Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Releases - Week of August 20th

Starring: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Maggie Smith, Ralph Finnes
Directed by Susanna White for distribution by Universal Pictures


The Plot: The magical Nanny McPhee(Thompson) returns to help a farmer’s wife (Gyllenhaal) keep control of her wild children while running her family farm in place of her war-bound husband.

The Final Word: While the original wasn’t a huge blockbuster, it did reportedly make a $75 million return on its shoestring budget, which will get any sequel greenlit these days.  This a strong family franchise that could help Universal continue its equally strong summer, but I wouldn’t expect  the same return on investment this time around.

Starring: Jessica Szohr, Steven R. McQueen, Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O’Connell,
Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd
Directed by Alexandre Aja for distribution by Dimension Films (Weinstein Company)

The Plot: A tremor unleashes a wave of prehistoric piranhas on a small town.

The Final Word: With nearly all of the studios refusing to admit they’ll do anything to make a quick buck off the 3D craze, Dimension is not only admitting it, they are broadcasting it to whoever will listen. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously at all and that’s why audiences will probably check it out. Again, we aren’t talking “Iron Man” numbers here, but it is just the type of end of summer popcorn flick that will find a audience.

Starring: Bow Wow, Ice Cube, Loretta Devine, Terry Crews, Bill Bellamy, Mike Epps
Directed by Erik White for distribution by Warner Brothers

The Plot: After Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) wins the lottery, he learns he must protect his $370 million ticket until the lottery office re-opens after the 4th of July weekend.

The Final Word: Ice Cube, Bow Wow and Mike Epps normally tend to see their movies do very well, especially among the urban market. Although they don’t always hit in the mark and so far this year, they aren’t sporting that high of a batting avg.

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis
Directed by Will Speck & Josh Gordon for distribution by Miramax Films (Disney)


The Plot: An unmarried forty year-old woman (Aniston) turns to a sperm donor to get pregnant, but when her best friend (Bateman) accidentally destroys the sample, he secretly replaces it with his own. Now seven years later the two meet back up and he begins to see the striking similarities between him and her son.

The Final Word: Working in this movie’s favor is the star appeal of it leads, but working against it are the multiple delays the movie has had and the fact that both Aniston and Bateman have seen their star appeal gradually begin to decline, so much to the point neither has been able to carry a movie for  some time.  While Aniston’s “Bounty Hunter” did turn a small profit earlier this year, I get the feeling this one won’t be as lucky.

Previewed next week: Takers and The Last Exorcism.