1. Trouble With The Curve (Warner Brothers, 3,212 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated PG-13): For the longest time, the buzz around this film had been that it was Clint Eastwood’s first on screen acting role since 2008’s Gran Torino, his first role in a film he didn’t direct since 1993’s In The Line Of Fire, and quite possibly the last film he’ll ever make. A lot of hooks for a P.R. flack to use to sell the movie.
Then Clint Eastwood had to go and talk to a chair at the Republican National Convention. Now every interview he does for the film will be about that. Yikes.
The film deals with a Major League Baseball scout who’s vision is failing. He drafts his estranged daughter to act as his eyes as he tries to stay in the game.
2. House At The End Of The Street (Relativity, 3,083 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older, because I am not seeing as many movies as I used to, or because the studios are doing a horrible job promoting their films, but this is yet another movie I know very little about.
Let’s see what IMDB has to say:
A mother and daughter move to a new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving son, she learns the story is far from over.
Well, that description, the poster and the trailer leads me to believe that we have a horror film on our hands. Further research indicates that this was supposed to come out in March. I don’t know if the film was moved to capitalize on Jennifer Lawrence’s post-Hunger Games popularity or that was just a happy accident. Either way, Lawrence’s drawing power is just about all the buzz the film has going for it, yet it is opening in over 3,000 theaters.
Brian (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a beat cop who is taking a course on film making at a local college, and he thinks film his life on the force would be a great way to get an A in the class. However, when a routine traffic stop results in a confiscation of a large amount of drugs and money makes a powerful drug lord come after them, the documentary Gyllenhaal is shooting might record the last days of him and his partner (Michael Pena)
The film is written and directed by David Ayer, who did Training Day (but, to be fair, also Street Kings) and the cast, which includes Anna Kendrick, David Harbour and and America Ferrera, is top notch.
In it’s first foray into the Hollywood film world in 1995, the property suffered the triple indignity of having Sylvester Stallone play the lead role, having Rob Schneider playing a supporting role, and Dredd taking his helmet off throughout most of the movie, something the comics character never did in the 18 years prior .
Now, it seems like the comic book antihero finally has an adaptation that hews close enough to the original source material, and it comes out on one of the busiest weekends of the fall with the lowest screen count. If it wasn’t for bad luck, Judge Dredd would have no luck at all.