This weekend’s new movies will answer such questions as, “Does Will Ferrell still have any audience appeal?” and “Is DreamWorks Animation still struggling?”
Opening on the most screens is the animated family flick ‘Home‘. Two very odd things are happening here. First, the trailers and synopsis make it appear as if the film’s screenplay is missing a plot. All we know is that a misfit alien (Jim Parsons) travels to Earth and meets a young human girl (Rihanna). Secondly, my kids watch afternoon cartoons daily and I have yet to see a single TV spot for the movie during that slot. Considering how long it’s been since the last big animated film was released, perhaps DreamWorks doesn’t need to advertise?
Will Ferrell used to be able to draw a crowd on his own, but his popularity has waned over the last decade. What better way to help boost a Will Ferrell vehicle than to pair him with a popular up-and-comer? Kevin Hart co-stars in ‘Get Hard‘, a comedy in which an ignorant rich white guy seeks the help of a black man to prepare for a white-collar prison sentence. While the jokes in the trailer may actually be funny, I’m worried that the movie won’t have enough content to keep going strong for 100 minutes.
Unfortunately, two of this weekend’s most notable limited releases don’t appear any better.
Guy Ritchie’s partner-turned-director Matthew Vaughn has done a wonderful job helming movies on his own. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Wes Anderson’s. Noah Baumbach re-teams with Ben Stiller for ‘While We’re Young‘. In it, Stiller and Naomi Watts play a couple whose marriage and careers are turned upside down when a new young couple (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) comes along and makes them feel old. Or something.
Shot in 2012, the Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper period drama ‘Serena‘ will finally see the light of day in the United States. The “blacklisted” screenplay follows a young married couple during the Great Depression. As the husband tries to build his lumber business, any and all relationships take their toll on the business and their marriage. If the negative buzz that has circled this film is true, there’s a very good reason why ‘Serena’ took three years to make its way to the big screen.
For those interested in the successful indie horror flick ‘It Follows‘, the limited release is expanding to more than 1,000 screens across North America. That just might be the best prospect of the weekend.