Weekend Preview for 7/13/12

Steven Panzarella prepares you for the weekend to come in new releases that include the 4th installment of a popular series and a paranormal thriller starring Robert Deniro and Cillian Murphy.

With The Dark Knight Rises coming out a week from friday, it’s not a very big week for movies – just one wide release and one limited release with a lot of big names. But sometimes weekend like this hold some surprises!

Starting with the one big film hitting theaters this weekend is the animated series Ice Age Continental Drift. Being the 4th in the series you would expect more of the same, the same being decent to mediocre reviews but pretty big money at the box office. Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs made just under $200 million at the box office in 2009 and in 2006 Ice Age 2: The Meltdown made basically the same amount 195.3 millon which funny enough is about a million less then Dawn Of The Dinosaurs.

Continental Drift joins characters Manny, Diego and Sid on another adventure, after getting seperated from their families when the continents separated they use an ice berg as a ship and take on Pirates and creatures as they explore the new world and try to reunite with their loved ones. The 4th installment brings back its original cast, returning voices include  Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah and John Leguizamo. Also adding voices like Jennifer Lopez, Peter Dinklage(Game Of Thrones), Wanda Sykes and Josh Gad(Love And Other Drugs). The cast of voices is actually pretty good, and plenty of star power that will probably be of greater interest to the adults than the kids. The problem with all the Ice Age films after the far superior original is that it is always more of the same. Not a lot changes, just the same schtick and with minor scenery (it’s ice and snow, after all!) and character changes they attempt to keep things fresh. It works with kids and it works with parents to the tune of just around $200 million per film, surprisingly enough the least successful of the films was the first one, which took in nationally $176 million. If you are looking for more of the same then look no further, early reviews have said just that, with critics going basically right down the middle so far with 50% loving it and 50% telling you to stay away. I say see it if you have kids that are big fans, if not then check out the other family films available too you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYoksW3SVJY

For the adults…

Now for the other movie coming out this week: Red Lights, Starring Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy as two paranormal researchers who spend their days debunking those who claim to have special abilities to reach out  beyond the grave. After passing all the big tests Murphy’s character Tom Buckley wants to investigate the most famous claimed Psychic in the country, a blind man named Simon Silver(Robert Deniro). As soon as Tom’s investigation begins strange things start to happen.

When I first saw the trailer for this movie and did a little research I thought this was actually going to get picked up for wide release. A solid cast that includes Deniro, Murphy, Weaver, Elizabeth Olsen(Martha,Marcy,May,Marlene) and Toby Jones(The Hunger Games).  A cast this strong and a very good director Rodrigo Cortes(Buried) I am shocked this movie did not get picked up for a full wide release right out of the gate. That fact scares me a lot more than a blind Robert Deniro, and so far the reviews have not been very good. I am a fan of Cortes and of the members of the cast but unless you are a huge fan of paranormal films then I’d say wait for the movie to come out on DVD.

To sum it up, See Ice Age Continental Drift if you and your kids are fans of the series, if not check out a different kids movie, and wait for Red Lights to hit DVD instead of scowering your local indie theater for a limited release film.

This time next week we will be getting ready for all things The Dark Knight Rises(and yea we are very excited for that!).

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