of Robert E. Howard’s characters, Solomon Kane stars James Purefoy as the titular character, a mercenary for Queen Elizabeth I in the 1500’s, who renounces his violent ways after having an encounter with Satan’s reaper. However, he witnesses the slaughter of an entire family, and goes back to his killing machine ways in order to save the surviving member, a young Puritanical girl (Rachel Hurd-Wood). This one has been sitting on the shelf in the US for a few years now (it got a theatrical release overseas where it was made nearly 2 years ago), which seems to be the case with movies starring Rachel Hurd-Wood as her version of Dorian Gray sat on the self a while as well. Like Howard’s Conan, this one features excessive violence by brutal people in brutal times, with religious/right wing overtones. It has some great images, however, as I saw this one a while ago, but sadly, the film is a little overlong and it wears thin eventually. This one only opens on a handful of screens nationwide, we’ll see if it does well enough to expand.