1. The Last Exorcism (Lionsgate, 2,874 Theaters, 87 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Exorcisms are pretty good horror film fodder. You have an innocent possessed by an evil demon. You have a heroic priest or priests fighting to save her soul. You have a battle that they could conceivably not win. You really only have to do two things: stay as far away from the plot of The Exorcist as you possibly can and look at the procedure from a different angle.
This film appears to take a cue from police films (with a little bit taken from The Blair Witch Project as well). A burnt-out priest decides to do one final exorcism before he retires. He also allows a documentary crew follow him for this last time. Unfortunately, it procedure doesn’t go all that smooth.
Of course, the film is PG-13, which is one strike against any horror film, in my opinion. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that its going to be bad.
2. Takers (Sony/Screen Gems, 2,206 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG-13): You can say one thing for this cast, it certainly is eclectic. You have troubled hip-hop stars (Chris Brown, T.I.), Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), and that guy from Fast and Furious plus that guy from The Wire (Paul Walker, Idris Elba). And Matt Dillon, who is always good, even in bad movies.
But what kind of movie will this be? It deals with a group of very successful bank robbers who have come across a bit of dissension in their ranks. Apparently, it revolves around T.I.’s character and his feeling neglected while being in prison. This crack in the team’s unity could be just the thing to allow the cops to bring the crew to justice.
This film could be a fun caper film, or it could be kind of bad. There are a lot of unproven actors in the cast.
3. Avatar: Special Edition (Fox, 811 Theaters, 160 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Welcome to blatant cash-grab theater! James Cameron is second only to George Lucas when it comes to putting out multiple versions of the same movies.
This film features nine whole minutes that were not in the original release last year. Yes, nine whole minutes. They weren’t in the DVD release from back in April, but they probably will be in the new, 3-D DVD/Blu-Ray that is set to come out later this year, which will probably have even more footage not seen in the original version.
What? Didn’t the first Avatar make enough money the first time around? I mean, you can’t deny the pull of the film–it is the highest grossing film of all time. That means that hardcore Avatards will be lining up to see this film. But really, haven’t you made them spend enough? Two DVD/Blu-Ray release is almost the industry standard. Two theatrical releases (excepting the “let’s remind the Oscar voters reissuing that is quite common) is just being greedy.