1. Rio 2 (Fox, 3,948 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated G): I found the first Rio to be an entertaining diversion. It wasn’t a great film, but I’ve seen worse.
It was certainly a film that didn’t seem like it would lend itself to a sequel. But when the original makes $484 million at the box office against a $90 budget, a sequel you will get.
The sequel takes Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway), the bird protagonists from the first film, several hundred miles to the north as they relocate to the Amazon. Strangely enough, their entire supporting cast relocates there too, including the evil Nigel (Jermaine Clement), who vows revenge on the pair and their children.
Will this be enough to unseat Captain America:The Winter Soldier? We’ll see.
2. Draft Day (Lionsgate/Summit, 2,781 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If you were to turn on the NFL Network right now, odds are you wouldn’t have to wait long until they start talking about the NFL Draft. The 79th installment of the yearly tradition will arrive in May, and what began as men reading names in a dingy hotel room has become a three-day extravaganza that has become a television event.
The reason why so many people tune in is because it has become drama personified. Fans watch closely, hoping that their team will draft the man who will turn their fortunes around, or make a deal that will make the team’s future bright.
That is part of what this film is trying to tap into. It has the full cooperation of the NFL, and the script was on the legendary Blacklist. However, hardcore fans might not appreciate the liberties filmmakers took with the concept, ranging from the World Champion Seattle Seahawks having the number one pick (not that they’d know the Seahawks would win the Super Bowl, but they’d have to know the Hawks would have a better record than the Browns) to certain less-than-legal shenanigans done by Kevin Costner’s character.
3. Oculus (Relativity, 2,648 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated R): There are a few things sadder than a horror film released in April, especially ones with limited advertising and lower than normal theater counts. Just like a teenager abandoned in a deserted cabin in the middle of a haunted woods, this film has just been put out there to die.
Which is not to say that this film doesn’t have a lot going for it. That is one damn creepy poster over there. And it has a cast which features no A-list actors but a lot of popular genre favorites (Karen Gillan, Katee Sackoff, Rory Cochrane). And it’s Rated R, just like every horror film should be.
The film deals with a pair of siblings. The brother is just being released from prison for killing his father, an act he says was encouraged by a possessed mirror. He just wants to get on with his life, but his sister really believes the mirror is haunted and wants her brother’s help to get to the bottom of thing. It will not end well.