When the widest movie release of the week is a boy band concert documentary, you just know that the weekend’s going to blow.
I saw the trailer for ‘One Direction: This Is Us‘ last week and I’ve never wanted to slap a teenager more. Not only had I never heard of this band, not a single one of the tracks that played over the trailer was familiar to me. Even though I may not be a big fan of pop music, I still know most of the current hits. How big can One Direction be if I’ve never heard of them? Are they replacing the out-of-control Justin Bieber? Believe it or not, ‘This Is Us’ debuts to more than 2,500 screens across North America.
The teenage sensation doesn’t stop there. Former teen superstar Selena Gomez co-stars alongside Ethan Hawke in ‘Getaway‘. Hawke plays a professional racer whose wife is kidnapped. The kidnappers will only free her if Hawke steals Selena Gomez’s muscle car (with her in it) and transports and/or steals a ton of money or drugs or something. Luckily, there just-so-happened to be a Dave Matthews concert taking place during the Salt Lake City press screening for this movie, so I didn’t have to tolerate it.
Playing on less than 900 screens is Focus Features’ ‘Closed Circuit‘. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall play former lovers who must work side-by-side once again after a London market is leveled during a terrorist attack. The duo is forced back together in this unique case that requires using high-level classified information to prosecute the sole surviving terrorist. Reviews are mixed, but the plot sounds interesting. The screenplay was penned by ‘Eastern Promises’ writer Steven Knight, and both Bana and Hall are capable of delivering strong performances.
It’s been a good long while since Brian De Palma made a movie worth watching (if not ‘Snake Eyes’, then probably the first ‘Mission: Impossible‘). The story of ‘Passion‘ is intriguing, but the actresses leading it are what really make me want to see it. Rachel McAdams plays a power-hungry ad executive and Noomi Rapace plays her threatening employee. A rivalry grows between the two that appears to be a super-scandalous version of ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘. ‘Passion’ debuts on the big screen, but can also be seen On Demand.
‘The Lifeguard‘ also hits both theaters and On Demand this weekend. On the brink of her 30th birthday, a New York reporter (Kristen Bell) has a meltdown and escapes to the last place that she felt happy – her suburban home. Running from responsibilities, she moves in with her parents and resumes the life from her teenage past. She gets her old lifeguard job back, hangs out with old friends and starts banging teenagers again. Just when I thought Kristen Bell couldn’t bug me any more than she already does, she goes and makes a movie like this.