Weekend Movies: Shrug It Off

Even with a trio of new wide releases, it looks like Hollywood’s box office downturn will continue this weekend.

The widest of the new releases is the sequel to 2011’s ‘Dolphin Tale‘. Continuing the true story of the amputee dolphin with a prosthetic tail, ‘Dolphin Tale 2‘ explains what happened to Winter since the events in the first movie. When her tankmate dies of old age, government regulations require that Winter be paired with another female dolphin. Her keepers then must find a way to keep the government from taking their dolphin friend away. There’s not much to this story, so be prepared for a pair of unconnected subplots. Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick, Jr. return, as do all of the bad kids actors.

Also opening is a PG-13 thriller that I’d never heard of until preparing this post. ‘No Good Deed‘ stars Idris Elba as an escaped convict who’s brutally bad to the bone. After crashing his car in the rain, he finds the nearest house and asks the single mother (Taraji P. Henson) and child there for help. As expected, things get crazy. Based on the trailers, the movie appears to be much darker and more violent than you might expect from its teen-friendly rating.

Opening on barely enough screens to be called a wide release is Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Drop‘. This slow-burner stars Tom Hardy as a Brooklyn bartender who must work with his cousin (James Gandolfini) to find the robbers that knocked off the mobster-owned bar that they work at. If they can’t uncover the thieves’ identities, they just might suffer painful deaths at the hands of the mob. ‘The Drop’ also co-stars Noomi Rapace.

In limited release is yet another low-budget ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ sequel. Even though the first two are available on Netflix, I have yet to meet anyone who’s actually watched either of them. How a third installment was greenlit is beyond me. ‘Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?‘ features a brand new cast, a bunch of politician cameos and (finally!) brings the story to a close.

Acclaimed Sundance drama ‘The Skeleton Twins‘ reunites former ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. The two play estranged twins who, after going through near-death experiences on the same day, reach out to one another in order to mend their relationship. Roadside Attractions is releasing ‘Skeleton Twins’ on 15 screens this weekend, but will likely expand it in the coming weeks.

The Weinstein Company has ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them‘ on four screens. ‘Them’ combines two films – which will supposedly be released individually in the near future – into one. Starring James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain, ‘Disappearance’ follows a couple trying to mend their broken and suffering relationship. The individual films (called ‘Him’ and ‘Her’) will tell the couples’ story from the exclusive perspective of each character. Between this and ‘Boyhood’, 2014 is turning out to be quite the year for experimental and creative indie films.

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