This Week In Theaters - July 4, 2014

Published: Jul 01, 2014 16:15pm EDT
By Bob Phelan, Movie Critic for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated Jul 01, 2014 @ 04:15pm EDT


We have our first $100 million opening of the year as 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' got it by the skin of its teeth. More impressive than that was the record setting $90 million opening weekend in China leading the charge for a big $200 million international opening. I guess the pandering of setting the final hour of the film in China and making sure not to have anything that could be perceived as negative towards them really paid off. This is a trend that I'm afraid is going take off. Its all about making money and China has alot of people that can pay for movie tickets. It shouldn't be a problem if it doesn't affect the integrity of the film but that seems like it'll be a hard feat to accomplish. Only time will tell.

With the July 4th holiday on Friday most of this week's releases come out on Wednesday, July 2nd. There are a handful of releases but none that should challenge 'Transformers' for the number one spot at the box office. Perhaps the biggest release is 'Tammy', the latest comedy starring Melissa McCarthy. Like in seemingly every movie shes ever been in she plays a slovenly rude person who has to get past her own demons in order to get her life back on track. I liked her in 'Bridesmaids' in which she was nominated for an Oscar but that is looking more and more like a one hit wonder. I didn't like her in 'Identity Thief', 'The Heat', or 'The Hangover Part 3'. All of her humor comes from calling herself fat and being obnoxious. That gets old fast. Maybe the problem has been the writing and shes had to take parts that lean on that angle until the right parts come along. If thats the case maybe this film will be different since she and her husband, Ben Falcone, wrote it themselves. The trailers don't make it look like anything different and the early reviews aren't good but I guess I shouldn't prejudge it too harshly.

Another movie coming out this weekend is the horror film 'Deliver Us From Evil' from the director of 'Sinister', Scott Derrickson. 'Sinister' was completely middle of the road and 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' remake wasn't very good at all but 'The Last Exorcism of Emily Rose' was pretty good. This one is about a cop (played by Eric Bana) who stumbles onto a case of demonic possession only this time its spreading and taking over the city, maybe including his family at home. I don't have high hopes for it but the trailer made it look like it would have some decent scares. Derrickson is going to be directing the Marvel superhero film 'Dr. Strange' so I'm rooting for him to put out some good work in preparation.

For the kids is a movie called 'Earth to Echo', a sci-fi where a group of four friends find a small alien that is lost on earth. Meanwhile they're being forced to move from their homes due to a highway construction project. Looks like they're going for a mix of 'E.T.' and 'The Goonies' where the kids can help the alien to get home and he can help them stay in theirs. The only recognizable name in the cast to me is Astro, who I only know because I watched the first season of the US version of 'The X-Factor' and he was a rapper on it. The trailer didn't inspire any interest from me and the early reviews are mixed.

There are two documentaries of note coming out this weekend as well. 'Life Itself' tells the story of film critic Roger Ebert. It was made by veteran documentary director Steve James who directed 'Hoop Dreams' amongst many others. Reviews are great for it after it played at Sundance and other film festivals but that should be expected since that is speaking directly to their profession. The other choice is 'America' which seems to be taking a stab at the country, making note of the fact that we stole everything we have. I don't know anything about it but that doesn't seem like it'll be a big money maker.

Best Bet: There isn't much distinguishing these movies apart and I'm not too confident in recommending any of them but I'll go out on a limb and say to see the horror flick, 'Deliver Us From Evil'.


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Bob Phelan
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