1. Water For Elephants (FOX, 2,700 Theaters, 122 Minutes, Rated PG-13): The book was a unique phenomenon in my circle of friends. Several people I knew are rabid fans of the book and were so passionate about it that it caused problems in their respective relationships whenever they talked to other people about it.
So, this film could be a sure-fire bet, if they don’t screw it up. Screw it up, like, say, casting the wrong actor in the lead role and giving it to the wrong director.
Enter Robert Pattinson and Francis Lawrence. Pattison is known for his completely underwhelming work on the Twilight films and Lawrence has come from the field of music videos to helm such masterpieces as Constantine and I Am Legend (To be honest, I like both of those films, but not everyone did). So not a lot of confidence on those two factors.
But it does have Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz in it, so it can’t be all that terrible. And if only half of the Twihards come see it, it should be a hit. But will fans of the book be happy?
2. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (Lionsgate, 2,288 Theaters, 106 Minutes, Rated PG-13): After straying of the reservation for last year’s lackluster For Colored Girls, Tyler Perry returns to where he feels most comfortable–dressing up as an old woman and who screams at her family.
While the trailer looks like it will be wacky fun (if you call quoting Rush Hour wacky fun) but I’m sure there will be the typical maudlin melodrama worked in.
These movies are what they are. I am not their target audience but that audience seems to like them. Let’s see how it fares against Water for Elephants.
3. African Cats (Disneynature, 1,200 Theaters, 89 minutes, Rated G): Once again, in honor of Earth Day, Disneynature runs a family friendly wildlife documentary.
This time it’s about two families of cats, focusing on mothers teaching their young how to exist in the wild.
I like this. This is old school Disney. I grew up with a number of their nature documentaries, so I’m glad that a new generation gets their opportunity to enjoy them.
This documentary is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. I’m not all that familiar with the wildlife of Africa, but I really, really hope that there are snakes on that plain.