1. One Direction: This Is Us (TriStar, 2,735 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated PG): This is a simple cash grab operation. Easy in, easy out, get as much money as you can in the shortest amount of time. That’s pretty much all this is.
If you’re wondering why people keep making these concert films, well,for one, they are cheap. They usually cost $9 to $13 million to make (This one cost $10 million). If you have a hit like Justin Beiber: Never Say Never ($98 million+ worldwide against a $13 million budget). you win big. When you have what seems like a disappointment, like Glee: The 3D Concert Movie ($18 million+ grosses worldwide), you can still end up doubling your budget (the film was made for $9 million). You just have to catch the zeitgeist at just the right time.
I am not the savviest pop culture maven, but I think One Direction’s popularity is on its downward arc. Yes, stores are filled with 1D books, magazines, clothing, toys, games and other piece of crap people think tweens would want to own. But I get the feeling that the passion for the band is on the wane. But this is in the most theaters this week, and should at least make a dent in its budget before the severe second week drop off (unless this film is one of those that will only be in theaters one week by design).
What’s most puzzling is this documentary was directed Morgan Spurlock. Yes, the man who gave us Super Size Me, a documentary that took a major corporation to task for giving us food with empty calories and not at all good is glorifying a corporately organized pop band who gives us vapid pop songs that are not at all good. Oh, irony.
2. Getaway (Warner Brothers, 2,130 Theaters,90 Minutes, Rated PG-13): The of August is so well known for being the dumping ground for the studio’s cast offs that it should be declared a Superfund site.
Take this Warner Brothers offering. It’s the tale of an ex-race car driver named Brent Magma (Ethan Hawke, and, yes, that is the character’s name) whose wife is kidnapped. He is forced to steal a car by the kidnappers, a car rigged with cameras and microphones that the bad guys use to keep and eye (and ear) on them.
I’m going to stop the plot recap there. Because any film where the bad guys force a hero to steal a car they’ve alter so they can keep track of him, is just too stupid to deserve further contemplation, plotwise. Sure, I could say that he is forced to go missions for a mysterious voice (Jon Voight) and somehow picks up a teenage hacker called the Kid (Selena Gomez) along the way. but what point does it make.
I’m sure that the reason because Warners’ feels like it could make a few bucks off fans who think it will be mindless, Grindhouse-ish fun. But I would like to point out that the film has a whopping 0% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And that’s not because no one has reviewed it. No, 53 poor souls reviewed this film. None liked it. Not one. My favorite snippet of a review is from Kyle Smith of the New York Post: ““Getaway” is so bad that what’s most surprising about it is that Nicolas Cage didn’t manage to star in it.”
Take that as you will. But if you need further enticement to stay away, here is the trailer.