I understand that people do not have the money to see newly released films. So I decided to break down each new release and hopefully this will help you choose the film that best suits your tastes. Warning, I have not seen any of these films yet; so I cannot attest to the quality.
Wide Releases of January 31st
That Awkward Moment
Genre: I would rank this under ‘bro-flick;’ the protagonists are all guys and the humor of the trailer seemed a bit vulgar. However, it could still be associated with a ‘chick-flick,’ because of the romantic nature.
Plot: After Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) breaks up with his girlfriend; Jason (Efron) and Daniel (Teller) make a pact with Mikey to stay single. Something that seems harder then they thought.
Director: The writer/director of this film, Tom Gormican, has no prior directing credit. The only credit on his IMDB account was as a producer on Movie 43. If anyone read my Ten Worst Films of 2013 they should know that I did not think highly of that film. But he only served as a producer and I will not hold that against him.
Actors/Actresses: Has Zac Effron officially detached himself from the Disney stigma? Probably not, but he is certainly on his way; he has two R-rated comedies coming out this year. The other is the Seth Rogen flick Neighbors. Efron’s career revamp seems to follow in the footsteps of Channing Tatum, which is a smart move.
The other two actors Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller are coming off banner years. Miles Teller had the critically acclaimed Spectacular Now, while Michael B. Jordan was in the fantastic Fruitvale Station. Now these films cannot confirm the quality of That Awkward Moment, however, this shows that they are the up and coming stars of tomorrow.
Trailer: The trailer for this film looked fun. I know we are in the January, the month where studios dump their worst films, but this trailer made me chuckle a few times. In a quite empty month, this is one of the few films I wanted to see.
Metacritic Score: This is where it gets ugly. Based on twenty-six reviews, the film’s average score is a 35 out of 100.
Should you see it: The way ticket prices are I can understand not wanting to waste your money on a bad flick. I’ll say again, I cannot attest to the quality of this film, but I can break down the film to help you better understand it. If the reviews are any indication, this film seems like a throw-away comedy: a film that one does not feel hate, but indifference for. However, this seems like a comedy that is both for men and women; but be warned the Red-Band trailer showed a bit of vulgarity.
Genre: A drama, that if the trailer is any indication, seems a bit melodramatic and over the top.
Plot: A depressed single mother, Adele, and her son, Henry, are taken hostage by a mysterious escaped convict. As he hides out at their house, Adele slowly falls in love with him.
Director: I have been a huge fan of writer/director Jason Reitman. Up to this point he has not made a bad film; in fact, his previous four films have all had positive scores on Metacritic. His films are known for their quick wit and dialogue; at times, his movies have a distinct voice that only few writers could match. My favorite of his films has to be the satirical Thank You for Smoking with Aaron Eckhart.
Actors/Actresses: Not a lot has to be said for Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Winslet won an Oscar for the criminally overrated The Reader, but before that she was nominated a staggering five times. But the only film she appeared in last year was the horrible Movie 43. On the other hand, Josh Brolin did not have a banner 2013 himself; he was in the terrible Gangster Squad and the much-maligned Oldboy remake. But lets not forget that Josh Brolin is an Oscar nominated actor himself; a man who was criminally underrated until 2007’s No Country for Old Men. The one thing you can say about this film is that it has the talent.
Trailer: In my opinion, the trailer makes it look so bad; it looks like I am watching a soap opera or a lifetime movie. This is not Reitman’s usual shtick and maybe that is why he did this film; but did they need to make the trailer so melodramatic?
Metacritic Score: Based on thirty-eight reviews this film garnered an average of 51 out of a 100. While not as bad as the previous films, this is not the high standard that we are used to from a Jason Reitman film.
Should you see it: This was one of two December films that got pushed from their initial release date: the other film being Monuments Men. Both films were expected to be involved in award season and the fact that their release dates were pushed back did not bode well for the films. However, this film is for the romantics out there; it is going to be dramatic, and if the reviews are any indication, highly exaggerated. For instance, there is a peach cobbler scene that is being compared to Ghost’s pottery scene. But for those who expect a Jason Reitman film, they will be highly disappointed.
Previously Released Films
If you do not feel strongly about the above-mentioned films, here are a few good films that are still in theaters:
Her, Frozen, August: Osage County, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave, and Lone Survivor.