This Week In Theaters - May 2, 2014

Published: May 01, 2014 18:08pm EDT
By Bob Phelan, Movie Critic for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated May 01, 2014 @ 06:08pm EDT

 

Theres a new name atop the box office and its 'The Other Woman' finally dethroning 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' with about $25 million compared to $16 million. The combination of decent marketing and finally a new comedy coming to market was enough to beat out a comic book movie that was losing steam entering its fourth weekend after everyone who wanted to had already seen it. Overall it was a pretty quiet weekend monetarily. 'Brick Mansions' came in fifth with $9.5 million. I guess postmortem Paul Walker alone wasn't enough to bring people out in droves. I have a feeling adding fast cars, The Rock, and Vin Diesel to the mix will help. 'The Quiet Ones' was just that, coming in seventh place with just under $4 million. Horror or not people just did not want to see it.

This weekend officially brings the start of summer movie season and what better symbolism for that than the lone big release being a comic book movie. 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' will try to win back fans of the character that were disappointed with the rushed reboot from a couple years ago. I would count myself among those. I actually loved the first act or so of the "original" before The Lizard came in and ruined everything. Alot of times these superhero movies set themselves up to live or die by the main villain and 'The Amazing Spider-Man' most certainly died. After great work resetting the origin story and actually coming alot closer to nailing the character from the comics than the original Sam Raimi directed films (which were pretty great despite 'Spider-Man 3' falling apart) they went ahead and used every generic action beat they could manage to fit in. Bomb count downs, save the love interest or save the group of citizens, finding the antidote at just the right time (how convenient that it just so happens to say antidote), etc. Doctor Curt Connors/The Lizard is an interesting character that they could've done a good job getting into how good intentions can lead to monstrous results but they dropped the ball. They didn't do enough character building to make you care about him and he turned to supervillain in the blink of an eye.

With the sequel they have an opportunity to fix that by building off the solid baseline they created. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have great chemistry as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man is his friendly neighborhood quipy self, and the look of the film was pretty good. This time they're taking that and throwing in three villains (Electro, Green Goblin, and Rhino) which brings up the 'Spider-Man 3' worry of cramming too many villains into one story. Hopefully they can find a way to give each of their stories justice while also continuing the development of our protaganist. Reviews are mixed and the trailers make it look like it could be a little silly but as someone whose favorite character growing up was Spider-Man I'll be looking forward to checking it out at some point.

There are a couple of other smaller releases this weekend but its not much of a fair fight. Getting good reviews so far is 'Belle' the true story of a mixed race girl raised by her aristocratic white great uncle and his wife. She gets certain benefits due to her lineage but also faces the challenges of a racist world. Also coming out is 'Walk of Shame', a romantic comedy starring Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden. Banks plays a reporter who gets stranded in Los Angeles after a one night stand while shes set to have an important job interview later that same day. I hadn't heard much about either of these but the lack of reviews for 'Walk of Shame' and the 89% Rotten Tomatoes rating for 'Belle' would have me much more interested in the latter.

Best Bet: Despite a problematic first entry in the new series and not great reviews coming in I still think 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' deserves a look. When Marvel Studios isn't attached to a Marvel comic character for whatever reason those movies don't tend to get the benefit of the doubt that the others do.


 

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Bob Phelan
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