Weekend Movies: Let’s Stay Home

Three wide releases, each opening on approximately 3,000 screens, will attempt to dethrone Michael Bay’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ this weekend. Can any of them defeat the half-shelled heroes?

With a gigantic cast, more action than ever and a franchise-first, teen-friendly PG-13 rating, ‘The Expendables 3‘ is shaping up to be the strongest of this weekend’s new releases. Sylvester Stallone and company return with a few new friends in yet another (mostly) male-driven action adventure that will blend the aged cast members with a few more well-known names and a half dozen no-name youngsters. Joining Sly, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger are Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson. Get ready for two hours of big, stupid and fun action and explosions.

The comedy ‘Let’s Be Cops‘ tried to get a head-start on the weekend by opening on Wednesday. ‘New Girl’ stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. step off their TV set and onto a movie set together for the R-rated comedy about two buddies who dress up as police for a costume party and get tossed into a real world of danger when they’re mistaken for actual cops and don’t let on to the truth. For those who loved Martin Lawrence’s very similar ‘Blue Streak’, this one’s for you.

The third contender is the adaptation of beloved Young Adult novel ‘The Giver‘. As is the trend with most YA adaptations these days, a seemingly utopic society of the future needs the help of some teenagers to reveal it for what it is and change the world. With Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges co-starring alongside more no-name youngsters and a stunt-cast Taylor Swift, the question is whether ‘The Giver’ will be the next ‘Hunger Games’/’Divergent’/’Twilight’? Or will it be the next ‘Beautiful Creatures’/’The Host’/’The Mortal Instruments’?

Magnolia Pictures has a new indie comedy in theaters. ‘Frank‘ stars Domhnall Gleeson as a musician who joins an unusual band with an even stranger gimmick – the band’s leader (Michael Fassbender) is committed to wearing a giant papier-mâché head full-time. My hope is that ‘Frank’ doesn’t sell out and show Fassbender without the comic head.

Aubrey Plaza is still trying to prove that she can carry a movie (which is arguable) in ‘Life After Beth‘, a rom-zom about a kid (Dane DeHaan) who’s so blinded by love that he continues to love his dead girlfriend after she comes back to life as a zombie. Sundance word-of-mouth wasn’t too kind, so I’ll gladly stick with the similarly themed ‘Warm Bodies’.

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