9 items from 2014
Chris Pratt knows how to work a room, and his signature charisma was on display when he took the stage to speak at the March of Dimes Celebration of Babies Hollywood Luncheon on Friday. In a touching speech that went viral over the weekend, the Guardians of the Galaxy star spoke from personal experience while addressing the crowd and revealing the challenging health issues that his 2-year-old son, Jack, has faced since his premature birth in August 2012. Chris started out by telling the crowd that Jack "didn't want to be an October baby," adding, "He wanted to be born in the Summer, I guess." He then told the story of little Jack's birth after his wife, Anna Faris, went into labor two months early: "He was 3 pounds 12 ounces. That's a decent-sized bass. Very small for a human. He would need a lot. He had jaundice, so they put a blindfold »
Even with another flood of specialty film debuts, The Skeleton Twins, the dramedy starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, had another impressive box office showing in its third weekend. Meanwhile, another dozen films tried to elbow past last week’s 14 newcomers and numerous others already in the market, to middling success among those reporting.
Other than Twins, the holdovers that look like they’re gaining some autumnal momentum include IFC Films‘ The Trip To Italy with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, and more niche-oriented films such as American Experience/PBS Films’ doc Last Days In Vietnam and Oscilloscope’s Art And Craft. Starz Media also scored a robust gross for the second week of Not Cool, featuring YouTube star Shane Dawson, as it migrated east to New York and was also profiled on a Starz channel doc series.
CBS Films’ Pride can be proud of scoring the weekend’s highest average among new titles. »
- Brian Brooks
Music is at the core of two new Specialty features making their theatrical bows this weekend, albeit from rather different ends of the spectrum. XLrator Media will open Jimi: All Is By My Side focusing on the artist’s life in London in nearly three dozen theaters, while Samuel Goldwyn Films will bow faith-centered The Song in over 300 theaters, the biggest number of runs for a limited release newcomer this week. Magnolia Pictures will take thriller The Two Faces Of January starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac to an initial half-dozen locations in the wake of its VOD release late last month and CBS Films is targeting the same number of runs for its Cannes ’14 feature Pride. Factory 25 is opening its art meets goth-rap thriller Hellaware and Cinema Libre will debut a former Swiss foreign-language Oscar contender The Little Bedroom in exclusive New York runs. The weekend is »
- Brian Brooks
Scott Eastwood carries on his father Clint’s acting legacy in “The Perfect Wave.” The film, coming to DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Download and On-Demand Sept. 16 from Anchor Bay Entertainment, also features “Charlie’s Angels” star Cheryl Ladd as well as Rachel Hendrex (“October Baby”) and Patrick Lyster (“Black Sails”). The film also includes the talents of award-winning professional surfers Matt Bromley and Rosy Hodge. The film is based on true events and follows a surfer and future ordained minister, Ian McCormack, as he travels around the world to find the perfect wave. The film is shot in locales such as Bali, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa and Mauritius, giving viewers [ Read More ]
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Sept. 2, 2014
Price: DVD $26.99, Blu-ray $30.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Drew plays Allyson who plans a night out with fellow mother Patricia Heaton, as long as they husbands look after their kids.
Of course, all hell breaks loose.
Sean Astin (And They’re Off) and country music singer Trace Adkins also star in the PG film, which was directed by Andrew Erwin (God Provides) and Jon Erwin (October Baby) from a screenplay by Jon Erwin and Andrea Gyertson Nasfell (Escape).
Moms’ Night Out was a crowd pleaser for those who saw it in theater, except critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave the movie a dismal 18% approval, but moviegoers approved to the tune of 87%.
The movie grossed only $10 million at the box office. »
Moms’ Night Out
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Release Date: May 9, 2014
Plot: A trio of moms (Drew, Heaton, White) attempt to restore order to a crazy night when a baby goes missing.
Who’S It For? People ready to be reminded that wholesome doesn’t necessarily mean nice.
Liberty is a concept expressed only in irony with Moms’ Night Out, a female-driven minivan comedy that instructs ultimately to listen to thy husband for it is Biblical, even if thy husband is a child himself. Like sad Mitt Romney and his chocolate milk, this PG-romp is a brief walk on the wild side from the rules that await at the end of the night. Unfortunately, while taking out the substance abuse of a Judd Apatow or Todd Phillips arc, this shiny film »
- Nick Allen
There’s nothing wrong with “Moms’ Night Out” that couldn’t be fixed by a massive rewrite, preferably one that involves a lobotomy for the main character. Capturing the chaos that ensues when three overworked mothers decide to take a breather, this dismally unfunny comedy features barely a single instance of what most adults would recognize as human behavior — a curious failure for a movie aiming to resonate with all the frazzled mothers and fathers in the audience. Basically a shrill feature-length sitcom for the faith-based family-values crowd, if nowhere near as good as that sounds, Sony/TriStar’s Mother’s Day-timed release could get some mileage out of its high-profile Christian backers (namely co-star Patricia Heaton) but won’t exactly follow in the blessed B.O. footsteps of “Heaven Is for Real” and “God’s Not Dead.”
- Justin Chang
As the start of the Summer movie season, the month of May is typically loaded with major franchise fare*both established and aspiring ones. This year is no different, though each of the would-be blockbusters comes with a few question marks.The current May record was set in 2013, when the month racked up $1.14 billion in total box office. Without an Iron Man 3, it's hard to imagine that May 2014 gets quite that high. Still, there's enough appealing content to ensure that the first month of Summer tops $1 billion.For another look at the Summer movie season, be sure to check out our early predictions here.May 2For the eighth year in a row, May kicks off with a Marvel superhero movie. This year, it's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which is the sequel to 2012 franchise reboot The Amazing Spider-Man. That movie earned $262 million at the domestic box office, which was a »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When you die and go to heaven will you really see your late loved ones, sit on Jesus’ lap, and get serenaded by angels? That’s exactly how Colton Burp described his trip to the afterworld after an out-of-body experience when he was four years old. His father Todd, a pastor in Imperial Nebraska, shared his son’s experience in the family-friendly book Heaven Is For Real which was a surprise best-seller on the Christian circuit and now here comes the film version. Heaven Is For Real is as wholesome and square as it sounds. No profanity. No sex. No violence. That’s its hook. Unpretentious and plainspoken, it knows its target Christian audience well.
The plot of Heaven Is For Real is disarmingly simple and there appears to be no question regarding the general circumstances themselves. The Burpos are a classic wholesome American family from the heartland, hardworking and faithful. »
- Tom Stockman
9 items from 2014
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