I thought I did a pretty good job last week of covering the relevant movies for the weekend. Apparently, I dropped the ball. I talked about No Escape, which I anticipated making about $10 million and ended up with only $8 million for the weekend, and also We Are Your Friends, which tanked WAY harder than I expected not even breaking the top 10. The latter not only was the biggest bomb of the year, it now holds the record for worst opening by a studio-backed film that opened in more than 2,000 theaters. Guess Zac Efron’s star power isn’t as strong as some think. However, a new release that escaped my radar, the heavily-Catholic War Room, finished second at the box office behind 3-week champ Straight Outta Compton. This weekend, I really don’t think there will be any surprises.
A Walk in the Woods – (R) 104 min. – Film legend Robert Redford has been trying to adapt Bill Bryson’s famed wilderness book A Walk in the Woods since 2005. He even hoped that he could get Paul Newman to star opposite him. Now that movie, I would like to see. 10 years later and Redford’s vision has finally come to fruition, but with Nick Nolte as a co-star and a bunch of really plain trailers to show for it. A Walk in the Woods is a biographical telling of Bryson’s return to the US after decades overseas, and his attempt to reconnect with our environment by walking the Appalachian Trail with his oldest friend. It looks very nice and pleasant and your grandparents are going to love it. I’m not sure there’s much here in the way of entertainment for anyone under 65. I doubt Redford or Nolte will be showing up on any Oscar ballots, so this basically will amount to a docile night out for Nana and Pop-Pop.
Transporter Refueled – (PG-13) 96 min. – Huh what? This movie really snuck up on me. I had heard they were making a Transporter TV series and I initially thought the commercials for this were ads for that. I guess not. Jason Statham is…not back…as the Transporter Frank Martin. Instead he is played by Ed Skrein, who was the original Daario Naharis on Game Of Thrones. What can I really, truly say about this movie that you can’t infer on your own? Frank Martin will be asked to transport something, he’ll get too involved, then have to use tons of martial arts skills to kill his problems away. If you’re into that sort of thing, by all means check it out. But Skrein doesn’t have that same cool appeal as Statham, and I wonder if the action scenes will suffer because of it. Also, strange how this movie is only PG-13 and A Walk in the Woods is R. I would think the movies would be better suited to swap ratings.
The Bottom Line – We are still waiting for the time of year when studios stop throwing their garbage at us. A Walk in the Woods doesn’t look too bad, so it might be worth watching just as a calm activity. I doubt anybody will want to buy these movies on DVD (assuming you still do that sort of thing), and they won’t be showing up on any year end best-of or worst-of lists. It’s just a bland week. You know, I heard Captain America himself, Chris Evans makes his directorial debut this week with an on-demand movie. It’s called Before We Go. I wonder if that’ll be any go-oh it has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Never mind.