1. Need for Speed (Touchstone, 3,115 Theaters, 130 Minutes, Rated PG-13): On the one hand, this is a video game adaptation. While the video game has been around for twenty years, video game adaptations do not fare too well at the box office. What makes it worse, the game isn’t one known for its narrative, which makes the film an adaptation in name only.
On the other hand, the Fast and Furious franchise has shown that audiences respond to men of dubious character racing fast cars around the world. And this film, which features an ex-con who enters an illegal, cross-country race in search of revenge, certainly fits the bill.
However, why settle for Fast and Furious light when you can get another installment of the real deal next year? I mean, Aaron Paul seems like a really cool guy in real life, and I don’t want to begrudge him success, but he’s no Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson.
2. Tyler Perry’s The Single Mom’s Club (Lionsgate, 1,896 Theaters, 111 Minutes, PG-13): So, if it’s late winter, early spring, it must be time for another Tyler Perry movie. This is the time of year when he releases his non-Medea films, and, look at that, here’s a non-Madea Tyler Perry film now!
Don’t be too happy. We aren’t spared Tyler Perry’s acting, just not his acting in bad old age make up and a mumu. The writer/director plays a paramour in the film.
The film involves five, surprisingly ethnically diverse single moms you become friendly after a school incident involving their kids. What kind of incident? Who knows. But together they support each other through all kinds of challenges.
There’s already a TV adaptation in the works. Really. The film hasn’t even come out yet, but there will be a TV version of it this fall. It would suck if the movie bombs, wouldn’t it? “Based on the film you didn’t want to go see, comes a TV show you can easily ignore.”
3. Veronica Mars (Warner Brothers, 291 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Normally, I don’t cover films with theater counts below 1,000 in this feature, let alone one below 300 theaters, but I think this film deserves a one time exception.
Why? Because by now you should all know about how Veronica Mars became a film. It was one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time, as fans of the cult TV show rose up as one and gave a new, cinematic life to their favorite TV show. Their reward? A film that is released in only 291 theaters. Hey, fans, you’d better hope your hometown theater is an AMC, because that’s the only way you’d have a fair chance of getting to see this film on the big screen.
Granted, you can rent or buy it on demand through a number of platforms tomorrow as well, but I am an old-school traditionalist, and I think if you’re raising money to make a film, make a film and show it in theaters!
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go chase some kids off my lawn.