Weekend Movies: Let’s Party Like It’s the Roaring ’20s

If anything, this will be an interesting weekend at the box office. Baz Luhrmann’s flashy adaptation of an American literary classic and a Tyler Perry-produced comedy may not worry about competing against one another, but both have to compete against last weekend’s $174 million blockbuster. Darryl from ‘The Office’ and the Man in the Iron Mask (Leonardo DiCaprio) go toe-to-toe with the Man in the Iron Suit.

Baz Luhrmann’s 3D version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby‘ was originally slated to open in December 2012 (which I personally think would have been a better release date), but was pushed back to this weekend. The story is told through the institutionalized eyes of Tobey Maguire’s character, a humble hopeful aiming to join the New Rich of 1920s New York City. With integrity and a keen spirit, he’s reeled into the world of razzle-dazzle when his enigmatic celebrity playboy neighbor, the titular Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), invites him to one of his popular celebrity-filled house parties. The symbolically-rich tale that follows is fueled by love, lust, obsession, scandal, loyalty, friendship and power. DiCaprio and Maguire are joined by Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke in Luhrmann’s most aesthetically pleasing drama to date.

Although produced by Tyler Perry, ‘Peeples‘ isn’t preceded by “Tyler Perry’s” in the title. Directed by ‘ATL‘ and ‘Drumline’ writer Tina Gordon Chism, the comedy follows Craig Robinson’s character as he tries to propose to his uptown girlfriend (Kerry Washington) at her family’s annual retreat in the Hamptons. ‘Peeples’ sounds like a typical fish-out-of-water scenario, but that’s not to say it won’t find a loyal audience.

Eli Roth continues his mentorship by co-writing, producing and starring in ‘Aftershock‘, a terrifying thriller that follows a group of friends and acquaintances who not only have to survive an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that levels Chile, but the horrors that follow above ground after the destruction. When it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, word-of-mouth claimed that ‘Aftershock’ is entertaining, cringe-inducing and occasionally comical. The film debuts on 100 screens across North America this weekend.

The next-widest release is the horror thriller ‘No One Lives‘ on 50 screens. Starring the lead of the upcoming remake of ‘The Crow’ (Luke Evans), the movie follows a couple on a cross-country trip when they’re confronted by a group of killers. When his girlfriend is murdered, Evans shows the killers how big of a mistake they just made. Based on the title, I’m going out on a limb by guessing that everybody dies.

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