Weekend Movies: Lofty Expectations

No matter which team wins, the Super Bowl and its over-hyped commercials will be a bigger winner than any of this weekend’s theatrical releases. Between the big game and the continued juggernaut of ‘American Sniper’, none of the new movies stands a chance.

The biggest new release is ‘Project Almanac‘, January’s obligatory made-for-teens Found Footage movie. A group of no-name youngsters play high school friends who find instructions for building a functional time machine. Playing with the dangerous device spins their lives into a chaotic mix of ‘Chronicle’, ‘Back to the Future Part II’ and ‘The Butterfly Effect’. From what I hear, the first two-thirds are supposedly playful and fun, but the third act falls apart.

Opening around 1,800 locations, ‘The Loft‘ stars James Marsden, Karl Urban and three other buddies who secretly go in together to get a posh loft in the city where they can carry out their affairs and dirty deeds without their wives ever knowing. Their scandalous situation gets heavy when they discover the bloody body of a murdered woman within. Is one of the friends a murderer, or has someone discovered their secret and decided to sabotage the group?

Although I hadn’t even heard of it until now, ‘Black and White‘ appears to be the most promising new title. Written and directed by Mike Binder, the film tells the true story of a white grandfather (Kevin Costner) who’s suddenly left to raise his beautiful biracial granddaughter. Contesting his ability to serve as her guardian, the child’s absentee father (Anthony Mackie) and his mother (Octavia Spencer) do everything possible to get custody. Tackling the controversial theme of racial tension, ‘Black and White’ just might be worthwhile.

For those anticipating the upcoming fifth season premiere, this weekend offers a unique chance to watch the final two fourth season episodes of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones‘ on IMAX screens. While supplies last, those who go to see The Wall stormed on the largest screens possible will get exclusive poster art. AMC IMAX theaters will have an extra special exclusive poster that differs from non-AMC IMAX locations.

Lionsgate is quietly releasing a Jason Statham action flick that hasn’t been marketed whatsoever. In ‘Wild Card‘, the badass bald Brit plays a bodyguard who owes more to the Mob than he can possibly pay, so he takes to the casino floors in an attempt to earn that ghastly amount. Doesn’t this sound like the exact same plot as Mark Wahlberg’s recent flop ‘The Gambler’? I imagine that’s the reason Lionsgate hasn’t put a dime into its distribution.

Back when it looked like ‘A Most Violent Year‘ was going to be an Oscar contender, this weekend seemed like a perfect place to expand the period crime drama out of limited release. Although the film didn’t wind up receiving a single Oscar nomination, it’s still moving to more than 800 locations this weekend.


  1. Allow me to be chauvinistic and recommend ‘The Loft’. It’s a remake of a Belgian movie by the original director. While that may sound like a ‘The Vanishing’ disaster, early reports indicate not a whole lot (in fact, barely nothing) got ‘loft’ in translation. So, check it out, America! The original ‘Loft’ (without the article, yes) is an excellent thriller that became the highest grossing Belgian movie of all time with more than 1.2 million tickets sold (or, more than 10% of the population).

    • I don’t know anything about either movie, but just based on the plot synopsis above, it seems totally obvious to me that one of the men’s wives has found out about the love nest and is of course the killer.

        • Chapz Kilud

          I watched on Saturday. I liked it a lot. But it was a bit complicated. For one, I don’t know why the guy had to jump off the building. Who took the fall for the murder? I might have to watch it again or buy the movie to watch it few times to make sense of it.

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