Hey, have you seen Beauty & the Beast? Oh you have. Hmm…do you wanna see it again?
Let’s bitch it out…
Oh my goodness. The April box office is due to begin with an exhausted sigh as two new wide releases debut, both aimed at different audiences, neither of which are likely to make a big splash at the box office. For the second week in a row we have an animated children’s film – this one somehow even more terrible looking than The Boss Baby – but it’s doubtful the Smurf threepeat is at the top of anyone’s wish list. Throw in a bland looking comedy about retirees who plan a heist between Bachelor seasons and we’re in for a rough weekend.
April 7, 2017
Smurfs: The Lost Village (Wide)
- Cast: Voices of Demi Lovato (Camp Rock), Danny Pudi (Knights of Badassdom), Joe Manganiello (Spiderman 3), Jack McBrayer (Cooties)
- Official Synopsis: mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
- Good for fans of: Sadism, cheap animation, 80s nostalgia
- Is it worth your time? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no, not even if your life is being threatened. Unless perhaps you’re Michael Ausiello (TVLine critic) and you love all things Smurfy?
Going In Style (Wide)
- Cast: Morgan Freeman (Lucy), Michael Caine (The Last Witch Hunter), Alan Arkin (Gattaca)
- Official Synopsis: Lifelong buddies Willie (Freeman), Joe (Caine) and Al (Arkin) decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
- Good for fans of: Cheap money grabs, octogenarians, talented actors slumming
- Is it worth your time? This is decided not a movie for me, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t have its appeals. There’s obviously a market for “older folks getting into wacky hijinks,” as evidenced by relatively inoffensive comedies such as Grumpy Old Men, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Freeman’s own The Bucket List.
The Case for Christ (Limited)
- Cast: Mike Vogel (Grind), Erika Christensen (Swimfan), Faye Dunaway (2017 Oscars f*ck-up)
- Official Synopsis: Based on the true story of an award-winning investigative journalist (Vogel) — and avowed atheist — who applies his well-honed journalistic and legal skills to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife (Christensen)… with unexpected, life-altering results.
- Good for fans of: 70s hair, reporting, atheist conversions
- Is it worth your time? The advertising promo references being from the studio that heaved God’s Not Dead on us, which they don’t appear to realize is not a selling feature. With that said, these are legit actors, there’s a semi-fun period piece angle and while the result is sure to be unsurprising, it doesn’t look completely terrible. As a religious option the week before Easter…maybe?
- Cast: Anne Hathaway (Get Smart), Jason Sudeikis (Drinking Buddies), Dan Stevens (The Guest)
- Official Synopsis: Gloria (Hathaway) drinks too hard and parties too much. Her boyfriend (Stevens) has enough of it and throws her out. Gloria returns to her hometown, dreaming of making a new start, but instead revives her childhood friendship with Oscar (Sudeikis), who runs a bar. After drinking a night away with Oscar and his friends, he wakes up to discover a gigantic monster rampaging through Seoul and realizes that somehow the monster is connected to her.
- Good for fans of: Kaiju films, alcoholism, male emasculation
- Is it worth your time? Yes. When I saw the film back at TIFF, I had a mixed reaction (here’s my Bloody Disgusting review). As time has passed, however, I’ve become much more enamoured with Colossal. It’s a fun combination of an independent drama and a quirky sci-fi flick, with a rock solid leading performance by Hathaway. Sudeikis leans hard into the unlikable characteristics that generally make me hate him, so if you love to hate him, this is good casting.
That’s it for this week. Tune in for the second week of April when Vin Diesel and co. rev up the box office in time for the holiday.