Ready. Set. Go! This weekend’s most noticeable movie releases belong to three franchises – that is, if you consider Tyler Perry’s schtick a franchise. Which I do. Along with Perry’s latest, cruising towards you is a videogame adaptation and the big-screen revival of a canceled television series. Few are likely to enjoy all three, but each has a decent demographic of its own to target.
The widest release of the weekend belongs to ‘Need for Speed‘. You may be thinking, “Wait, isn’t that a racing game without a plot?” The answer is yes. Disney has taken the brand and its high-octane antics, given it a solid little story, mostly realistic car stunts and some solid acting. ‘Breaking Bad‘ star Aaron Paul plays the lead character, a young man who inherited his father’s deep-underwater auto shop. No, he doesn’t say the words “Yo” or “bitch.” Instead, he’s got the need. The need for speed! After a bunch of back story is established, the plot takes us into a cross-country road trip in the cabin of a unique and unmatched Mustang. Police are after our anti-heroes, as are gear-heads looking to stop them from making the trip. For the sake of righting a wrong, our characters have 48 hours to make it from one coast to the other for an exclusive, top secret race. For some reason, ads have failed to point out that ‘Need for Speed’ can be seen in both 3D and 2D formats.
I’m curious to see how Tyler Perry’s newest production fares at the box office. As Perry’s success has dwindled, Kevin Hart and others have been stealing his thunder with the same demographic. In ‘Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club‘, the writer/director once again places his own name in the movie’s title. Perry appears in the movie, but not as his recognizable Madea character. This dramedy tells the story of a group of single moms who band together to get through their single mom troubles. The cast includes Nia Long, Amy Smart and Terry Crews.
Opening on just 291 screens is the Kickstarter-fund resurrection of the teen detective cult TV series ‘Veronica Mars‘. I’ve never seen the show, but the trailer for the movie surely doesn’t make me want to get started now. Set years after the events from the series, the Veronica Mars character is brought back to her hometown to solve the murder of a former classmate. Like a rip-off of ‘Grosse Pointe Blank‘, this just so happens to take place during a high school reunion – presumably because all the unknown, out-of-work TV actors have to eat too. If you’re a fan of the series and want to see it on the big screen, hopefully you live near an AMC theater, because the chain has an almost-exclusive distribution deal. If not, you can still see the movie this weekend, but it will have to be through the confines of your own home via paid streaming services.
Following ‘That Awkward Moment’, Focus Features continues its new R-rated comedy line with ‘Bad Words‘. Unlike ‘That Awkward Moment’, ‘Bad Words’ actually looks funny. Jason Bateman not only stars, but directed this comedy about a mid-life loser who finds a loophole that allows him to screw over the spelling bee system that once screwed him over. Of course, the kids are the ones who really get screwed over, so ‘Bad Words’ appears to have a ‘Bad Santa‘ vibe. After ‘That Awkward Moment’ flopped, it appears that Focus is only hesitantly releasing ‘Bad Words’. The movie debuts on six screens this weekend and expands wider to an undecided number of screens next weekend.