This Week In Theaters - May 16, 2014

Published: May 13, 2014 18:12pm EDT
By Bob Phelan, Movie Critic for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated May 13, 2014 @ 06:12pm EDT


Well 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' didn't stay at the top of the box office charts for long as 'Neighbors' beat it in its second weekend $49 million to $35.5 million. Looks like we have our first surprise R rated comedy hit of the year on our hands. Its comparable to 'Ted' and 'The Hangover' in terms of box office and critic reviews. With a budget of only $18 million I wouldn't be surprised to see them try to wring out a sequel or two for some easy money but unlike 'Ted' this story doesn't easily lend itself to franchising, although that certainly has never stopped them before. The only other new movies to enter in the top 10 were 'Mom's Night Out' (7th place, $4.3 million) and 'Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return' (8th place, $3.7 million).

Things shouldn't slow down any this week as another monster enters the arena. 'Godzilla' gets another chance at box office gold but unlike Roland Emmerich's 1998 flop Gareth Edwards' version is actually getting alot of good reviews. Aaron Taylor Johnson (Kick-Ass himself), Elizabeth Olson, and Walter White, I mean Bryan Cranston lead a solid cast but Godzilla himself is the main attraction here. Despite Japanese fans of the character calling him fat I think the design of the monster looks great from what I've seen. Believably huge and menacing. As a huge fan of 'Cloverfield' I'm hoping this can capture the scale and terror of that story on a grander stage. Edwards has already made one movie in this genre, his first major motion picture, 'Monsters' which showed alot of promise but was clearly limited by the budget. If you've seen that movie you know why he was chosen to reboot the Godzilla franchise and you also know why there is reason to be optimistic about it. If all goes well hes a name you could be hearing alot during the summer months in the future.

Next up is the second sports drama of the year, this time focusing on baseball. 'Million Dollar Arm' is the true story of a sports agent (played by Mad Men's Jon Hamm) who comes up with the idea of a talent search in India to see who can throw the hardest. The winners would hopefully get a chance to sign with a Major League team and learn to refine their craft. Hey, there are alot of people in India. Surely there must be some with the preternatural ability to throw a baseball really hard. I remember hearing about this story as a kid and thinking it was pretty cool. The problem is that its being made by Disney and if its not an animated kids movie they tend to try everything in their power to make it feel like it should be. The other problem is that similar to 'Draft Day' I'm not sure where the dramatic turn will be since the real story never really turned into anything. I do think theres more to work with here than in that movie but I'm not optimistic and reviews are mixed. With Mad Men ending next year Jon Hamm could really use a hit to get his movie career going.

Lastly we have 'The Immigrant' as the weekly indie film to keep an eye on. James Gray ('Two Lovers', 'We Own the Night') directs Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner in a story of a woman arriving in America and being forced into prostitution while her sister is quarantined for being sick. Reviews are good and there is plenty of talent on display here. Cotillard and Phoenix are two of the best actors of this generation and Renner is certainly no slouch himself. I liked both of Gray's previous two films ('Two Lovers' moreso) and the story seems interesting. I'd be lying if I said I'm looking forward to this more than the spectacle that should be Godzilla but its a definite Redbox rental when it hits DVD.

Best Bet: Its an easy choice this week, one of my most anticipated movies of the summer, 'Godzilla'.


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Bob Phelan
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