Last weekend, the new releases offered a lot of variety. The R-rated action-comedy Spy was a somewhat surprising first place finisher, taking in just about $30 million. An impressive number for any R-rated film, but not exactly a blockbuster.Still, I admit I didn’t give Spy much of a shot to win the weekend and I was proven wrong. However, I feel much more confident in my prediction of this weekends box office winner: Soaked in Bleach.
I’m just kidding! Obviously it’s Jurassic World. (Although fans of Kurt Cobain may want to look into the limited release documentary Soaked in Bleach). Let’s take a closer look at Jurassic World and it’s only other competition this weekend.
Jurassic World – (PG-13) 124 min. – School is out for the summer, and Star-Lo- I mean Chris Pratt has never been more popular than he is now. Every teenager in the country wants to see more of Pratt in action, and what better chance than to watch him fight alongside Velociraptors. As for the over-20 crowd, there’s bound to be a hefty crowd looking to soak in some nostalgia felt for the classic Jurassic Park from 1993. I personally haven’t been impressed by the trailers for Jurassic World. The plot seems to be about the same as the originals. Scientists with good intentions bring dinosaurs back to life and offer them to public in an amusement park setting. Inevitably, things go wrong in dinosaur-eating-human sort of ways. What is most disappointing about the trailers is the look of the dinosaurs, which appear to be 100% CGI. The original Jurassic Park used CGI sparingly, opting for puppetry and animatronics for most of the dinosaur scenes. It looked amazing and it gave the actors something to work with in the real world. Watching actors act in front of anything added in digitally later is always obvious and frustrating. Initial reviews are positive, but not overwhelmingly so. Still, I expect Jurassic World to devour tons of ticket money this weekend.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – (PG-13) 105 min. – If you’re not into dinosaur-fueled destruction, there is a low-key alternative for you in the form of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Adapted by Jesse Andrews (from his own hit YA novel) and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (the breakout director of some of the best episode of American Horror Story), MaEatDG sounds a lot like The Fault in Our Stars mixed with Be Kind Rewind. Greg (Thomas Mann) and his friend Earl (RJ Cyler) spend a lot of time making parodies of their favorite indie films. Staying out of other peoples business is a bit of a specialty for Greg, so he is admittedly reluctant when his parents force him to befriend his classmate Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has been diagnosed with cancer. MaEatDG has already been a hit with critics and audiences, taking both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance. It’s sure to a funny, heartwarming, and devastating journey. If you’re into that sort of thing, get your tickets now. (I’m into it, for the record).
The Bottom Line – I don’t really think you can go wrong this weekend. Jurassic World is there for the blockbuster crowd, while MaEatDG will satisfy fans of more artful cinema. You’ve also still got some terrific holdovers, with Spy, Mad Max, and even San Andreas. It’s rare that Hollywood has this much quality to offer, so take advantage of it. I have a feeling it will get even better next weekend, when the box office is turned…Inside Out. (THAT’S A JOKE ABOUT THE NEW PIXAR MOVIE *INSERT LAUGHTER*)