Captain America is probably going to win the box office again, so studios are throwing their best shots at second place in theaters this weekend, which means there isn't a must-see this week. But there are still plenty of films worth checking out.
What are you in the mood for this weekend? The three movies opening wide this week run the gamut: a horror flick, an animated kids movie, and a sports-movie-without-sports make up your options. They're not the best movies, but at least there's something for everyone, right?
First, let's talk about Draft Day, because it's probably the most interesting film out this weekend, even if it's not the best. Starring Kevin Costner, it attempts to turn the spectacle of the NFL draft into a two-hour feature film – but it doesn't really work. The film tries to work both the NFL-obsessive niche and a football apathetic crowd, and comes up short with both.
Also out this weekend are Oculus and Rio 2, and it's best if you don't mix them up. Oculus is getting fairly good reviews, with a 71 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is somewhat surprising because as far as we can tell the plot revolves around an evil mirror. It seems very much in line with contemporary horror movies like Insidious, so you know what you're getting into here. Rio 2 isn't doing so well with critics (currently at 47 percent on RT), and seems to be a step down from its predecessor, but so it goes with animated sequels. If you have kids under 12, you're probably going to see Rio 2 this weekend. At least it looks colorful.
In Limited Release
As usual, this week's limited releases look better than the wide releases, even if you haven't heard of most of them. There's Only Lovers Left Alive, in which Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play vampires in love. If that plot doesn't grab you (which, admittedly, it doesn't), the movie is directed byJim Jarmusch and is the best reviewed film out this weekend. It's only out in four theaters: both the Walter Reade and Elinor Bunin Munroe theaters at Lincoln Center (NY), the Landmark Sunshine (NY), and the Landmark in Los Angeles.
Opening in slightly more theaters are Cuban Fury and Joe. The former stars Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, and Chris O'Dowd, all of whom should probably be in a better movie than Cuban Fury looks to be. Joe, on the other hand, is going to be bonkers: Nicolas Cage is the titular ex-con who takes a teenage boy under his wing and beats up his father. It looks kind of like Mud (both films star young Tye Sheridan) but with Nic Cage instead of Matthew McConaughey. We shouldn't have to say much more than that, so just watch the trailer:
And finally, there is Hateship Loveship, if you live in NYC and want to go to the IFC Center. It's not getting great reviews, but Hailee Steinfeld, pretending to be Guy Pearce, catfishes Kristen Wiig, which sounds like it could be worth seeing.
Video on Demand
On Demand is slightly better than last week, but still not great. You can take your pick of movies with colons in their titles: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, if you've watched your LOTR DVDs too many times; August: Osage County, if you're still catching up on Oscar almosts and love Meryl Streep as much as everyone else on the planet; or Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, if you don't want to sleep this weekend. And there is also Grudge Match, if you like watching shirtless old men try to fight each other, and also Kevin Hart.
Streaming on Netflix
Oh boy, Netflix is good this week. Along with the last season of House, new to streaming are movies that should need no introduction: Braveheart, Titanic, Rocky, Chinatown, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and The Graduate. If we remember correctly, most of those have been on Netflix at some point in the past but were taken off, so why not take this weekend to celebrate their return? You can't really go wrong with any of them, but The Graduate will always be the best. Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.
Movies on TV
Premiering on HBO Saturday at 8 p.m. is Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro's homage to the old Japanese monster movies that is your typical high-spectacle summer blockbuster. Obviously it was never going to be an Oscar winner, but it'll be fun (especially if you have a big screen TV). On Showtime Saturday is Django Unchained, the latest from Quentin Tarantino. It's not his best movie by any means but it's still Tarantino being Tarantino, and Christoph Waltz being Christoph Waltz. If you just want to turn on the TV and watch something while doing other things, Pacific Rim is probably your best bet; if you want to sit down and watch-watch something, go for Django.