1. Dolphin Tale (Warner Brothers, 3,507 Theaters, 113 Minutes, Rated PG): I guess it has been long enough time since Free Willy for another “small boy making friends with an aquatic mammal movie,” but in case it isn;t, this one comes with a twist–the aquatic mammal is a bionic dolphin!
Okay, not like shooting laser beams from his robot eye bionic. But rather tail caught in a crab trap that needs to be amputated and replaced bionic. The kid in question bonds with the dolphin and facilitates the prosthetic tail.
It’s based on a true story (because you can’t make up something like a bionic dolphin) and has an intriguing cast, including Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd reuniting again in a much different film than their last one. So it seems like it might be a little better than your typical kid flick.
2. Abduction (Lionsgate, 3,118 Theaters, 106 Minutes, Rated PG-13): It’s hard for stars of ubersuccessful franchises with large cult followings to try to build a fruitful career after the franchise ends. Harrison Ford is the rare exception. And it’s not that the other stars should be faulted for lack of trying, But it appears that while fans would be willing to camp out overnight to see Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart at San Diego Comic Con, they are in no hurry to see them starring in roles where they are named anything other than Edward and Bella.
Taylor Lautner is the latest member of the Twilight cast to try to build a film career after that franchise ends in a couple of films. And this vehicle might be a better transition than the introspective dramas that Pattison and Stewart have chosen to jump start their post Twilight careers. But this effort might be hampered by confusion with its marketing.
The plot involves Lautner investigating his past after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website. On paper, this seems like a mystery with dramatic overtones. However, all the ads involve Lautner licking people in the head and jumping off of things. Doesn’t reall seem like the kind of activity a boy looking for his birth parents would engage in.
3. Moneyball (Sony/Columbia, 2,993 Theaters, 133 Minutes, Rated PG-13): This is an odd movie to me. It’s odd that this movie was made. Non-fiction books typically don’t spring to mind as readily adaptable. Especially one about a statistical, computer generated approach to drafting baseball players. And trying to make it into a comedy is another oddity.
The film is adapted from the book of the same name about Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland Athletics baseball team. Hampered by a terminally low budget, Beane and computer analyst Peter Brand use computers to determine undervalued players to draft or pick up in order to remain competative.
Being a nerd and a baseball fan, I’d find this interesting. But will the rest of America?
4. Killer Elite (Open Road Films, 2,986 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated R): My friends and I were think about the fact that Robert DeNiro costars with Jason Statham in this film. Does this mean that it’s a step up for Stratham? Or a step down for DeNiro? I’m sure Clive Owen factors into the equation somewhere, but I’m not sure where.
A piece of evidence in the “step down” category is the fact that the film is your basic revenge thriller. Stratham must rescue DeNiro from a set of assassins. A game of cat and mouse ensues, as the pair tries to escape the killers long enough to kill them and track down the man who hired them.
And by step down, I don’t necessarily mean in a bad way.