This Week In Theaters - April 18, 2014

Published: Apr 17, 2014 15:23pm EDT
By Bob Phelan, Movie Critic for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 17, 2014 @ 03:23pm EDT

 

None of the new releases last week could take down the mighty 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' which dropped 56% to gross $41 million in its second weekend. The closest contender was 'Rio 2' which came in second with $39 million, not much more than the first movie's opening weekend. 'Oculus' more than doubled its budget with $12 million but thats not a great opening for a fairly wide released horror movie. Lastly was 'Draft Day' which has to be considered a big dissappointment coming in fourth place with just under $10 million with the full endorsement of the NFL behind it.

This weekend features four new releases, the first of which actually came out on Wednesday. Yet another religious film, continuing a heavy dose of christianity to start the year, 'Heaven Is For Real' stars Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly in the adaptation of the best selling book where a real life couple's son claims to have visited heaven during a near death experience. I remember hearing about this when the book came out. Its an interesting, uplifting story that certainly gives you hope that its possible much like the 'I Survived...' spin off, 'Beyond and Back'. Mixed reviews right now but I know my wife will make me see it at some point either way. She loves this kind of stuff.

'Transcendence' is the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister. Ever since I heard about this sci-fi thriller starring Johnny Depp as an A.I. researcher that either gets trapped in a computer or merges with it (I'm not quite clear but its something along those lines) I've been interested in checking it out. Depp can be good when hes not too far out there but I'm not sure if thats the case here or not. The reviews are not good but there are at least a couple critics whose opinion I trust that liked it. If nothing else it should look good since all of the films Pfister shot for Nolan have looked tremendous. But if the script isn't there he might not be experienced enough to save it.

'Bears' joins Disney's 'True Life Adventures' line of movies where they take footage of real life animals and edit it into a story with a narrator, in this case John C. Reilly, to educate kids I suppose. Directed by the guy who did 'Earth', 'Chimpanzee', and 'African Cats', the last of which I saw at the drive in to go along with 'How To Train Your Dragon' and 'Hot Tub Time Machine'. The footage itself is cool so it would be something where you take your kid so they can see the 'story' and you can appreciate the National Geographic-ness of it. Added plus that they're usually around 80 minutes.

Lastly is 'A Haunted House 2' which is the Wayans' brothers new 'Scary Movie' esque franchise since they're not a part of that anymore. I've never been a fan of the 'Scary Movie' franchise or really even spoof movies in general, at least the latest generation of them. 'Airplane' and the 'Naked Gun' series are great but this... is not that. I watched 'Scary Movie 5' last year for my podcast and it was one of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life. This appears to be along the same lines so I would avoid it at all costs.

Best Bet: If you have young children, like myself, take them to see 'Bears'. If not, 'Transcendence' is risky but its at least interesting and could pay off.


 

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Bob Phelan
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