1. Focus (Warner Brothers, 3,323 Theaters, 104 Minutes, Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence, Rotten Tomatoes: 54% Fresh [76 Reviews]): So, this is a comedy/romance/crime film, although all the ads I see focus on the last . Never have a good feeling when that happens.
The film is about a con man (Will Smith) who breaks up with his girlfriend (Margot Robbie) because he feels like the relationship is damaged by the dishonesty of his chosen profession. Years later, she returns back into his life during one of the biggest cons of his career–albeit working a con from the other side.
This role is an interesting stretch for Smith, who needs a hit after a disappointing couple of years at the box office. Let’s hope the part, and the fact his love interest is the 22-years-younger Robbie, helps him get back on his box office feet.
2. The Lazarus Effect (Relativity, 2,666 Theaters, 83 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of horror violence, terror and some sexual references, Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Fresh [38 Reviews]): Any horror film that manages to work the number “666” into its theater counts gets a lot of credit from me. It’s almost enough to make up for the poor Tomatometer reading, the short running time, and the PG-13 rating.
The film focuses on a team of scientists who are studying ways to bring the dead back to the living. When one of their own dies in a lab accident, they use what they’ve learned on her. She is brought back to life, but she comes back…different.
So, in other words, Pet Cemetary meets Frankenstein. This is essentially a “cash-grab” sort of film. It’s super low-budget ($5 million) so with it’s PG-13 rating to get the kiddies in and a short running time to increase the amount of showings, the film should be a success no matter how bad the reviews get.